Along with picking up the action where it left off in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2011), Riggs fills in background detail while adding both talking animals and more children with magical powers to the cast.
With evil wights and murderous hollowgasts in hot pursuit—and only days to save their beloved Miss Peregrine from permanently becoming a bird—Jacob and his nine young (in body, if not age) companions fling themselves through time loops to Blitz-torn London. The growing attachment between Jacob and kindhearted fire-conjurer Emma turns out to play a crucial role in the plot. After a brisk round of chases, captures, escapes and bombings—capped by a devastating reversal—the two end up separated from most of their allies but with a new talent that just might save “peculiardom” from its seemingly all-powerful enemies. As before, the author spins his tale in part around a crop of enigmatic vintage trick or portrait photographs, including two men (corpses?) sharing a bed with skeletons, a pipe-smoking dog and a staring girl with a huge hole through her midsection. Though less of a novelty here than in the opener, these still add distinctly creepy notes (even when the subject is supposedly comical) to a tale already well-stocked with soul eaters and tentacled monsters.
Less a straightforward horrorfest than a tasty adventure for any reader with an appetite for the…peculiar. (Fantasy. 11-14)