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From the Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series

A keepsake that may fill in a few blanks even for devoted fans of the series.

A guidebook to the peculiar world for fledgling members, with notes about the variety of peculiar abilities, techniques for blending in with normals, and other helpful features.

Breaking out a fresh flurry of atmospheric and oddball antique photographs as illustrations, Riggs opens with generous galleries of peculiars arranged by type, from earthworkers to invisibles and deadrisers. Not to mention real historical peculiars such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Mary Seacole. He goes on to discuss time loops (with a handy guide to finding their hidden entrances), ploys and disguises for passing as normal in the outside world, the origins of deadly wights and hollowgast, and, in a final omnium-gatherum section, the peculiar world’s language, party games, and foundational texts. The photos, most of which are portraits, are likely to be the most immediate draw, as even the ones that don’t feature creepy figures with rubbed out eyes or fall under the general theme of fun with skeletons have a decidedly otherworldly air. The staring subjects include racial and cultural diversity.

A keepsake that may fill in a few blanks even for devoted fans of the series. (photo credits, map, index) (Informational fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-399-53856-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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From the Peculiar Children series , Vol. 4

Not much forward momentum but a tasty array of chills, thrills, and chortles.

The victory of Jacob and his fellow peculiars over the previous episode’s wights and hollowgasts turns out to be only one move in a larger game as Riggs (Tales of the Peculiar, 2016, etc.) shifts the scene to America.

Reading largely as a setup for a new (if not exactly original) story arc, the tale commences just after Jacob’s timely rescue from his decidedly hostile parents. Following aimless visits back to newly liberated Devil’s Acre and perfunctory normalling lessons for his magically talented friends, Jacob eventually sets out on a road trip to find and recruit Noor, a powerful but imperiled young peculiar of Asian Indian ancestry. Along the way he encounters a semilawless patchwork of peculiar gangs, syndicates, and isolated small communities—many at loggerheads, some in the midst of negotiating a tentative alliance with the Ymbryne Council, but all threatened by the shadowy Organization. The by-now-tangled skein of rivalries, romantic troubles, and family issues continues to ravel amid bursts of savage violence and low comedy (“I had never seen an invisible person throw up before,” Jacob writes, “and it was something I won’t soon forget”). A fresh set of found snapshots serves, as before, to add an eldritch atmosphere to each set of incidents. The cast defaults to white but includes several people of color with active roles.

Not much forward momentum but a tasty array of chills, thrills, and chortles. (Horror/Fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7352-3214-3

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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From the Peculiar Children series , Vol. 1

A trilogy opener both rich and strange, if heavy at the front end.

Riggs spins a gothic tale of strangely gifted children and the monsters that pursue them from a set of eerie, old trick photographs.

The brutal murder of his grandfather and a glimpse of a man with a mouth full of tentacles prompts months of nightmares and psychotherapy for 15-year-old Jacob, followed by a visit to a remote Welsh island where, his grandfather had always claimed, there lived children who could fly, lift boulders and display like weird abilities. The stories turn out to be true—but Jacob discovers that he has unwittingly exposed the sheltered “peculiar spirits” (of which he turns out to be one) and their werefalcon protector to a murderous hollowgast and its shape-changing servant wight. The interspersed photographs—gathered at flea markets and from collectors—nearly all seem to have been created in the late 19th or early 20th centuries and generally feature stone-faced figures, mostly children, in inscrutable costumes and situations. They are seen floating in the air, posing with a disreputable-looking Santa, covered in bees, dressed in rags and kneeling on a bomb, among other surreal images. Though Jacob’s overdeveloped back story gives the tale a slow start, the pictures add an eldritch element from the early going, and along with creepy bad guys, the author tucks in suspenseful chases and splashes of gore as he goes. He also whirls a major storm, flying bullets and a time loop into a wild climax that leaves Jacob poised for the sequel.

A trilogy opener both rich and strange, if heavy at the front end. (Horror/fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: June 7, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-59474-476-1

Page Count: 234

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2014

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