Library of Souls – Ransom Riggs

Library of Souls – Ransom Riggs

24120519As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.

They’ll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil’s Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England. It’s a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all.

Like its predecessors, Library of Souls blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography.

Before I start this review, I just want to warn you: if you’re going to read Library of Souls and it’s been a while since you read Hollow City, you should probably re-read that first because this book picks up literally ten seconds after the events of book two.

I think that’s part of the reason why I ultimately gave Library of Souls four stars instead of five. Well, that, and the fact that it took a while to get going, not unlike the previous two books. I do wish I had been given some sort of recap at the beginning.

That being said, I enjoyed this one a lot more than Hollow City. While I’ll probably never accept Jacob/Emma’s relationship (seriously, did she have to be Abe’s ex-girlfriend?? Why couldn’t they have just been friends??), the overall story was more interesting than the book two.

I liked the introduction of Sharon, who helps the peculiars on their quest. And the final showdown with Caul and his siblings was well done. I especially liked the way everything was resolved at the end, which brought the series to a nice close.

I’m being vague here because I don’t want to spoil it. I will say that it ended much better than I thought it would. And even though Jacob still doesn’t strike me as overly intelligent, I felt like he was more alive in this installment than in the previous ones, that you could really feel his personality coming off the page, whereas he felt flat and 2D in the first two books.

Recommended if you enjoyed the first two books; if you didn’t love Hollow City, I’d still suggest picking this up for a good conclusion to an interesting series.

Rating:

4 interrobangs

Top Ten Tuesday: UK in YA 101

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s prompt is Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught X 101. Up until about half an hour ago, I was fully prepared to write “YA URBAN FANTASY 101”, but then I thought about how much I love the UK and books that take place in the UK and, well, here we are.

A couple of these are technically middle grade, but they work as transitional pieces.

Required reading (in no particular order):

1) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll (London; Oxford to be precise); read my review here!
2) Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling (London and some magical place in Scotland)
3) Gemma Doyle trilogy – Libba Bray (Victorian London); read my review of book 1 here!
4) Stardust – Neil Gaiman (“rural England”; though technically “adult”, I’ve seen it on YA lists)
5) Lockwood & Co series – Jonathan Stroud (alternate England full of ghosts!!!!) (also highly recommend his other series, The Bartimaeus Sequence); read my review of book 2 here!
6) Mad Miss Mimic – Sarah Henstra (Victorian London); read my review here!
7) Sorcery and Cecelia – Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer (Victorian London)
8) Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs (Wales); read my review for books 1 and 2!
9) The Secret of Platform 13 – Eva Ibbotson (London)
10) Sally Lockhart series – Philip Pullman (Victorian London)

Recommended reading:

Every Word – Ellie Marney (takes places mostly in London, but you have to read the FANTASTIC first book, Every Breath, before tackling this one)
Artemis Fowl series – Eoin Colfer (I know Ireland isn’t actually part of the UK, but it’s close)

I really enjoy Victorian England, if you haven’t noticed. I can’t think of any YA or MG books that take place in Scotland (though technically Hogwarts is in Scotland). Does anyone have any suggestions/recommendations? What other UK-based books have I missed?