TITLE: Tales of the Peculiar
AUTHOR: Ransom Riggs
ILLUSTRATOR: Andrew Davidson
Tales of the Peculiar is a companion book to the author’s Miss Peregrine series. It is a collection of ten short stories, each led with a woodcut illustration.
So I’m going to start right off the bat and say that this is not meant to be part of the story that Riggs does for his trilogy. It’s meant to be other stories from the same world. Basically, fairy tales for peculiars. As such, it takes place long before the trilogy and features no photographs, which we’ve come to want from Riggs. That doesn’t make it bad at all, just takes a minute to get out of that mindset.
Here’s an overview of the stories. Warning that although I tried to not spoil anything, you never know what slipped through.
The Splendid Cannibals
Travelers with money and a village of peculiars with the ability to regenerate limbs.
The Fork-Tongue Princess
A princess already promised, but her secret will make her a monster. What’s a peculiar to do?
The First Ymbryne
She didn’t know she was a peculiar until she accidentally managed a special power – the first time loop.
The Woman Who Befriended Ghosts
A woman who had only ghosts as friends moves to a haunted house to make friends.
A chinese man who searches for his lost father on the open seas and finds a family secret. They’re peculiar.
The Pigeons of St. Paul’s
Pigeons in London need a place to roost, so they talk in the ear of the best builder and make him build a cathedral.
The Girl Who Could Tame Nightmares
She used her powers to take away peoples nightmares, but was it a good idea?
A weird boy with no friends befriends a bug and becomes one.
The Boy Who Could Hold Back the Sea
A boy with the power to hold back and control water currents shows his power and has to go into hiding.
The Tale of Cuthbert
Basically the origin story of Miss Wren’s Menagerie. There are peculiar animals that need saving, a gentle giant willing to save them, only who will save him?
Okay, so I loved the story of the first loop. The cannibals story was just silly, although one of the stronger ones in the book. Really, you’re reading fairy tales for peculiars, so you’re going to get absurd stuff (even fairy tales for humans are absurd). A few stories were weak, but that’s to be expected just by the nature of what everything was.
I loved the woodcuts, even though I was used to bizarre photos and expecting them – I wish they’d’ve found a way to throw in a couple (the area now, perhaps?) – but what was done totally worked for this type of a book so I’m not complaining.
In all, if you like the Peregrine books as I have (My review of book 1 is here) I think you should pick this up as well, so I’ll give it a 4/5 pages with a warning – if you weren’t into the Peregrine books, I don’t think you’ll like this one all that much.