Book Review – Hollow City

TITLE: Hollow City
AUTHOR: Ransom Riggs
PUBLISHED: 2013
FORMAT: Hardcover

Hollow City is the second book in the series that started with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (which I reviewed a couple months ago.  You can also find a review of the companion non-fiction book on BitB).  I’ll warn you now that if you didn’t read the first one, you may want to skip this review because there might be some things that spoil that for you.

So, my mistake, but important to note, the book takes over where the first one left off pretty much, and since a little bit of time had passed, there were a couple things said that I didn’t remember.  It’s totally a pet peeve of mine that they don’t bother telling us anything that would tie one book in from the other, especially when quite a bit of time has passed and when the books are meant to stand alone.

Hollow City starts off with the kids escaping their bombed out island and Jacob and company with the injured Miss Peregrine, taking her to find a ymbryne while running from hollowgast and the like.  Don’t forget that its 1940, they’re trying to get to London (remember your history, that’s not going to go well), and they have all kinds of people after them and causing trouble including talking/peculiar animals and a band of gypsies.  Some of these creatures/people end up being friend not foe, but there’s trouble everywhere.

So, not a lot happens in this book, but the way that the story is told makes it a worthwhile payout.  And I did like how it ended.  There’s a lot going on for not a lot going on (if that makes sense) but like I said, it read quickly and I didn’t feel like I wasted time reading this book (unlike, say, Divergent #2 or HP #2, which were total wastes of time).  It sets up nicely for the third book, which Ransom is already working on.

There’s not a lot I can say without spoilers, unfortunately.  I will tell you that the book is still gorgeous and interesting and it amazes me how well he does at all of this.  In a cool twist, when I read this book, I also got a letter in the mail with a random found photograph in it, and I had just googled where the antique shops were to start a collection of my own.

So, I guess it won’t surprise you when I rate this highly.  Read the first one, but then get this one, too.  4/5 pages.

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Book Review – Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent
Veronica Roth
2012 Hardback

Okay, if you remember my review of Divergent, you will remember how much I was looking forward to this book.

Of course, it took me six months to get from book 1 to book 2.

Which is where my issues start.

The story starts right where the first one lets off. As in, if you could turn the page from the last one, you end up on this one.

So in this story, we’re following Tris and Four and everyone else as all hell has broken lose and they’re going to right the wrongs that were left open in the first book.
And since it had been six months since I read the first book, I found myself more preoccupied by trying to remember a book I hadn’t read in a while and less into the story.

I had had some unanswered questions, and they were touched on about 500 pages in with last second offhanded questions.

Unfortunately, this is one of those second-in-a-series books (according to her blog, the third one comes out in October) that’s just really weak and doesn’t at all stand on its own. And it doesn’t really give enough content for the length – there’s a whole lot of people moving from place to place and talking about the same thing over and over again, but with very little to tie it into the last book beyond a couple small comments about her family and a few characters that went away in the last book that are around again here. But again, if you don’t remember what happened, you’re not going to get the few references. What I wanted to see was something that would connect the two. Flashbacks, dreams, explanations to new people, something. Hell, we don’t even get a timeline to know how much time has gone on in this.

In case you can’t tell, I’m seriously disappointed.

I’m giving it a weak three out of five, but with a warning. If you read the first one, read this one – preferably soon after having read the first. Without reading the third, this is just speculation, but this is going to be one of those stories necessary for book three, I’m sure. If you haven’t read the first one, you won’t understand *anything* about this book, so just mosey on and don’t bother.

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