Book Review: Ransom Riggs 'Library of Souls'

The Sad Fate of 'Miss Peregrine's' and Other YA Conclusions

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children first made it's debut in 2011, intriguing many with a strange story, but mostly with it's slew of frightening photos inside. The thing that set this YA fantasy apart from all others was it's use of old-timey photographs that correlated with the story, adding a little bit of creepy to the reading experience.

The story follows our main character Jacob who is stricken by the death of his grandfather, who he was very close to. He had told stories and tales all of Jacob's life about a children's home he used to live in, and about the strange goings on that occurred there. As Jacob had gotten older, he had stopped believing the stories his grandfather told, but upon receiving a posthumous gift from the old man, he begins to question once more. 

I've always said that the Miss Peregrine novels and the use of the old photographs were interesting. I loved seeing the pictures throughout the book and loved what they added to the story. Unfortunately, while I enjoyed the story itself, I was never keen on the storytelling: poetic, but very slow. Still, I stuck with the series until the end, through both Hollow City, the second installment, and Library of Souls, the last. 

Hollow City was about the same as the first: interesting pictures, decent plot, but slow pacing. So I shouldn't have been surprised when I found myself bored by Library of Souls. The pace was as slow as ever, and I found that I just wasn't as invested in the story or the characters like I was in book one. I also found myself skimming, a horrible habit but one that is only born of slow-moving novels that I just want to be done with. 

There's a certain standard to be held when it comes to series conclusions. After all, you've dragged your readers this far, and I think it's normal to expect a decent ending. However, I did not feel satisfied upon closing the book for the last time. I feel that my time reading the series was wasted, and I'm beginning to realize that the only thing these books had going for them was the fascinating photos inside. 

Library of Souls isn't the only YA series to befall this same fate. Take Allegiant of the Divergent series, for instance, or The Death Cure of The Maze Runner series. While all three had exciting first installments, they each suffer from disappointing endings. This seems to be a reoccurring theme in several YA trilogies, and I'm forced to ask, why? Is it because we're forcing these authors to bang out three books when, really, their series would have been better served as duologies? Or is it because publishers are jumping on their main ideas without really asking what the end result looks like? Maybe the authors themselves don't know. It seems to me these authors come up with an idea for a story, they write the first two books, and then are suddenly lost. 

With all that in mind, let's hope that this doesn't become a popular trend in books and that it dies a slow, painful death. 

Devyn Guerra
Devyn Guerra

I'm a 20-something year old Army wife living in Hawaii and loving it. I spend my time reading, writing, watching films and binging Netflix, while occasionally going on a crazy adventure with my husband. 

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Book Review: Ransom Riggs 'Library of Souls'