Over the past few years, we’ve marveled at the strange new world of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, gasped at the thrills and surprises in Hollow City, and held on tight through all the action and suspense in Library of Souls…and counted the days till we could see Ransom Riggs’ fascinating creations brought to life onscreen. Now that Tim Burton’s adaptation of Riggs’ photograph-filled bestseller has hit theaters, we’re more excited to jump back into Riggs’ peculiar world than ever. The book is bursting with magic, time travel, and wonderfully imaginative creatures, and its trip to the screen has introduced it to a whole new audience. For fans who only know Riggs’ series through the magic of moviemaking—or fantasy readers who haven’t yet had the pleasure to see or read it—the series is a perfect gift pick this holiday season. Here’s why.
If you stumbled across the world of Riggs’ Peculiar Children in the movie first, here’s what it doesn’t tell you: one of the coolest things about the series is the way it’s punctuated by a plethora of eerie found photographs. The stunning black and white pictures seen throughout the series weren’t created in a studio or whipped up in Photoshop. They’re actual found photographs, collected by Riggs from friends and collectors and found in all the places you might expect: conventions, flea markets, haunted thrift shops (probably). The characters you’re reading about, and all their wild powers? The fantastical, war-torn setting? All inspired by black and white photos and a lot of imagination.
The Peculiars and their powers
The Peculiars’ abilities manifest in ways both seen and unseen, destructive and not. Some the Peculiars can control, like book Emma’s ability to produce fireballs, and some they can’t control, like the movie version of Emma’s tendency to float if she isn’t weighed down. There’s a whole Peculiar world out there, and it’s a blast watching Riggs people it with characters whose gifts are as varied as they are—especially when he takes the story beyond the walls of Miss Peregrine’s school…
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is just the first chapter in Riggs’ fantastical tale. The Peculiar magic continues in sequel Hollow City, in which Jacob and the Peculiar children leave their home and travel to London, meeting fantastical characters and terrifying monsters on their way, all illustrated with a new set of evocative photographs. In Library of Souls, the third and final installment in the trilogy, Jacob, Emma, and their allies move through war-torn Europe in search of a kidnapped friend. As the end approaches, questions loom for the superpowered gang: what will be the children’s final fate? Will Jacob return to his own world and a life of normalcy, or find a way to be with Emma at last?
Already read the novels? Don’t worry, we got you.
Have you (or your giftee) already devoured the trilogy and aren’t sure where to turn next? What’s a reader to do? Turn to the graphic novel adaptations of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City, that’s what. Then, when you’re done experiencing the stories in a whole new telling, check out Riggs Tales of the Peculiar. Styled as foundational lore for the Peculiar world, it’s full of stories that are genuinely eerie and surprising, and occasionally grotesque. They’re fairytalish in tone, with touches of sly humor and a modern sensibility that make the collection a blast to read.
Here’s to having a very Peculiar holiday season!