Book Review: Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Posted July 7, 2016 by Debby in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Hollow City by Ransom RiggsHollow City by Ransom Riggs
Series: Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #2
Published by Quirk Books on January 14th, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Time Travel
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher

This sequel to the first novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended.

Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered vintage photographs.

2 Stars


This is one of those series that gets raved about all the time by everyone. It’s one of the bestselling YA series of all time. And in theory there’s nothing that “wrong” with it. But I do not get everyone’s fascination. Not one bit.

I enjoyed the first book quite a bit, but right from the start, Hollow City was not the same. There was more action at the start, so arguably it should be exciting. But in terms of plot and world building, this is very much a middle book. They’re chasing down Miss Peregrine the whole time, but dawdling here and there and not really advancing the story until the very end. The end is arguably exciting and intense. There are some new areas and characters as well – most notably, peculiar animals – and there are a ton of interesting photographs again. But a cool concept does not necessarily equal an engaged reader.

My problem with the book is mostly the same as it was in the first – I still feel very disconnected from the characters. At the beginning, I was getting a bit more engaged as the other peculiar children got considerably more page-time. But Jacob remains a very blah character to me. I don’t get much personality from him. His powers are increasing exponentially which makes him very conveniently formidable. But he still makes really dumb mistakes sometimes, View Spoiler ».

The worst, though, is the romance. Because I feel a great big ZIP, ZERO, ZILCH, for Jacob and Emma. The book is not overly sappy in romance – in fact, I was wondering more than once why they felt so strongly about each other when there were barely any romantic moments to back it up – but when it comes down to it, it’s blown out of proportion at the worst of times. And it caused me to basically lose all respect for Jacob.

“Why do you think I stayed instead of going home? It wasn’t because of my grandfather or some stupid sense of duty – not really – or because I hated my parents or didn’t appreciate my home and all the nice things we had. I stayed because of you!”


“I may not have a lot of dating experience, but don’t treat me like some pathetic loser who’s powerless in the face of a pretty girl. You didn’t make me stay. I stayed because I wanted to – and because what I feel for you is as real as anything I’ve ever felt.” Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
Actually, a pathetic loser is exactly what you sound like, Jacob. Honestly, you do not have the serious love connection to be giving up your entire life and putting yourself in constant jeopardy for one girl. You should be the tiniest bit motivated to ACTUALLY SAVE THE WORLD. Honestly. This romance feels so forced that I basically unship it now.

And as the cherry on top, the world building in this is so confusing, it’s honestly given me headaches. So they left the loop in the loop’s actual time, so the peculiar kids DON’T age up (even though they’re still over 80 years old?). Then when Emma tries to give Jacob his escape clause, she says that Miss Peregrine could manipulate a loop to bring him back to his own time. But when they exit the London loop in the crypt, someone else has to walk ahead of Jacob, because if he crossed first, they would all end up in the present time? IT MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE and I’m sick of trying to figure it out.

Summing Up:

I’m the black sheep. Baaaa. Honestly, this book wasn’t that bad while I was reading it. It was a bit slow and not the most engaging, but the story and concept held enough mystery to keep me reading. But particularly the ending with its cringe-worthy romance and the headache-inducing world building makes me look back on this book with the utmost skepticism. I honestly don’t get the hype. I just don’t.

GIF it to me straight

Recommended To:

Ugh, ask someone else.

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One response to “Book Review: Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

  1. Carol Davis

    Loved every book, and ESPECIALLY the final volume!
    Bummer that you couldn’t connect with the characters.
    I will admit, having seen the movie before reading the first book, I was confused but strangely delighted the book had more depth and content.
    As soon as I dismissed the movie as having any relevance to the actual story, and created my own image of the characters as they were written (and not destroyed by the big screen), they were great.
    Of course at 45, and just love reading for fun, and the extra of getting to share with my children, I’m certain you and I take something completely different away from this reading experience.