Title: Hollow City
Author: Ransom Riggs (Reader: Kirby Heyborne)
Publication Date: January 2014
Length: 11 hr 39 min (396 pages)
Series: Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children (#2)
Audio or Book: Audio
Reason for Discovery: Galley
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London the peculiar capital of the world. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reacting experience.
Hollow City takes place immediately after the events in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Jacob and his peculiar friends have rescued Miss Peregrine, but she can't return to her human form. Jacob and his friends are on a race against time to help Miss Peregrine and to stay one step ahead of the hollows on their tail!
I have to admit that I wasn't expecting to enjoy this book. I had really enjoyed Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children until the book took a turn away from the original haunting tone with which it started. After I read the first book, I hadn't planned to even read this book. However, when I had the opportunity to listen to this audio book, I decided to give it a shot. I am quite pleased that I did, because it was such a fun book.
This book takes place over the course of a few days, and it is quite full of exciting action sequences in which the children are fighting hollows and running for their lives. Riggs does a good job of showing the readers all the events happening to the kids during their adventure to help Miss Peregrine. I kept expecting Riggs to just do a time jump (e.g., say that the kids traveled for a few hours and came to X town); however, he takes us through their entire journey without it dragging on (this is *not* The Assassin's Quest, thank goodness). Well, to be honest, I thought the opening sequence was a bit long; however, after the kids get out of the boat, things move at a faster clip. Unlike other "journey books" that feel like the story is just a collection of random events that suddenly end with the characters fighting a villain or finding their MacGuffin, there seemed to be an orderly and logical sequence of events that were important for the story telling.
In regards to the characters, I continued to enjoy learning more about our favorite peculiars. The romance between Jacob and Emma is brought up again in this book, but I felt it was just a bit silly. This romance seems just a bit tacked on and unnecessary. At the same time, I don't find the romance to distract from the story as a whole, so unless it is specifically brought up, I don't really think about it. If I was younger, I might be "shipping" these characters like crazy though. I think my difficulty with relating to these characters is my age. If I was a young adult/teenager, I think I would be digging these characters a lot more. This is not to say that adults wouldn't like these characters, I just find myself having difficulty relating to younger characters nowadays.
Audio: I found the production quality of this audio book to be fantastic. The sound was very clear, and there was no background noise (I am very, very, very picky about this). Heyborne does different voices for the characters, and I thought this really helped bring the story to life. I wasn't a big fan of the pacing when Heyborne was not reading as one of the characters. I felt that he was reading the book just a touch too slow; however, this can be rectified with speeding up the narration a bit (something that I could not do with my galley). This is also just a personal preference, and I think most people will be happy with the pacing.
The photographs were not included in my galley of this audio book; however, I have looked online and it appears that copies of the pictures included in the text do come with the audio book. Although the photographs make for a nice addition to the book, I did not find that I missing out on anything by not having the photographs with me as I listened to the book.
Overall, I was very pleased with this book, and I look forward to the third book in this series. I give this book a 4 out of 5.