Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar children is, well, a most peculiar book.
It’s an aesthetic stunner. Interwoven with some very beautiful and haunting photographs, it has a curiously pleasing visual quality. An aesthetically pleasing print novel. That’s a fairly interesting dynamic right there. The unique production qualities continue throughout the novel and image and text engage in an interplay that plays against the main narrative in stages shifting from action to reaction to outright tension. Theoretically this book is an utter minefield of discussion. (*puts on Genette hat* “Hello peritexts!”)and it’s really rather splendidly unusual.
Textually however it could do with a lot of editing with a particular eye towards the construction of pace throughout the novel. There are some great, spectacularly spooky moments that seem to be lost in the white noise produced by the narrator. Riggs does well in constructing some stunning scenarios and handles his ‘twists’ convincingly. I wish he’d given himself more time to sell his ‘dvd’ moments though. I felt that sometimes, stylistically, he shot himself in the foot, the style of writing was a little too difficult to keep track of, and I found the long, twisting sentences somewhat difficult to cope with and somewhat antithetical to the external events of the story.
Riggs has created something conceptually quite unique and there is something genuinely intriguing about this book as a whole. There are the bones of a great story here, it’s just a shame that sometimes they’re a bit too hard to see.