For years, Jacob had delighted at his grandfather's tales of growing up during World War II
in an orphanage run by Miss Peregrine and populated by children like himself. Well, not quite like himself. These children were peculiar. Very
Today, Jacob is sixteen years old and has outgrown these silly fairy stories... but when his grandfather is killed under strange circumstances, Jacob has only his grandfather's stories and a collection of strange photographs to follow as he finds himself delving deeper into his grandfather's past, where he learns that these silly fairy stories are neither silly nor fiction... and the peculiar children his grandfather spoke of might still be alive...Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
is Ransom Riggs's debut novel, and mixes real antique snapshots with a haunting narrative to paint a world where peculiar children might conceivably exist.
A sequel, entitled Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Children
is due for release in January 2014.
This novel contains examples of:
- Animal Motifs: Birds. Miss Peregrine, duh.
- The Adventure Continues
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Jeffrey Dahmer was a wight.
- The Berserker: Bronwyn, especially if you threaten Miss Peregrine.
- Circus Brats: All of the peculiars before Miss Peregrine established their loop.
- Creating Life: Enoch, who also has a primitive Mad Scientist Laboratory to boot.
- Creepy Child: A lot of the children at Miss Peregrine's orphanage.
- Creepy Twins: Dressed as clowns, no less, though they never actually show up.
- The Dandy: Horace. "Call me a dandy if you will, but just because the villagers won't remember what you wear, doesn't give you license to dress like a vagabond."
- Dark Is Not Evil: Enoch, who can manipulate the dead and described as being a Creepy Child in general, but is a good guy if kinda a dick and rather pragmatic.
- Defrosting the Ice Queen: Jacob to Emma.
- Eldritch Abomination: As weird as the kids are, they look positively normal next to the hollowgasts and wights...
- Extranormal Institute: Miss Peregrine's Home counts.
- Gentle Giant: Bronwyn.
- Green Thumb: Fiona. She's also wonderful with topiary.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: The nature of the time loops.
- The Heartless
- I Choose to Stay: In the end, Jacob chooses to stay with the children in looking for surviving ymbrynes.
- Immortality Seeking: The reason the hollowgasts and wights exist in the first place.
- Invisible Streaker: Millard.
- Invisible to Normals: Hollowgasts
- Lonely Rich Kid: Jacob. At the beginning he has a grand total of one friend.
- May-December Romance: Averted with Emma and Jacob. Even though Emma is technically in her eighties, living in the loop means she hasn't aged physically or emotionally in decades and is still essentially a teenager.
- Meaningful Name: Miss Peregine, who can transform into a bird. It seems all ymbryine have these, such as Miss Finch, who can transform into a finch, and so on.
- Mistaken for Cheating: Jacob's father Franklin and his sister Susie always thought that their father was cheating on their mother with another woman because they found letters addressed to him from a woman who called herself "E." It turned out to be Emma, and he wasn't cheating on his wife with her.
- Milky White Eyes: The wights all have these.
- Ordinary High School Student: Jacob.
- Our Time Travel Is Different: In order to keep the children safe, Miss Peregrine has hidden them away in a little pocket of time where it has been September 3rd, 1940 ever since... September 3rd, 1940. She makes sure the time loop resets just before the Germans bomb the everloving crap out of the Home, and the children have not aged since that day, though they remember each iteration of the day. It is mentioned that other ymbrynes have created similar time loops as refuges for other groups of peculiars.
- Our Wights Are Different
- Playing with Fire: Emma's schtick.
- Power Incontinence: Olive, a girl with the power of levitation, must wear weighted shoes or otherwise be tied down to keep from floating away.
- Psycho Psychologist: For one thing, he's a wight.
- Spooky Photographs: A handful of these are included throughout the book. And the best part is that they are all real antique photos collected by the author (and several of his friends and fellow hobbyists) before he ever started writing the book.
- Super Strong Child: Bronwyn.
- Theme Naming: The ymbrynes are all named after birds. Which makes sense, considering they can turn into them.
- Those Two Guys: A pair of twins constantly shows up in photographs, but we never get to actually meet them. (Perhaps they're actually not twins at all, but Miss Peregrine's brothers, before it all went wrong?)
- The Tunguska Event: comes up as a plot point.
- Voluntary Shapeshifter: Miss Peregrine (and others like her, called ymbrynes) can turn into birds. The reason given is that only birds can master the time loops.
- World War II: Miss Peregrine's loop is in September 3rd, 1940.