Audiobook Review: Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

March 9, 2014 — 2 Comments

hollowcityHollow City by Ransom Riggs
Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #2
Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne

Published by: AudioGO
Release Date: January 14, 2014
Format: Audiobook, 11h 39m
Source: AudioJukebox
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Young Adult

The Blurb

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was the surprise best seller of 2011—an unprecedented mix of YA fantasy and vintage photography that enthralled readers and critics alike. Publishers Weekly called it "an enjoyable, eccentric read, distinguished by well-developed characters, a believable Welsh setting, and some very creepy monsters."

This second novel 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 (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.

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My Thoughts

To be totally honest, there was one major thing in my head when I decided to listen to this book as an audiobook rather than read it was the photos that were included in the book but obviously not the audio version. What I found, though, surprised me.

While news articles talk about how Ransom Riggs uses the photos as a jumping off point for his stories, the audiobook stood on it’s own without them because he did such a fantastic job of describing them in words. As I listened, I started forming pictures in my mind. Every time I was in a bookstore, I would pick up a physical copy of Hollow City and sneak a peek at the photos – and *most* of the time, what I’d imagined and the picture on the page were nearly identical (the one I was totally off base with was the Emu-Raffe). I found they weren’t entirely necessary to enjoy the book.

The biggest problem I had with the whole story is that I’d forgotten the characters between reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and the release of Hollow City. I remembered the basic plot well enough, but I was thoroughly lost at the beginning of this audiobook because I couldn’t remember the other children and their abilities. In looking at the actual book, though, I saw that there are brief bios of each of the children at the beginning of the book, so it’s something that is lacking only in the audio version.

I loved the relationship that developed between Jacob and Emma (although towards the end of the book, I discovered the reason that so many people are finding this romance a little disturbing), and it was fun seeing how all the children interacted with one another, even in the most stressful of situations. As they ran into more and more Peculiars, I enjoyed learning their stories and finding out about their abilities.

I found myself being surprised time and time again by the ways the story twisted and turned. It was most certainly never a dull or boring story – a little bit odd, of course, and always throwing something a little bit extra in. In some books this would seem ridiculous and unbelievable, but in a story that is both of those things to start with, it really worked instead of becoming laughable.

The narrator’s voice grew on me through-out the book. He attempted to make each character’s voice slightly different and used different inflections and accents for them. Sometimes it worked, and other times the accents were a bit much and I would start thinking about the voice rather than what the character was saying, which was distracting in itself.

Definitely, if you loved (or even liked) Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, you will enjoy this second installment – whether by audio version or in print! I will be waiting anxiously for the next book in the series to find out what becomes of these Peculiars and their ymbryne.

My Rating:

4 Stars


2 responses to Audiobook Review: Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

  1. I’m soooo looking forward to getting my hands on this book & audio. I definitely see where you’re coming from forgetting some of the characters from the previous book. About the best advice I can give for that is snagging a copy of the graphic novel for the first book. Not only do you get to experience the first story in a new light, but it’s also a speedy way to re-familiarize yourself with the characters. Great review!
    Vicki S. recently posted…Everywhere You Look, RedMy Profile

    • Bree (Coffee Bean Bookshelf) March 15, 2014 at 10:21 am

      I’ve looked at the graphic novel – but only flipped through it quickly, I totally should have picked it up and read it, though!

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