|Review by Elizabeth Weitz|
I’ve tried to write this review several times now, not because the book made it difficult, far from it, but because my mind is still swimming in the universe that author Ransom Riggs has created.
The world of the Peculiars is completely different than any other you’ve ever read, more so because Riggs has populated the story with found flea market photographs that give weight, not only to the story itself, but to the characters that are more alive than any fictional creature has ever been.
(if you are unfamiliar with the Peculiar Children series, stop reading now and buy them immediately)
In this third and final installment, Jacob Portman and Emma Bloom (a peculiar who has the power to sniff out other Peculiars and create fire from the palms of her hands) are where we left them in the second book, Hollow City, in a war-torn London, battling to save the world of the Peculiars from utter and complete destruction from the wights (a nasty creature who feeds on Peculiars) from entering and destroying The Library of Souls, a housing facility for the souls of important Peculiars who have departed from the world and who, if released, could obliterate everything.
God, I want to tell you more, but doing so would make the thrilling read less impactful.
But let me say this, there are time loops, talking dogs (yes, Addison is back), character arcs that are as worthwhile as you would find anywhere, acts of heroism and a satisfying conclusion to a trilogy that puts the Peculiar Children series in the highest echelon of literature.
But it isn’t merely Riggs’ immeasurably crafted and well-written prose that keeps the reader gripping the The Library of Souls so tightly throughout the mental digestion of it (although let’s give credit where credit is due, he is extremely good at what he does) it is the series of odd photographs (50 of them) which help make the universe of the Peculiars more tangent and gives the final book its power.
Like in the previous books, these “found” photos keep the audience tied to the story and pushes the reader through the arcs and downfalls, creating a more potent relationship between story and reader, a fete that makes me question if perhaps it isn’t so much Riggs writing the story but a Peculiar itself, using its powers to dictate a story so wonderful and immersive.
Surely a world so rich and real, funneled into our time period through the documented photos of wild and weird people, can’t just be fake can it?
I have no idea.
All I do know is that if you are a fan of the series, The Library of Souls will not disappoint (and you might want to start the book on a day off as you will not put it down until it ends…seriously) and if you are a newbie to the series and are looking for something spooky, intense and full of crazed wonder, well, you might want to prepare yourself, as this series will stay with you forever.
And that’s the highest praise a bibliophile can give.