Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was not at all what I expected. Somehow, I expected it to be a lot creepier. Something about the image on the cover smacked of similar images I’ve seen of the fictional character Slender Man. In particular, I’m thinking of a black and white image I’ve seen of him holding the hand of a little girl in a dress from days past. That is the mental connection I made with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and as I find Slender Man to be the kind of creepy that sends chills down your spine, my expectations for this book were similar.
But it wasn’t anything like that. The images throughout the book are all creepy (and real!) and awesome and add a lot to the story, but I didn’t find the book to be even remotely creepy. One or two of the characters perhaps (I’m lookin’ at you creepy ass Enoch). It’s really more a story about societies rejection of difference, the idea that human beings on the whole kill what they don’t understand. And then, as you would expect, there is a faction of evil within their own kind that seeks to take over and dominate rather than blend in.
These children have peculiarities that are sometimes weird (but hardly seem useful) and sometimes amazing gifts. They once blended into society by hiding behind the guise of carnival freak shows, but as times have changed, they’ve opted to seclude themselves entirely, almost living in an alternate reality of their own making. But typical humans are the least of the threats facing them. That evil faction of their own kind is trying to kill them off in order to gain the power necessary to transform into something entirely different.
Now, I said it wasn’t what I expected, and it wasn’t. But that isn’t always a bad thing. In this case, I enjoyed the book a great deal more than I had anticipated. It is wonderfully imaginative, different from anything else I’ve read (THIS is why I love fantasy – let your imagination go wild!), and beautifully strange. There are a few things I found odd (which I can’t mention because spoilers) and a few things I found unsettling (did I mention Enoch?), but those few things didn’t detract from the story at all, or my interest in reading at least the next in the series.
Great read. Really loved it!