WARNING could be construed as having SPOILERS in regards to the first book and this current novel.
The turnaround on my library requests has been amazingly quick. In the wake of the first of the series and the first of the Tales From Lovecraft Middle School series I got my hands on Hollow City. The second book in the series by Ransom Riggs… Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children.
With even more photographs from the past, this is another page turner. Definitely darker than the first and equally mature in my mind. I would not worry much about a teenage reading it, though you do need to understand somewhat what life was like in the middle of the second world war in England to truly grasp the horror, fear and suspicion Jacob and the children face during September of 1940. For that is where they are now… in the past and out of loop.
The Peculiars are in danger, their loops destroyed and ransacked and their Ymbryne protectors kidnapped or worse. Left to face the reality and the danger are 10 children and Miss Peregrine, who has been forced into her bird form and is now stuck. Into the thick of it they go… to bombed out London and all the dangers, peculiar and normal that are there.
I won’t say more about the story but would suggest these are READ IN ORDER. And possibly with a light on and some warm tea. Really these are absolute page turners. I love that at the end of the novel you can read an interview where the author explains some of his methods, his process and other gems. You would swear the images were taken for the book instead of found, it is all so seamlessly done. Young Adult rated or not, I would highly recommend this series once again for anyone who can stomach a lot of adventure and a return to turbulent times… with a twist. I cannot wait until my request goes through for the third installment – Library of Souls.
I am not sure what it is with grabbing the second book in a series but I seem to have turned it into somewhat of a talent! I have delved into this world before with the Parasol Protectorate series. Gail Carriger has a real talent to create an enthralling steampunk world full of vampires, werewolves and spys. Curtsies & Conspiracies does not disappoint in any way. From the Finishing School series this is “Book the Second”, I actually came across this book from a rather entertaining website: Finishing School (HERE) where you learn “The Fine Art of Finishing Others”. Which of course means I completely did not make the connection between the adult series and this young adult one until the book came in from the library.
We follow Sophronia as she goes about her first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies where all things ladylike including spying and seat planning are taught from a dirigible! A school trip is more than simply visiting London… after all the entire school is afloat! There is conspiracy and intrigue, petticoats and suspiciously mechanical purses topped with fine lace.
What I love about the characters is that all the tiers of society are represented… the gentile ladies, the sooties in the boiler room (Soap), even those connected to the suspicious and unknown Picklemen. There are classes and clandestine meetings, adventure and balls and tea, flirtation with death as well as noble boys. There are characters connected to the adult series and the same basic conflicts of the main group. I love that I did not feel like I was reading a story that was really only for young adults. It was easy to lose yourself in the plot and enjoy the adventure.
So follow Sophronia as she uses her training to navigate London, relations with vampires and werewolves and the beginnings of young love!
Back into my comfort zone and the well read regency romance. BUT with this one there is a twist… the story begins with a death… the death of our Lord’s wife. Just in time for him to realize how badly he had treated her. With a broken heart our hero to be settles in to spend Christmas drinking his sorrows away only break a angel statue, a gift he gave to his wife that she had left behind, and from the shattered pieces appears his beloved wife… there to teach him to live and love properly but only for a day…
Emily has been sent by an angel to heal Nathan’s heart and allow him to love her and himself properly without malice and ill humours. They travel (on Emily’s suggestion) out of London for Christmas Eve on the suggestion of an angel and our story continues from there. There is some minor sexual content but well within the realm of a loving (now) couple… Nathan calls Emily his bride and showers her with not gifts but emotions and compassionate gestures as she teaches him to stop being selfish and look for the joy and support of others.
There are moments of joy and heartbreak, sweetness and life in the face of death and a parting. I love the growth of Nathan and the rebirth of their marriage and how this journey impacts the people around them in the small village they travel to. Love in the face of separation… joy in the living in the moment. What a wonderful story with a bit of a twist ending! Eugenia Riley does an amazing job with this Paranormal Romance Christmas With An Angel.