Friday 13 January 2023

Miss Peregrine’s Museum of Wonders

Miss Peregrine’s Museum of Wonders by Ransom Riggs (Penguin Random House) PB RRP $29.99 ISBN: 9780241610657

Reviewed by Kellie Nissen

If you’re a fan of Ransom Riggs’ supernatural fantasy Peculiar Children series (starting with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), then Miss Peregrine’s Museum of Wonders is the book for you.

Not a story, Museum of Wonders is instead a companion book to the series – full of ‘facts’, photos and information about the Peculiar world. Sections include: descriptions of peculiar abilities, peculiar animals and plants, time loops, tips for Peculiars, Ymbrynes and enemies to beware of.

Written ‘by Miss Peregrine herself’, the book’s purpose is as a guide for Peculiars – not those of us who are not Peculiar. In fact, there is a caveat at the start that the book is ‘for peculiar eyes only’ and that the publisher will accept no responsibility for events that may occur should ‘unauthorised persons’ read it.

For me, that’s like a personal invitation – ‘Read me’. 

With that caveat, readers are drawn immediately into this fantasy world – immediately becoming part of it as Miss Peregrine talks directly to you – and the book is difficult to put down as you want to find out more and more about this curiously Peculiar and deliciously imaginative lifestyle and community.

Comments have been made by fans of the series that Miss Peregrine’s Museum of Wonders should NOT be read until you have read the series in its entirety – less you are disappointed by the spoilers that lie within its pages. This is a judgement only you can make; personally, I found it was not an issue – rather, it motivated me to pick up the series and read it from the beginning again, to see what I’d missed the first time around.    

In Miss Peregrine’s Museum of Wonders, as with all the books in the Peculiar Children series, author Ransom Riggs has well utilised his hobby of collecting vintage photos of unknown origin and turning them into an engaging story. The photos alone are fascinating, and discovering Riggs’ interpretation of the photos, even more so.

If you haven’t yet read any books in this series, and happen to be looking for something ‘post Harry Potter’, this may be the series for you. Targeted at readers in the young adult readership (12 to 17 years of age),  Miss Peregrine’s Museum of Wonders (and the rest of the series) will also appeal to slightly younger readers as well as those who are, shall we say, well beyond their young adult years. 

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