Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Plot

Hollow City is the second book in the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series, and starts right where the first book left off.

Still being hunted by wights, the kids flee Cairnholm by boat. A storm hits and in the process, a boat tips (I believe the one Olive and Bronwyn were on) and the kids lose a lot of stuff. Among food and prized possessions, the most devastating loss was the Map of Days. (Well, it was only important to Millard anyway, he literally started hyperventilating. I found that part to be quite funny, actually.)

The kids hide from wights in a cave, then they relocate to a forest, where they read a tale from Tales of the Peculiar to Claire. (I suppose it was one of the very few things they had left after the storm, so why not.)

The story is about a giant who saved a ton of animals from hunters by moving them up to a mountain, killing a hunter. Then a witch shows up, turns the giant into stone, and he sinks into a lake. The kids later find this lake, with the giant inside, and so they climb into its mouth. It’s actually a loop, but it sounds super dangerous. What if one of the kids drowns?

After Jacob and the gang defeat a hollowgast, they meet Addison the talking dog and the rest of Miss Wren’s menagerie (the animals from the story.) The kids find out that Miss Wren is the only ymbryne left who isn’t captured and she went to London to look for the rest. She has spies (pigeons) that gave her information on where the other ymbrynes are (punishment loop.)

The kids decide to travel to London to save Miss Peregrine (who is stuck as a bird), so they leave behind Claire and Fiona (Claire was sick.)

They leave Miss Wren’s loop, and jump into a gypsy wagon. After discovering that the kids are peculiar, the gypsies protect them. This is probably/mainly because the leader’s son has the same peculiarity as Millard and has slowly been turning invisible over time. When it was time to leave, the boy begged to go with them. I cried. Seriously, it was so sad.

The kids almost board a train to London, and then get captured by wights. The gypsies were also captured and tortured until Hugh Apiston, everyone’s favorite bee boy, swoops in to save them. (This is where I start hardcore fan-girling over Hugh.

And so our sweet bee controlling son kills all the wights with a giant swarm over bees. Problem solved!

Yeah, not quite…

So they continue their search in London. They look for and find Miss Wren’s pigeons underneath a cathedral in some sort of catacombs. They also find Joel and Peter (and Peter and Joel) down there. (Their names are awesome and also confusing. And they’re not twins, surprisingly.)

They lead them to a well (a loop entrance.) When the gang enters, they find Melina, who bugs me so much. She’s some super aggressive telekinetic girl who literally could have killed Jacob, Emma, Millard, and Horace if she really wanted to. (Um, please put that furniture down, girl.)

When they leave that loop, they break into a house. (Guys, you know that’s a crime, right?) They meet Esme and Sam, who also bothers me very much.

During a bombing Enoch tries to comfort a crying Esme. (Redeeming moment!) He uses his peculiarity to entertain her, and it’s actually really cute. I’m glad he at least has a little bit of a heart.

Anyway, Sam gets impaled, but she’s totally fine. Turns out that’s her peculiarity. But when she was offered to go with the kids, she declined harshly, insulting the others in the process. Ouch.

Yeah, so that’s why I don’t like her.

So since Melina left a pigeon with the kids, it helped crack a code. But then Miss P snapped its neck. Yup…

When I tell you I was horrified, I’d also have to admit that’s a bit of an understatement. It’s so out of character for Miss Peregrine, that it took me completely by surprise. Something was definitely wrong with her.

So the kids enter another loop where there’s a circus. hey then get to a frozen building. The whole thing is literally frozen over for protection. (Thanks, Althea.)

They find Miss Wren there also. I was speechless. I mean, they had worked so hard and came this entire way and finally found her!

Miss Wren tries to heal Miss P, and Millard discovers that wights take out peculiar souls and eat them so they can enter loops (which they couldn’t do before.) Yikes!

Right as Miss Wren finish healing Miss Peregrine, they discover that it was actually Caul, her brother. (Something about that man scares me so much…)

The kids took the wrong bird! This entire time, the one who had snapped the pigeon’s neck and acted so out of character was actually Caul.

Caul kills Althea, wights break into the building, and the peculiars are kidnapped / sent to the subway station in present day. Emma saves Jacob, Joel and Peter are separated, so they scream. (I can’t imagine how horrible that must sound.) So the train’s windows are basically gone now.

Other than Emma and Jacob, the other kids are still taken away. After that, Addison licks both Emma and Jacob to wake them up, so Jacob goes to the phone booth and calls his dad. He calls to let him know that he’s alive, but he won’t come back (at least not for a while.) Then a hollow shows up. And so, Jacob discovers he can talk to hollows. It is the most magical and terrifying moment at the same time. He tells it to stop strangling him, and it stops. He finishes his phone call, and there’s where the book basically ends.

What a rollercoaster!

Final Thoughts and Opinions

There was definitely a lot more character development in here, which I was very grateful for. We get to see a more cheerful and caring Enoch, which was borderline concerning. (Maybe I shouldn’t make fun of Enoch’s moody personality anymore. It’s a tad hypocritical to do so.)

We also got to see a bit more of Horace, mostly cowardly, except for a few moments. And we absolutely can’t forget our always heroic Hugh! Overall, many characters got to finally be in the spotlight, and since characters are usually my favorite part of the books I read, I was super excited about it. I’m still not sure if I prefer the first book over this one or not, but Hollow City is definitely one to remember!

-Lauren C.

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