Library of Souls: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Book 3

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Library of Souls: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Book 3 Book Poster Image
Violent volume ends gothic trilogy with epic battle, hope.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Superior vocabulary and use of language; eye-opening dilemma about use of performance-enhancing drugs vs. problems with addiction; many lessons in problem solving; thought-provoking use of time travel, loops, transport of souls.

Positive Messages

Loyalty among friends, honesty, and courage in the face of overwhelming odds is what counts. Being true to yourself and your friends builds strong character; being untrue to oneself, selling out when the chips are down makes a person weak, miserable. Using drugs to enhance performance or simply escape a hopeless life leads to destruction. Being peculiar means having unique talents.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jacob acts courageously, makes hard decisions when he feels anything but brave. He's loyal to his friends, compassionate, honest, kind, truthful. Though he learns to use his special power, he acknowledges his own weakness and self-doubt. But that does not stop him from doing what is right. 

Emma is a strong leader with a fiery temper at times; brave, forthright, and loyal, she expects the best from the other peculiars, encourages and values each of them. She says, "Doubt is the pinprick in the life raft." All the peculiar children and their matriarchs (ymbrynes) have admirable qualities. The good are good, and the bad are bad, except for Mr. Bentham; he is wishy-washy, changes loyalties, and nearly loses all because of it.

Violence

Many-tongued, ferocious monsters (hollowgasts) grab and gobble up victims; wights threaten all peculiars with certain death; gunshots kill and wound, bombs explode, victims are pitted against bears, monsters; dogs and people bite; peculiar victims are tortured for their souls; heads are smacked, bodies mauled, broken, burnt; people are punched, kicked, chained up, used in science experiments.

Sex

Some kissing, holding close, yearning with young passion appropriate to early teen romance.

Language

"Damn," "hell," "bastards."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking in bars; weak, despicable characters are controlled by their addiction to ambrosia, a drug akin to meth. Ambrosia enhances physical performance but is very addictive and destructive.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Library of Souls, the final thriller in Ransom Riggs' gothic trilogy, completes the heroic adventures of Jacob and Emma as they try to rescue their friends, the world of the peculiars, and their budding teen romance. It should be read after the other two books (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Hollow City). The story is clever, adventurous and tense and accented with bizarre photos, as are the others. It's a basic good-vs.-evil story with a few unexpected twists and turns, packed with violence, monsters, evil characters, drug-crazed simpletons as well as some kissing and yearning. Director Tim Burton's film adaptation of Book 1 is set for a March 2016 release.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySeaturtle0601 July 28, 2016

Great Book

Great Book, but there are some parts where people sleep together and kiss ( boys and girls). And the book is based on these monsters that look like they come fr... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 21, 2016

I'm Sort of Not Done...

I'm almost done with it!!!! But so far, one of the best books I've read (which is saying something, it's my fourth book this week!). Intriguing,... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old February 26, 2017

Amazing finale way better than first two

Violence - Freakish monsters hold people captive, torture them, and use them as guinea pigs in experiments. A moderately gory scene where Jacob sticks a sharp o... Continue reading

What's the story?

LIBRARY OF SOULS picks up right where Hollow City leaves off. Jacob and Emma narrowly escape the London destruction, managing to evade the hollowgast that's hot on their trail. Jacob gains more control over his special power, and with the help of Addison, a talking dog, he and Emma begin the almost hopeless pursuit of their kidnapped friends and especially Miss Peregrine, their ymbryne matriarch. A complicated series of adventures takes them through one narrow escape after another, through Victorian England, Devil's Acre, and strange loops to a medieval fortress and finally the Library of Souls. They face bloodthirsty hollowgasts, revengeful white-eyed wights, evil peculiars, and the dangers of a drug-dependent despicable society full of individuals who would do anything for their next vial of ambrosia. People and peculiars are not always who they seem, and several unexpected twists lead to an epic battle in the Library of Souls and the final resolution of Jacob and Emma's story. 

Is it any good?

Action-packed and accented by strange photos, this final book in Ransom Riggs' gothic thriller trilogy is complicated, spine-tingling, violent, and romantic. It's also well written and fun to read. The war between good and evil is the stuff comic books are made of, the vocabulary reads like a classic novel, and the unique story will engage anyone who loves science fiction, dystopian novels, and/or cannibalistic monsters, evil scientists, and heroes with superhuman talents. 

Some readers may find the first part slow going as Riggs sets up pieces of a complicated plot. However, midway, the action and excitement pick up, and those pieces fall into place. Battles ensue, death and destruction are narrowly avoided, happy surprises follow hopeless disasters, and vice versa. Good is bad and bad is good as the story twists and turns through loops, tunnels, turrets, sewage-laden canals, and fantastical rooms and worlds on its way to a final resolution. Whew! What a journey! Definitely one readers will not soon forget. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about author Ransom Rigg's use of strange black-and-white photos. Do they add to the story? Does the story explain the photos or do the photos explain the story? How do these photos compare with those in the other two books?

  • Jacob often questions himself and whether he can do what needs to be done, while Emma is more sure of herself. What motivates Jacob to muster up the bravery he needs? What does his deliberation add to the story? Which other heroes, especially those in dystopian novels, have the same self-doubt? 

  • Devil's Acre is a very dark, evil disgusting place. What role does ambrosia play in holding the people there? Do you see any relationship to the drug problems in our real world?

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