Thursday, October 22, 2015

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs - Book Review (Spoiler Free)

Library of Souls is the third and final book in the Peculiar Children trilogy and was released this year in September. This trilogy is one that I deeply love and which I would absolutely re-read at some point. Library of Souls though, was unfortunately the installment I enjoyed least out of the three books. 

If you've read or plan to read it, feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments. Also, since this is the final book in a trilogy, do bear in mind that this review might contain mild spoilers about the first two installments. I would suggest not reading the review unless you've completed Hollow City. 

The Positive Aspects

The development of Jacob's powers

Jacob's character growth has been constant throughout the trilogy, one of the elements of these books which I really enjoyed. It's not until quite late in the series though that we get a good look at his peculiar abilities. In fact, it's not until the end of book two that things get really moving. Library of Souls very nicely picked up that storyline and did a great job developing it. At no point did I feel like Jacob's abilities were overblown and out of place.

Jacob and Emma's relationship

The last chapters of Hollow City had a brief scene in which Emma suggested Jacob should leave her for his own good, which made me a little mad to be honest. It was lame when Edward pulled that stunt in New Moon and it has since become one of my bookish pet peeves. In this book though, their relationship recovered beautifully from that almost catastrophic decision, almost as if it never happened which is just the way I wanted it to be. In fact, these two's relationship only gets stronger in Library of Souls. Their relationship has, at this point, already been well established and now we get to see how strong their bond really is.

The ending... in parts

With regards to Emma and Jacob's relationship and future, I think the ending was nicely written. Without spoiling anything, I can say that most people would be happy with how this particular aspect of the series was concluded.

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The Negative Aspects

While overall the book wasn't anywhere close to bad, I did have a few issues with it.

The pacing

It took me FOREVER to get into the book. The book drags a bit more than the first two books. Not much happens in the first 40% of the book, during which the main focus is on world building. Now, I love me some good world building, but as compared to the faster paced books 1 and 2, it just made the book a bit slow. I finished Hollow City in two days but Library of Souls took me more than a week, most of which I spent on the first half of the book before powering through the second half, which was fortunately faster paced.

The world building

I was honestly not a fan of the setting. I won't say where exactly the story takes place cause that feels like a mild spoiler, but I will say that it bored me a bit. I tried to enjoy the world building, but honestly, I just didn't really care that much. It just was too dark and depressing, even for a trilogy renowned for being dark and spooky. The world building was something I had really enjoyed in Hollow City but here it was probably the element I enjoyed the least.

We don't get to spend much time with the peculiar children 

At the end of Hollow City, the peculiar children are taken away by the wights and unfortunately, for the better part of this book, we don't get to see them again. It takes forever for Jacob and Emma to reunite with their friends, which disappointed me a bit. The peculiar children's presence was what made Hollow City such a fun and satisfying sequel to book one and I guess I just got too used to seeing them in the main action.

Quote found here

The mythology was a bit loose

After completing the trilogy, I'm still unsure about certain aspects of the peculiar mythology. It's just that we're introduced to new magical laws and things as we come across them and with no precedent mention about them, which honestly felt like some stuff were just being made up along the way.

The ending... in parts

The ending was satisfying in most parts but it was the execution of the final chapter itself rather than the content that I didn't enjoy. To me personally, it felt a little sloppy.

Final Word

Overall, while I did feel like it was the weakest installment in the trilogy, I would still recommend Library of Souls to those of you who have already read the first two books. It wasn't a bad book. I just don't think it was the best out of the three.

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