Ransom Riggs had a great idea. To take a collection of ‘found’ (and odd) photographs and create a story around them. For the most part, especially at the beginning, this works well. The exposition is both creepy and jolting, but Riggs has set up such an elaborate story that a great deal of exposition is needed. Some of it – such as when Jacob finally meets Miss Peregrine – is natural. He’s gone looking for answers; she gives them. Elsewhere, the exposition – often in the form of long speeches – absolutely kills the momentum of the story. And sometimes, Riggs gets in a rut where he’ll digress for a page or so just to make sense of a picture he’s about to share.
Please don’t get me wrong. There’s much to admire here. Parallel places. An intimation that there’s a comment here about the Holocaust and the outsiders. A wonderful collection of oddballs. Interesting and flawed parent characters. I just think the story would have been more fluid in other hands.