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Book Sequels: Lessons from Peculiar Children

January 2, 2018

Of all the things I managed to write, and I wrote just about everything (articles, short stories, screenplays, novels, novellas, college thesis…), writing a sequel for a novel was the toughest. In fact, I have been working on the sequel for my novel for almost three years now. There’s a lot that a writer should keep in mind and keep track of when writing a sequel, but more about that in another post. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was one of the best books I read in 2016. It had a thick plot, well-drawn characters, captivating prose, and a great deal or originality. So let’s talk about its sequel, Hollow City, and how it compared to its predecessor.

Book 2 of the Peculiar Children series connects to the first book seamlessly. It felt like I was reading one big book instead of two different ones. The tone, mood, and style were all consistent throughout the second book as well which added more to this feel of unity between the two books. All this is essential for book series as it makes it easier for the reader to remember the previous book, its characters, and events, leaving the author with the option to only allude to some of the details here or there.

We learn about the world of peculiars in greater depth and detail in this book. However, at many times it felt like Riggs was trying to force a story around the photographs. If you’re not familiar with the Peculiar Children series, it’s a story that unfolds when Jacob, the main character, finds a box of photographs of strange characters, each turns out to be real and have a story of their own. The photographs are real photos that Ransom had found and constructed a story around and they appear throughout the book. There’s no box of photographs in the second book, however, we still see pictures of peculiar characters throughout the book. This time, however, the story around the photos seems labored and forced.

Read the series’ first book:

Since Peculiar Children is a trilogy, Riggs also made a great effort to make the ending of the second book a cliffhanger to entice fans to read the third book. I did feel, unfortunately, that the ending did not have the shock value that I expected from Riggs. It was borderline cliché but served the intrigue nevertheless.

All in all, Hollow City is a well-written, interesting read that takes us on a nail-biting adventure into a strange realm. Personally, I liked the first book much better. I’ll write a full review of the series when I read the third book.

Get the whole series here:

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What’s a series that you read or are currently reading? Have the sequels been as good as the first book?

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