This is my non-spoiler review of Hollow City by Ransom Riggs. Be aware that there may be spoilers from the first book, Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, sprinkled about in this review.
1. Summarized Thoughts
To be brief, I surprisingly really liked this book; after my mediocre experience with the first installment, I wasn't expecting much from this one. Now, I can hardly wait for the third (and final) book in this trilogy! The photos, as expected, were as peculiar and interesting as I knew they would be.
2. The Romance
If you've read my review of the first book, you know that I was quite repulsed by the romance and that it lessened my enjoyment of the book. Even though I'm still not the biggest fan of Jacob and Emma's relationship, it was more tolerable and, admittedly, somewhat enjoyable in this book. In the first book, I felt like it got in the way of the plot and development of the side characters, but the romance felt balanced with the character development and setting of this book.
3. Character Development
Jacob's character made a rather smooth arc in this installment, the character development subtle and nice to read-this also goes for Emma's character. As for the other children, I loved how I got to know the characters I didn't really feel like I knew in the first book (as you can tell, there will be a lot of comparing to the first book in this trilogy). Without good development of character in the first book for the other peculiar children, I wasn't able to pick a favorite character; in Hollow City, I was given wave of nicely character development that gave me more information about each character. (Enoch, by the way, is my favorite character.)
After leaving their island due to wights destroying their loop and discovering that Miss Peregrine is stuck in her bird form, the peculiar children head on their way to find Miss Wren, a fellow ymbryne who they hope hasn't been captured by wights and hollowgasts. On the way there, the peculiars bump into many obstacles, all which made me want to read more. Every character the children bumped into was engrossing, and I say the exact same for every clue I came across.
5. The Writing
The writing in the first book was pretty good, but in this book, it felt twice as good. Even without the pictures to accompany the story, I would be able to easily picture every character or object introduced. The description of the setting made it feel like I was floating in this world like Olive would without her heavy shoes, something you should always feel whenever reading a book.
6. The Only Problem
My only issue with this book was the abundance of the use of "gypsy" from page 100 to around 150. "Gypsy" is a racial slur, and the use of this word made me so irritated that I had to put the book down for an hour or two. I thought I'd bring this up because unfortunately, not very many people seemed to catch on to the use of this slur.
In conclusion, my time reading this book was well spent.