By Rita Nicholson
Miss Peregrine and her crew have returned to the literary world in an astounding novel. A Map of Days, written by Ransom Riggs, is the fourth installment in the Peculiar Children series. The three previous books set a high bar for the continuation of the series, yet Riggs managed to mostly meet expectations.
Prior in the story, Jacob had met a group of children, called peculiars, with special abilities such as levitating, invisibility and extraordinary strength. It was with this group of children that he managed to save the hidden, peculiar world by eliminating, for the most part at least, monsters known as hollowgasts that preyed on peculiar persons.
In A Map of Days, Jacob Portman and his friends still manage to have adventures, despite the lack of hollowgasts actively hunting them. Jacob’s peculiar friends now live in the modern world, which comes with its own set of challenges due to the fact that the only time period they were used to was the 1940s. Even more obstacles present themselves as the characters find a secret underground bunker under Jacob’s grandfather’s house which was used to help Grandpa Portman hunt hollowgast. Upon this discovery, Jacob and his friends are thrown into recreating Grandpa Portman’s steps as a hollowgast hunter and rescuer of peculiars.
It was interesting to see how the characters developed from the first book to this one. The way they interacted with each other grew to be more entertaining as well, and it almost seemed as if they were growing less fictional and more like real people.
This novel was also interspersed with genuine, vintage pictures that were woven into the storyline. The pictures added a visual element to the story and made it that much more entertaining to read, as well as simply looking at the pictures.
Keeping the story interesting promised to be a challenging feat for the fourth book in the series, but Riggs did just that. The story was fast paced, although it truly picked up the pace in the last 20 pages. There were also scenes that were wonderfully creepy and strange, and I found it hard to stop reading at times because of this.
A Map of Days was a great continuation of the series. Many of its aspects had only become better since the first novel, and I look forward to seeing how these same aspects will develop in later books. I definitely can’t wait to see what happens next with Jacob and his friends.