Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs
You know what I said I wanted for 2017?More folk tales/fairytales based on cannibals. It’s true – it’s something that really happened.
It actually totally didn’t (I bet no one saw that coming), but Ransom Riggs delivered nonetheless.
Let’s start off with the basics (since I couldn’t describe this well enough in my own words, here is the Goodreads summary to spell it out):
Before Miss Peregrine gave them a home, the story of peculiars was written in the Tales.
Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars. A fork-tongued princess. The origins of the first ymbryne. These are but a few of the truly brilliant stories in Tales of the Peculiar—known to hide information about the peculiar world—first introduced by Ransom Riggs in his Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.
Riggs now invites you to share his secrets of peculiar history, with a collection of original stories, as collected and annotated by Millard Nullings, ward of Miss Peregrine and scholar of all things peculiar.
Truthfully, I wasn’t super hyped up to read this book, since I wasn’t super excited with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I liked the novel and world well enough, but I was fine with it being a long time before I dived into it again. However, my friend kept talking about how excited she was for the book, and when I spotted it at the library, I decided I would pick it up. It was definitely a good book to get out of a book slump.
There were a few stories that I was absolutely enthralled in, but there were more than a few that I skipped through and some that were just okay. I’ll take you through my top 2 or 3 stories I enjoyed, two to definitely skip, and some general thoughts on the other ones. Shall we start with the good?
Three stories that I thoroughly enjoyed were “The Fork-Tongued Princess” (any surprise there?), “The Woman Who Befriended Ghosts”, and “The Girl Who Could Tame Nightmares.” Interesting enough, I managed to like all the books with “girls” in the title. Is that a nod to my Disney Princess leanings?
Anyway, these stories were delightful, odd, and completely enthralling. I loved diving into the interesting worlds that Riggs created for each of these. I actually enjoyed “The Woman Who Befriended Ghosts” the most – maybe due to the fact it had a happy ending? It was just so cute, though, and it involved so much thought. “The Girl Who Could Tame Nightmares” was absolutely brilliant as well, and Riggs proved his ability to write a creative story. He really is the master at folk tales. I was super impressed.
Two stories I would skip would be “The First Ymbryne” and “The Pigeons of Saint Paul’s” – neither of them looked particularly interesting and seemed to be quite long-winded. I will admit that I skipped the last three books as well – I wasn’t as interested in the animal peculiars as much as the actual human-ish ones. If you really are interested in them, they may delight you as well.
As for the other two stories – “The Splendid Cannibals” and “Cocobolo” – they were good, but just okay. I wasn’t as impressed with them as the other three stories that I mentioned in the beginning, but they are worth a read as well.
While not all the stories in this collection managed to capture my attention, quite a few of them enthralled me. Riggs is a master at atmosphere, and I definitely will be reading more books from him the future. I am so impressed by the lush atmosphere he created in these short stories, but I just wish a few of them captured my attention a bit more. Definitely a three crown and Belle rating, but some of the stories actually deserved some five crowned stars!
Check it out:
What do you think? Have you read this yet? What do you think of collection of short stories – love them or hate them? Would you be interested if more series did this?