Read or Die


The Desolations of Devil’s Acre by Ransom Riggs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At long last, Mr. Riggs abandoned the teen angst in favor of quality storytelling. I won’t say it disappeared completely; pockets crop up here and there. But at least it doesn’t drown the chapters so heavily you want to throw the book across the room in an effort t shake sense into the characters. The blending of suspenseful action with introspective thought achieved the balance of the original volume in the series, making for an enjoyable read. (Ironic, given this is the concluding piece of the puzzle)

The addition of the vintage photographs was the largest disappointment. It’s always provided snapshots into Mr. Riggs’s thought process and imagination, adding a dose of “reality” to the imaginary worlds of the Peculiar. This time around, so many of them featured the ordinary. They came across as forced; a habit to be maintained rather than a revelation to fire the reader’s interest. Whether that stems from a lack of available material on his part or a failure to match imagery with writing is impossible to tell. (We ARE six books deep)

And while abrupt, the ending is satisfying. It avoids the worst of a deus ex machina and reads sound. There are unanswered questions that leave you feeling cheated of a complete resolution, but maybe Mr. Riggs had grown weary of tying up loose ends. (Or there was a deadline that couldn’t be pushed back) It’s not the worst closure of a series I’ve encountered, at least.

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