Hi, you have just arrived at my blogsite. I'm Artemis Hunt, author, harried employee, long-suffering wife, multi-tasker, Pomeranian lover, stepmother to two grown-up stepkids. I'm going to blog about subjects I feel passionately about. Please browse, and maybe you'll find something you feel passionately about too. For darker adult stories, I write under the name of A.R. Hunt. For straight erotica and erotic romances with mild BDSM (a la Fifty Shades), I write under the name of multiple Amazon and Barnes and Noble bestselling erotica author, Aphrodite Hunt.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - a review

A couple of months ago, I emailed Quirk Books, asking if they'd consider publishing SNOW WHITE AND THE ALIEN. "It's right up your alley," I gush, thinking of  PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, though my book is a true reimagination and not a mash-up.

This is Quirk's reply:

"Sorry to say that your project is simply not a good fit with our current publishing program. [Quirk’s publishing focus is almost exclusively impractical reference, humor, and nonfiction, and so we do not publish much fiction.]"

Impractical reference, eh? What do you call all those mash-ups then. NON fiction? (Sniffs, swallows a sour grape, then drinks 3 glasses of sweet wine to get drunk.)

OK, what do I think of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children? I'm not going to give a lengthy rundown of the story - I assume people browsing this post have read the blurb from Amazon and seen the stellar Book Trailer. (It's the James Cameron book trailer of all book trailers.)

Needless to say, 15-year-old boy has daft grandfather who tells him stories about peculiar children. By peculiar, we don't mean "Mom, Tommy knocked his head and he's now taking off his underwear to show me his -- ". These kids have superpowers like amazing strength, invisibility, the ability to raise the dead - pretty much like the X-Men, only they're in Wales. (Hem, come to think of it, the kids in my HUNT FOR THE CATALYST are pretty much like that too, only they're in a modified vessel which is always being attacked by peculiar creatures.)

When grandfather dies, boy goes on a pilgrimage to that old place and . . . gasp! discovers peculiar children!

I found the beginning a little slow. 15-year-old Jacob is filled with angst, and we're introduced to a whole lot of characters we never see again for the rest of the novel. Things start to pick up (for the story, not Jacob) when his grandfather dies and he goes to Wales. The segment where he gets to discover the peculiar children in a time loop is a little scary, and then the story totally shifts gear to a time travel genre.


I thought I was reading a whimsical horror.

Jacob spends time with the kids, discovers who they really are, who's after them . . . and turns pretty peculiar himself. Zip to the ending, which left me majorly dissatisfied. Too many loose ends, as if the author knows he has to put out a sequel.

But what's so amazing about this book are the photos. They don't appear well on Kindle, but I downloaded the PDF format, and they're creepy. I found myself enjoying the photos more than the story itself . . . and I was thinking "Wow! So much more can be done with the execution with these photos." This is NIGHT CIRCUS stuff. WOMAN IN BLACK and HEADLESS HORSEMAN creepy stuff.

I found myself searching for stories over the web as to how the author procured these photos. Did he find them under his grandfather's bed? Was it a case of the chicken and the egg? Is there any chance of ME making a story out of my baby photos (it will have to be horror, of course.)

I found out that the author was inspired by a few photos, then he went all out to get some more from collections and personal libraries. So it's kind of a quarter egg, which led to a whole chicken, which then hatched a few more eggs.

So . . . 4 stars out of 5 from me for the story (minus 1 star for the slow start and the 'grind my teeth' abrupt ending, but a stellar 5 stars for the photos.

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