Series: Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #4
Released: October 2, 2018
Having defeated the monstrous threat that nearly destroyed the peculiar world, Jacob Portman is back where his story began, in Florida. Except now Miss Peregrine, Emma, and their peculiar friends are with him, and doing their best to blend in. But carefree days of beach visits and normalling lessons are soon interrupted by a discovery—a subterranean bunker that belonged to Jacob’s grandfather, Abe.
Clues to Abe’s double-life as a peculiar operative start to emerge, secrets long hidden in plain sight. And Jacob begins to learn about the dangerous legacy he has inherited—truths that were part of him long before he walked into Miss Peregrine’s time loop.
Now, the stakes are higher than ever as Jacob and his friends are thrust into the untamed landscape of American peculiardom—a world with few ymbrynes, or rules—that none of them understand. New wonders, and dangers, await in this brilliant next chapter for Miss Peregrine’s peculiar children. Their story is again illustrated throughout by haunting vintage photographs, but with a striking addition for this all-new, multi-era American adventure—full color.
A Map of Days is a welcome revisiting of the Peculiar Children universe. It’s easy to be sceptical toward the fourth book in what was originally a trilogy, and I was, but this was a good start to a new trilogy, rather than being a forced continuation of the first one.
This book does pick up where Library of Souls left us off, but largely leaves the story of the first three books behind, taking place mostly at a different time (the present) in a different place (the US). The familiar, or, rather, peculiar characters from the first three books are back, but instead of the main character being a stranger in their world, they are now strangers in his world.
I don’t want to give away anything by saying what happens after that, but the story turns into a bit of a scavenger-hunt themed road-trip with occasional Alice-in-Wonderland-for grown-ups-styled encounters. A premise that could go easily have ended up all over the place, but A Map of Days keeps it within the realms of reasonability, even though a few of the peculiar parts of the story feels a bit like due-diligence. Fun due-diligence, but due-diligence nonetheless. The story that drives everything is a little thin, but it works, in large part because the characters are still solid, and the writing still manages to invoke the feeling of wonder, confusion, frustration, and empathy with the main character that I also got from the other books.
But the fact that this book feels the same, and that it still invokes some of the same wonder, is where the similarities to the previous books ended for me. Whereas I’ve described the previous books as mature fairytales with more grown up stories, this book feels more real, which makes sense, considering that more of it takes place in the real world. For me A Map of Days just about got away with what it was doing, as I never stopped being interested in what would happen, and it seems like it could be a good spring-board for the books to come.
I would recommend anyone who’s a fan of the original trilogy to try this book, but whether or not they’d like it would depend on why they liked the originals. This is the start of a new trilogy that I think might be quite different, and I am excited to see where it will go. Regardless of whether I end up liking it, I’d rather this be a trilogy I liked less, than it attempting to extend the already great trilogy from the first three books.