If a customer had not asked me to try and find this book for her, I would not have known about it. I was instantly attracted to this book by it’s jacket:
The story revolves around Jacob, a 15 (almost 16) year old American boy who describes his life as being particularly UNDERwhelming. The one bright thing in his life is his grandfather, who tells him outrageous, interesting stories about his own childhood, fashioned around a series of old photographs. But as is the way with growing up, Jacob starts believing these tales less and less. When his grandfather dies suddenly and very violently, his last words prompt Jacob to re-think his belief in the “fairytales” he was told as a child and he makes a life-altering decision to find out what the truth is behind his grandfather’s old photographs.
I found this book both fascinating and slightly disturbing. I also had weird dreams after finishing it; I think the fact that the book contains images not only lets your imagination form a picture in your mind but vivid images that stay with you long after you have finished it. The story is fast-paced and rife with emotion, dealing with topics like family relationships and how the past literally will come back to haunt you. The characters are well-formed; Ransom Riggs shapes his characters with individual personalities and backgrounds, so that they are utterly believable. Some parts of it reminded me of Professor X and the X-Men, without being blatantly obvious. All in all I think this was a really good story, considering I am not a great fan of sci-fi/fantasy, and a great debut novel. The book is now making it’s rounds among my friends.
Here is the book trailer for the novel:
Also, some images from the book:
All images are used with the permission of the author