No exaggeration- it took me an entire month to finish Ransom Rigg’s Map of Days. I could say that the lure of television, the Internet and an endless calendar of holiday activities that impeded my ability to complete the fourth installment of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children but that wouldn’t be the truth. The truth is this was an awful book but the completionist in me felt determined to ride it out. I had actually planned this to be my ‘This is the End’ bingo square but I wasn’t able to get a copy from the library until after I had read the To All the Boys series and THANK GOD because I would never have hit that black out. Also Riggs is clearly gunning for this to be the beginning of a new trilogy so it wouldn’t have been a true ‘This is the End’ anyway.
Map of Days picks up were Library of Souls ends with Miss Peregrine’s peculiar children now able to leave the Loops of the past for the present day and be reunited with Jacob in Florida. There are about 75 pages devoted to how Jacob’s parents should be handled and how to properly assimilate the peculiars from 1940 in the modern day which gets old fast. Riggs sidelines several of the established peculiars in favor of new characters (because new pictures!) but none of them make much of an impression. There is also a lot more teenage angst in this one as Jacob and Emma come to terms with the fact that Emma still isn’t over Jacob’s GRANDFATHER and while their relationship always seemed a little forced (and icky) it seemed strange to start caring about this grossness now.
The new direction for the series is based on the discovery that Jacob’s grandfather had a double life and Jacob gets pulled into it by his grandfather’s friend, H. The plot finally starts to move when Jacob is tasked with finding a powerful peculiar girl who is still living in the real world but as always the plot takes a backseat to exposition as Riggs spends page after page delaying the progression of the story. Then they find the girl AND THEN THE BOOK ENDS.
Riggs is not a great author but the interesting premise of his Peculiar trilogy kept me rolling along until now. Map of Days is all exposition and there is very little pay off for the 450 pages you invested in because he so clearly plans to write another book and please don’t let me read it. I need someone, anyone, to reach out to me on Twitter or Facebook whenever the eventual sequel to this hunk of garbage is announce and remind me not to be swayed by my internal pull to finish any series I begin.