The Conference of Birds by Ransom Riggs

“Do you trust me?”

An instant bestseller, A Map of Days launched readers into the previously unexplored world of American peculiars, one bursting with new questions, new allies, and new adversaries.

Publisher: PenguinTeenAUS
ISBN: 9780241320907

Pages: 336
Publication Date: January 20th 2020
RRP: $24.99 AUD

Personal Rating:

Now, with enemies behind him and the unknown ahead, Jacob Portman’s story continues as he takes a brave leap forward into The Conference of the Birds, the next installment of the beloved, bestselling Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.

Thank you to PenguinTeenAUS for providing me with a finished copy of the novel in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own!

The Conference of the Birds picks up right where A Map of Days left off! Jacob left his friends to save Noor (against Miss Peregrine’s wishes). There he learns from H that there is a prophecy looming and it involves Noor. Prepared to save her from the American clans, Jacob and Noor flee for their lives but are worried how they are going to survive until Hugh and Bronwyn show up and rescue them from being captured by Leo’s lackeys.

The novel felt like coming home to a group of friends that have become family. Even though it has been a year since A Map of Days released, stepping into the world of the peculiars as was simple and easy enough to get into the rhythm of things.

Jacob, in this particular book, has grown into a leader instead of “told what to do” guy. It’s so beautiful seeing his character arc go from a follower, pretend leader to an actual leader that stands up against for himself and sometimes against Miss Peregrine. One he would never question anything and trusted Miss P along with with his friends 100%, but now he doesn’t take everything as it is. He tries to form his own opinion as Jacob rather than as Abe’s grandson.

With interesting old photographs intertwining in the story to introduce to reader new characters, Ransom Riggs also focuses on the importance of forgiveness in friendships. Jacob screwed up in Map of Days and this one, but his new family goes to help him (even when they are upset at him). It’s essential to bring these type of relationships to young readers. Don’t get me wrong; some of the peculiar are annoyed at him, but they still love Jacob.

“People day things when they’re upset…doesn’t mean they don’t care if you live or die.”

With a big cast of main characters, it is easy to push aside characters and not give them any moment to shine. Mr Riggs gives everyone page time that is more than just being there. Everyone had a role to play, and everyone’s arc continues to grow as they all become a bit more rebellious and willing to go against Miss Peregrine’s demand. Even Miss Peregrine starts seeing her ward as more than just kids and lets them become aware of the problems in the world. And she asks for help from the ward to help Noor.

Noor was initially introduced in A Map of Days, but she has a more significant role to play in The Conference of the Birds. As the chosen one ( I know…the MC is not the chosen one!) and as Jacob’s new friend that understands better what he’s going through because she’s going through the same thing. She is also Jacob’s new love interest. In A Map of Days, Emma and Jacob finally break up after Emma proved the Jacob she was not over Abe and was only with him because he was Abe’s grandson. I was proud of Jacob that he realized this and broke off with Emma. But I am also proud of Emma of understanding this and asking Jacob to forgive her because she still loves him but as a friend! I’m so happy that she was given this path instead of the path of the jealous ex. We need more books showing that some relationships sometimes don’t work, but it doesn’t mean you still can’t care for each other in a none romantic way. While the relationship with Noor might seem like it’s happening too quickly after a breakup, Jacob and Noor’s relationship has more spark and chemistry, allowing it to feel real. I don’t want to give anything away, but this isn’t a major spoiler. However, at the end of the book, they are still testing the waters and aren’t giving each other labels of girlfriend and boyfriend.

One of the main driving factors of Conference of Birds was the fantastic character cast because unfortunately, the plot narrative ended a bit disappointing. Instead of focusing on the Americans clans and the impending war due to Noor. And instead of new villains or lackeys and evil peculiar, we get the old villain as the main villain from the first three books. Yup Callum is back, yup he is the main baddie again. I have nothing against Callum being an antagonist I’m just upset that he’s the main one again, instead of the Americans. It makes me a bit worried that the story is going to deviate from exploring this different life of peculiarm with its conflicts and become Miss P’s ward versus Miss P’s brother…again.

Overall the book was exciting, and a must-read for all peculiar fans! There are new adventures to be had, new peculiars to meet and new relationships to form. Action, annoying Americans, comedy, heartbreak, and adventure, what else can you want from a book? Dive back into the world of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, you won’t regret it!

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