The Desolation of Devil’s Acre, the last installment in Ransom Riggs’ revolutionary Miss Peregrine’s series, ties all loose ends and will leave longtime readers feeling content to finally say goodbye to their favorite characters.
V, the mysterious figure who is supposed to know all about Noor’s prophecy, was found just in time to be killed by one of Caul’s agents. Now that the agent has her heart, he is able to magically resurrect Caul from his prison in the Library of Souls. And Caul is no longer himself… after absorbing the power of countless peculiar souls, he is basically a god, and he plans on unleashing his godly wrath on all peculiardom.
Noor and Jacob rush back to Devil’s Acre to find it wrecked. Apparently Caul has been sending a series of desolations, such as raining fire, in order to try to scare the peculiars into submitting to his new regime. He even sends along a new hollow, the first one that all the children can see. Even worse, to his horror, Jacob discovers that he can’t control it. By sheer luck, and Fiona’s vines, this hollow is killed, but more are surely on the way. Caul demands that all peculiars surrender and worship him, but Miss Peregrine’s wards refuse to go down without a fight.
With Jacob’s powers suddenly insufficient, Noor’s prophecy might be their only hope. Magically, someone at Devil’s Acre was able to intercept a call being placed to six ymbrynes, asking them to bring their charges to a secret meeting place. It takes some tricky maneuvering, including a quick resurrection to ask V some questions, but finally they are able to locate the loop where the meeting will take place. Getting there will be dangerous, but at this point, every option is.
Jacob, Noor, and several of their friends set off while those at Devil’s Acre gather alternative troops. Nobody knows what horrors Caul will bring or how this will play out, but two things are certain: they will not give up, and that means war is coming. Peculiars are not fighters, and this war is destined to test them all to their greatest limits. What are they willing to do, and to give up, in order to beat Caul?
In this book, all the wonders of peculiardom are twisted into horrors. Instead of showing us more corners of the peculiar world, Riggs shows us what we already know, although Caul has created fresh horrors, even turning some peculiars against their own kind. In his journey to pay back the world for the injustice it has done to him, Caul shows us the darkest depths of depravity.
Yet no matter how desperate the situation becomes, there is always hope. Even in all this darkness, Jacob and his friends are always kind. They refuse to do the wrong thing, to sacrifice each other, to leave each other behind. Their bond and their integrity does not just give me hope in the world of the story, but in our world as well.
In the last novel, I honestly felt let down by Jacob, who I had always related to so strongly. I didn’t understand why he suddenly, after four books of longing to be extraordinary, wanted to be ordinary again. By the end of this novel, however, he chooses to leave his ordinary life behind and belong to his new family, his peculiar family, and I was ultimately satisfied by this ending.
Reading this series has been a long road, but I’m very thankful I got to spend so much time with these characters and in this world. I am sad to say goodbye, but so thankful that this conclusion was everything I wanted it to be.
The Desolation of Devil’s Acre by Ransom Riggs was published on Feb. 23, 2021.