I'm linking this review to my Goodreads review. However, I'm also posting an exact copy below. It is my first step is phasing this blog into my Goodreads page.
Oh, I teetered on the edge of whether to give this four or five stars forever - and ultimately ended up giving it five. Why? Because I LOVED it.
At the very beginning we meet Jacob, whose grandfather tells him outrageous stories about an orphanage he grew up in during WWII where there lived a girl who could float above ground, an invisible boy, and a girl who could make fire in her hands. Of course, I was pretty much hooked at "the girl who make fire in her hands."
Jacob grows up "realizing" that his grandpa was probably lying to him, and feeding him stories. So at the age of fifteen, he's working at a store his mother's family owns and his grandfather calls him, freaking out about finding the key to his gun safe. Jacob won't tell him where it is, because he thinks his grandfather's crazy. Unfortunately, when he goes to see his grandpa, he finds him in the trees behind his house, bleeding to death.
Now we see Jacob go through a time of thinking he's crazy, and a therapist who convinces him he really did see those things, but he was hallucinating. He comes to believe this too, until his birthday. His aunt gives him a book that's really from his grandfather, and that's when he finds the letter.
He knows that he has to go to a small island in Wales in order to solve this mystery. He convinces his therapist and his parents to let him go, so his father goes with him, eager to do some birding for his book there. While Jacob is exploring the island, he finds the orphanage, which is old, abandoned, and decriped - the way it ended up when the island was bombed. He finds a trunk full of old pictures (which, by the way, are a really fun part of the story), and sees several children, one of whom he chases through the bog and into a cairn.
This is where he finds out how much of the truth his grandfather was telling him. He has just stepped back in time - or into a time loop, which would be more accurate. There are peculiar children here, and they all live at an orphanage, and every day is September 3, 1940. They live in a time loop because of the wights and the monsters.
Should I tell you anymore? I'm hoping that I whet your whistle enough to drag you in. Fair warning; this book contains the normal foul language of many other YA books, and some violence and blood because of the monsters. Was it worth it? Oh yeah. I'm trying to think of another book to compare this too, but it's really hard to think of one. Sort of a Harry Potter meets X-Men meets historical fiction. Something like that. Riggs has an amazing talent for telling this story, and left nothing out that shouldn't have been and put nothing in that shouldn't have been.
Great read! My next question is, will there be a sequel?