While reading Hollow City this month — with all its peculiar language — I could not help but think of J. R. R. Tolkien’s work for several reasons: the battle between good and evil (obviously), the talking animals, the invisibility of particular characters, and the fictitious — yet somehow acceptable – language.
ymbryne: A peculiar who can change from human form into a bird (such as Miss Wren or Miss Peregine). ymbrynes (yes, that’s lowercase) all seem to have a maternal nature as they guide young peculiars to safe geographical locations. Plus, ymbrynes have a special knack for creating loops from one dimension to another (in terms of time and space). This enables other peculiars to fall through time (from, say, 2014 to 1940).
wights: Nasty, murdering creatures (visible to the hero, Jacob Portman, but invisible to peculiars). wights (yes,that’s lowercase again) crave power by killing nurturing ymbrynes and harmless peculiars. They all seem to have a greedy nature (not unlike the aliens in the movie, Alien).
peculiar: A human (such as a child with a magical gift like defying gravity) or an animal with an unnatural talent (i.e. a talking dog).
loops (time loops): geographical spots that transport peculiars through time and space (like vortexes in Sedona, but with actual results).
Hollow City is extremely well written and a tremendous read. One quickly becomes familiar with Riggs’ wights and ymbrynes just as one easily becomes familiar with Tolkien’s Hobbits, Ents, and Huorns (yes, that’s uppercase).