May 1, 2012 by Amulet Books
Format: ebook ARC
This dark and thrilling adventure, with an unforgettable heroine, will captivate fans of steampunk, fantasy, and romance.
On her 18th birthday, Lena Mattacascar decides to search for her father, who disappeared into the northern wilderness of Scree when Lena was young. Scree is inhabited by Peculiars, people whose unusual characteristics make them unacceptable to modern society. Lena wonders if her father is the source of her own extraordinary characteristics and if she, too, is Peculiar. On the train she meets a young librarian, Jimson Quiggley, who is traveling to a town on the edge of Scree to work in the home and library of the inventor Mr. Beasley. The train is stopped by men being chased by the handsome young marshal Thomas Saltre. When Saltre learns who Lena's father is, he convinces her to spy on Mr. Beasley and the strange folk who disappear into his home, Zephyr House. A daring escape in an aerocopter leads Lena into the wilds of Scree to confront her deepest fears.
The Peculiars is a strange one. Not the book itself, just in the way in which I feel about it. I found it to be quite slow in nature. It seemed to take me forever to get through it. Why? I'm not really sure. It's not that I did not enjoy this story. Actually, I enjoyed it very much. It's one of those books that kind of sneak up on you as you are reading it. It does not feel like much at the time, but you seem to get quite invested in the story and the characters.
The main character, Lena, is quite believable. She is strong and smart, yet she has this vulnerability due to her 'deformities'. She has a slight innocence about her that I quite enjoyed. However, at the sametime, we see her grow throughout the book...and I see more growth coming in the coming books.
Then there is Jimson Quiggley. Not only do I love the name, but I love him too. Jimson is awesome. He is smart, funny, quirky, geeky, loyal and oh so lovable. I am oh so rooting for Jimson and Lena!
Of course Mr. Beasley is just plain awesome. Being the inventor that he is, he has this eccentric aura that I just loved. He is a strong presence, but he can also be childishly fun at the same time. One of those characters that I would love to meet in real life.
Author, Maureen Doyle McQuerry did a fantastic job of world building. Yes, this is a world of fiction, but there are many real historical figures that are mentioned through the book, which really grounded this story and made it so much more enjoyable. I have read some reviews stating that this is not true Steampunk. I will admit that I do not have a lot of experience within the genre, but I can definitely understand that statement. While there are certainly elements of Steampunk in regards mainly to Mr. Beasley and Zephyr House, I would class this one more of a Historical, Adventure, Fantasy. However, who really cares. All I know, is that it contains a great adventure, some great characters and a world in which I truly want to know more about.
In the end, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Steampunk, Adventure, Fantasy. Yes, it is a bit of a slow read, but I found myself getting to know the characters and this world in such a way that they have been embraced by my heart forever.
And don't you just LOVE this cover? Well I do!
Rating: 4 stars