Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Peculiars [Review]

364 pages [Hardcover]
Published 1 May 2012 by Abrams
IBSN:  1419701789

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.

My Thoughts:
I was originally drawn to this book after seeing the cover art. It has to be one of the prettiest covers I've seen in a long time. I also really liked the mysteriousness behind the title. After reading the synopsis, I was really excited to get my hands on this book.

I was approved via NetGalley (thank you, Abrams!!) to read this one.

In the synopsis, it states that it's steampunk, fantasy, and romance. I think I would have to disagree with the first and the last or at least mention that it's not overwhelmingly either. I personally didn't have any problem getting hooked on the story and it actually reminded me a bit of one of my favorite books of my childhood, Ella Enchanted.

The story takes place in 1888. Lena is an 18-year-old girl with a birth deformity of elongated fingers and feet. Many people of that time still believe in "Peculiars", soulless beings like goblins. It is believed that Lena shows signs of Goblinism, which she got from her father, who left when she was five. Her mother gives her a letter from her father, that leaves her with a small inheritance and a deed to a mine in Scree, a wild place that the government has been sending Peculiars. Despite her mother and Nana's objections, Lena leaves to go find her father and the truth about herself.

I really enjoyed this book - I loved the characters and the journey Lena takes to find out about her nature. I'm a sucker for main character cats. Mrs. Mumbles was a supremely awesome kitty who reminds me of my own kitty, Muffin. It was interesting to see the different people Lena met on her way to Scree react to her deformities. I think McQuerry did a great job of setting up a solid environment in her book of prejudice towards Peculiars and half-Peculiars. It was very realistic in the sense that how people reacted and treated Lena because she was different. I think it was very consistent throughout the book. It ended perfectly. A slight air of mystery, but overall, the conflicts were resolved.

Previous Review:
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare {here}

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Abbey S said...

Sounds really good! Ella Enchanted was my absolute favorite growing up. :)

Heather said...

I somehow never read Ella Enchanted growing up!