Author: Maureen Doyle McQuerry
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publish Date: May 1, 2012
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. ~ Courtesy of GoodreadsThe Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry is a whimsical mix between supernatural, steampunk and fantasy. I really enjoyed reading it, because it's a mix of genres I enjoy reading, but I've never read a book quite like it before. The characters were likable, and I fell in love with most of them. The setting was unique and fun to explore along with the main character, Lena. And the inventions! Oh, Mr. Beasley's inventions just might have been the coolest part!
I liked Lena. She was smart and strong, even if she didn't always know it. What I didn't like about Lena was how little she actually knew herself. She had almost zero self-confidence, which I can understand, I guess. She was born with strangely long and thin hands and feet. But she was always questioning her strength or bravery or even her feelings. Lena's greatest talent seemed to be the ability to lie to herself. But that's not the fault of McQuerry's writing, that's just a problem I had with the character herself. And really, most of the time I liked Lena. I thought she was a bright and lively character who definitely stood out amongst the outlaws in Scree.
I fell in love with Jimson Quiggley. He's just so cute. Such a sweetheart. And I appreciated that he and Lena didn't meet and fall head-over-heels immediately. They formed a friendship that felt like it would blossom into more. There was just enough romance that I was satiated without being whacked over the head with it every other line. I mean, romance is great, but I appreciate a story that's got more going for it than just the love interest.
I love when authors have unique or funny titles or quotes for each chapter. And I have to say my favorite thing about The Peculiars, besides Jimson and Mrs. Mumbles of course, was the chapter titles. I loved them! My favorite was "In Which Jimson and Merilee Display Acting Abilities". They gave me a little bit of info on the chapter and sometimes made me laugh a little.
The Peculiars started off slow, and even though I was interested in where it was going, I found I could put the book down and was in no hurry to pick it up again. It wasn't until the last fifty pages or so I felt I couldn't put the book down. But even so, I truly enjoyed The Peculiars. It was a fun read with just enough adventure, danger, romance and angst to keep me interested.
McQuerry will take you on a journey back in time to a place where danger and opportunity are around every corner with The Peculiars. I would recommend it to anyone looking for an easy, light read. Especially if enjoy fantasy or steampunk stories.
Check out The Peculiars at these great sites!