The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry
Available: May 1, 2012
Publisher: ABRAMS, Amulet Books
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Background: Lena is not a normal teenage girl; she is actually quite extraordinary, with large feet and hands. On her 18th birthday she decides to take an adventure to find her father who left her when she was young. She travels to the mysterious Scree, which is inhabited by Peculiars, people whose unusual characteristics make them unacceptable to modern society. While on the train to Scree, Lena becomes immersed in an adventure, which is more than what she expected on her quest to find her father.
Review: A friend recently told me that a book is made or broken by the first 20 pages, and The Peculiars is made by them. In the first few chapters we are introduced to Lena, find out that her father is gone, and that she might be part goblin. Then we experience a train heist and learn a criminal has been abducted… I can only say that I wanted to keep reading and never put it down.
The only qualms I had with the beginning of this story were the perceptions of others from Lena’s point of view; she keeps informing the reader that she does not like to be stared at or judged for being different but upon meeting the first person (other than family) on her train ride, she judges him right off from the type of hat he is wearing and continues to do so with others. This also leads into her judgment of others throughout the book which steers the reader into the conflict.
I think that this was a great read, within the steam punk genre it does offer some of the interesting science and steam powered inventions of the era. I think the overall this story was an interesting one, Lena was not really a likable character but the others were and the idea of criminals and Peculiar people being sent to the mysterious Scree was impelling. The Peculiars themselves where scarce, we meet Lena who thinks she is part Goblin and we meet another family that have wings…but other than that there really isn’t much development of these Peculiar races. I would have liked to see more of that, a learned about them, not just that the city people hated them.
If you like adventures of any type, this book fits the build.
**ARC from Netgalley/ ABRAMS, Amulet Books-Publication Date 5/1/2012**
View all my reviews