Thursday, May 24, 2012

Alice's Review on The Peculiars

The Peculiars
Author: Maureen Doyle McQuerry (@maureenmcquerry)
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 354
Source: Bought
Rating: Reachable
Challenge: None
Extras: Facebook
Seek: Amazon, Goodreads
On her eighteenth birthday, Lena Mattacascar decides to leave her mother and grandmother, and their comfortable home in the City, to search for her father, who disappeared into the northern wilderness known as Scree when she was a child. Scree is an untamed part of the country that is said to be inhabited by Peculiars―people whose unusual characteristics make them unacceptable to modern society―as well as by folks who are "strange," have "unnatural talents," or are outlaws. The local authorities and even the family doctor all believe Lena's father to have personality "flaws," which causes Lena to wonder if she is like him. Is he a Peculiar? Is she a Peculiar?

On the train north, Lena meets Jimson Quiggley, a young librarian who's traveling to Knoster, a town on the edge of Scree, to work in the private library of the inventor Tobias Beasley. En route, they cross paths with the handsome young marshal Thomas Saltre. When the marshal follows Lena to Knoster, she is unsure of his true motivations. In town, she learns more about the unusual Mr. Beasley; his mysterious home, called Zephyr House; and the strange folk who go there but never come out again.

But Lena still longs to go to Scree and find her father, even if that means confronting her deepest fears. This dark and thrilling adventure, with an unforgettable heroine, will captivate fans of steampunk and fantasy.
When I first saw the cover, I just knew it was going to be steampunk. Then I picked up a copy of the book and it’s holographic. The book is really shiny and it does really stand out. I thought the cover was a picture of Lena, but it is actually a picture of a Peculiar.
What if they were medical sketches of Peculiars? Somewhere in the collection there might be a sketch of a goblin, a goblin with extremely long hands and feet. She riffled quickly through the pages. There were a few more technical sketches of the throat and palate, of the neck, but they were all on normal humans. There were too many sketches. She needed time alone with the sketchbook to look through it thoroughly.
Maureen McQuerry has created a really fantastical world, set back in time. I love how Lena sent out on this adventure to discover who she really is. I really enjoyed the mystery of Mr. Beasley, the Peculiars, and Scree. This book is very detailed and might be slow for some folks, but I have found myself enjoying it very much.

The Peculiars is about a girl named Lena Mattacascar. Because of her large hands and feet, she thinks of herself as abnormal. It doesn’t help that her father was consider different, strange, a goblin, a Peculiar. She always thinks about his genes being a part of her. Before she can asks questions, her father leaves and never comes back. Her mother is silenced about the topic, and her grandmother calls her father a goblin. Lena thinks that he went to place known as Scree, a land for Peculiars, abnormals, and outlaws.

This is where her adventure begins. Traveling to Scree to find out more about the Peculiars, her father, and herself. This tougher than it seems because no one will just go to Scree, since now it is protected by the government.

In a town before you go to Scree, is placed called Knoster. Knoster used to be a popular place, but this popularity began to die down when people became curious about Peculiars and the dangers of them. Lena has to stay here until she can get enough money to buy a guide into Scree. Not a lot of people go into Scree, so her choices are limited. The only one who might be able to help her is Thomas Saltre, a marshal who has his eyes on Mr. Beasley. Exchange for a tour guide, Lena has to be a spy in the Zephyr House for Thomas.

Even though it was a little slow, you get to know the characters more and become attached to them. Lena seemed to be a shy, self-conscious girl. She always worried about what people might think about her hands and feet. She thinks Peculiars are bad people, because of what everyone thinks about them and what she has heard what her father has done. She rushed in to help Thomas because she thought she was doing the right thing.

My favorite character was Jimson. He was charming, smart, handsome, and believed in everything science. At first, he was all if it can't be proven by science, then it didn't exist. Then that slowly faded away through the story. To see him fascinated by science and books, I couldn't help but connect with him.

Mr. Beasley was also a very curious character. I wanted to know everything about him. I didn't think he was a bad guy unlike Lena. To me, I thought he was simply intelligent. I want to know more about him and his life.

The story, to me, was really good. I was really tied into the mystery of everything happening around Lena. When I was reading though, like two-thirds of the book is about her and the people in the Zephyr House. And I kept wondering if she was ever going to meet her father, because I thought it was the main point of the story. Then Lena finally does go into Scree. I'm going to say much more because it could ruin the story.

I think if you like historical fiction, you really enjoy this book. For me, I love the mystery, the characters, and of course, there was a little steampunk parts as well. But after I was done, it was just an okay book for me. Though, I am still thinking about the Peculiars.
This is her recent release.


  1. Great review! I got this one from Netgalley a while ago, I just haven't gotten round to it yet. Though I do love me some historical fiction! I'll have to check it out :)

    All the best ♥
    Mackenzie @ Oh, For the Love of Books!

  2. I was first drawn to this cover(still haven't seen a physical copy) and am more excited knowing it is holographic lol. I loved the review and all of different characters you talked about actually have me more intrigued.