{Review} The Peculiars by: Maureen Boyle McQuerry

12:00 AM

Number of Pgs.: 354
Publication date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Abrams
Genre: YA, Supernatural, Steampunk
How I got the copy: ARCycling
Rating:  2 stars
From Goodreads:

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.
Plot: 3/10
Characters: 3/10
Setting: 6/10
Pacing: 2/10
Style: 5/10
Cover:  This isn't the cover on the ARC that I received.  But I like this cover.  I'm just a little confused why the main character isn't on it.  But regardless it's pretty.
19+50=69 (2 Stars)

Please don't throw stones at me, but this is my lowest rated book ever I think.  If I hadn't received it from ARCycling I  might have DNFed it.  It's not that it was bad persay, it just didn't have any of the elements that I personally enjoy in a book.  I like lots of romance in my books and while there was a little flame of love beginning in this book it was set on the back burner the entire time.  I wanted more chemistry and more flirting (although I do get that back in that time period flirting was more understated).

I also like first person narrative and find it hard to connect to characters when it's not. This was in third and I just didn't care what happened to the characters at all.  When bad things happened to Lena it didn't bother me.  And a lot of that was because she didn't think things through before she did them so I thought she kind of deserved it.  Her long fingers with extra joints creeped me out too.  Jimson was cute, but he didn't have much depth.  I thought he'd have more of a back story.  I liked Mr. Beasley and his quirks like his drawn on eyebrows.  There were a few parts in first person, but they felt random and didn't really add to the story.

This story reminded me a lot of The Madman's Daughter (which I loved) so I'm not sure why I didn't like this as much.  Maybe it was the steampunk era I wasn't digging.  I've only read a handful of Historical Fiction books so I don't have much to compare it to.  I just felt the plot didn't really go anywhere.  It was slightly predictable as well.  The flying coach seemed a little unrealistic, but I guess it's fiction so it's supposed to be unrealistic?

The things I liked?  I liked that it felt like it was back in the 1800's.  The author did a great job world building and describing Lena's surroundings. I liked the library she works in at Mr. Beasley's house and wish I could see all his inventions.

Would I recommend this book?  Probably not, but if you like steampunk you might want to check it out and decide for yourself.
“It's not your family who defines you; they're an influence, all right, but they don't have the final say. We answer for that ourselves.” 
― Maureen Doyle McQuerryThe Peculiars

“Maybe it was only goblin women who were restless and wanted to see the world. She didn't know.” 
― Maureen Doyle McQuerryThe Peculiars
5 Stars
3 Stars


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