Sunday, 16 November 2014

Book Review: The Peculiar

The Peculiar (The Peculiar, #1)The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann

 Don't get yourself noticed and you won't get yourself hanged.

In the faery slums of Bath, Bartholomew Kettle and his sister Hettie live by these words. Bartholomew and Hettie are changelings--Peculiars--and neither faeries nor humans want anything to do with them.

One day a mysterious lady in a plum-colored dress comes gliding down Old Crow Alley. Bartholomew watches her through his window. Who is she? What does she want? And when Bartholomew witnesses the lady whisking away, in a whirling ring of feathers, the boy who lives across the alley--Bartholomew forgets the rules and gets himself noticed.

First he's noticed by the lady in plum herself, then by something darkly magical and mysterious, by Jack Box and the Raggedy Man, by the powerful Mr. Lickerish . . . and by Arthur Jelliby, a young man trying to slip through the world unnoticed, too, and who, against all odds, offers Bartholomew friendship and a way to belong.

Part murder mystery, part gothic fantasy, part steampunk adventure, The Peculiar is Stefan Bachmann's riveting, inventive, and unforgettable debut novel.


I loved the world created by Bachmann, it is so rich, vivid, and imaginative. You could really feel how the faery and Victorian worlds came together in a clockworky, steampunky way. I also enjoyed the characters and the mystery surrounding them. Mr Jelliby was so much fun, and Bartholomew was so passionate.

However, I found the book dragged a bit and was slow to get into some of the action. There also seemed to be a lot of running around sometimes. There was enough intrigue and peril, though to keep the ready happy. There was a nice set up for book 2, which promises to be exciting.