Thursday, October 25, 2012

Book Review: The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann

The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication date: September 2012
Pages: 384
Source: ARC from ALA
For: Review
Series: The Peculiar, Book 1

Bartholemew Kettle is supposed to stay unnoticed - that's the only way to stay alive when you are a changeling child. But when changelings begin to disappear, including Bartholemew's friend across the street, he begins to worry. Especially when he gets noticed by the mysterious lady that took away his friend. Will he be able to figure out what's happening to changelings, with the help of an unusual ally, the reluctant Arthur Jelliby?

Things I Liked:
This was a quirky, fun, interesting and different read.  I loved the mix of fairies and steampunk and fantasy all wrapped up into one strange package.  This book was creepy and so imaginative, I could not predict what would happen next.  I was captivated by the mystery (which, ok, was a bit predictable) and especially the world that the author created.  So many strange and fantastical things going on, it was hard to keep track of them all.  A fun foray into steampunk world colliding with not-very-nice fairies.  It really is quite unique.

Things I Didn't Like:
I was actually about half way through the book before I realized that nothing seemed to have happened yet.  The two unlikely and reluctant heroes finally got started on their adventure and mostly all we'd seen was set up and setting and all kinds of crazy steampunk madness.  Which was fun, but not action-packed.  I had been interested enough in the set up, however, not to notice this for the most part.  The ending was a bit confusing and muddled, but rather surprising too.  I think kids will devour the books and enjoy all that set up and then the crazy ending.

It kind of reminded me of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
Coraline or The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - it definitely had the creep factor

s-factor: !
maybe one or two

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->->
definitely doesn't shy away from the creepy and disturbing

Overall rating: ****

Ok, I didn't love this one as much as everyone else did, apparently.  What am I missing?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. Well, it sounds like you liked it pretty well! I enjoyed it lots, myself--it felt different and zesty, and maybe it was just what I needed at the time I read it!

    1. It is definitely different - it seems like the farther away from it I get, the more I think I *did* like it.

  2. Hmmm, it seems like a common "fault" that some books have. They get so caught up in their creations that they lose the story. Still, this one sounds fun and I'm sure kids will love it.

    1. It is a lot of fun - and was pretty good creepy reading for October.


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