Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann

 The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann

In full disclosure I won an advanced reader copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

Book Synopsis: Bartholomew is a Peculiar, half human and half faerie. Children born in this way have to live a life of secretly because they are hated by both races and would likely be murdered if they were discovered. Bartholomew lives with his human mother and sister Hettie in the slums of Bath, England. In this world the original city of Bath was destroyed during a war between humans and faeries. The humans won the war and the faeriefolk became little more than slaves and a system was set up to prevent them from being able to use their magic.
Arthur Jelliby is a human politician. He isn't particularly clever or good at much and in-fact only got the position because his mother was well connected. He is not adventurous or ambitious and would rather spend time at home with his wife, rather than dabbling in politics or going on adventures.
Bartholomew's only friend other than his family is another Peculiar that he waves to from his bedroom window. One day he witnesses a strange woman take his friend away, and has a small adventure while trying to find out what happened to him. This eventually leads to him trying to contact the faeries. But soon the mysterious group targeting Peculiars abduct his sister and Bartholomew must set off to rescue her.
Through a series of unfortunate events and bad decisions Mr. Jelliby is suspected of espionage. His efforts to prove his innocence only make matters worse and he discovers a very real plot.
Bartholomew and Mr. Jelliby find each other and team up in an attempt to unravel the plot and rescue Hettie. They have some adventures as they follow the clues and it all leads to a final showdown, the result of which could have more repercussions than a few missing children.

Richi's Reviews: I enjoyed this book, it is definitely targeted at children but it can be easily enjoyed by adults as well. It is well-written and easy to follow, with good descriptions, although as you would expect of a children's book it does lack in extravagant detail and the plot is fairly linear.

The story is engaging and you are with the characters as they try to find out what is happening to the children and why, and whether they rescue Hettie in time.

Mr. Jelliby is a great character, he is a good person but somewhat of a bumbling and a very reluctant hero, he is very endearing and I found myself drawn to him and wanted to see him succeed.

Bartholomew I thought was also very well written. He acts in a very convincing childish way, sometimes selfishly, sometimes a little mischievous or emotionally. None of it was bad or dislikeable, but simply realistic.

Some of the sequences were a little scary for younger readers and is probably suitable for children nine years or older.

One other thing of note is that this book ends on a big cliffhanger, so if that is something that drives you crazy you might want to wait until the rest of the series is out.

I love the cover art on this book, it is beautifully drawn and is even shiny which really brings out the mechanical bird. The rest of the book is well presented with chapters that actually have titles and black feathers floating down the side.

This is an excellent book for children but also fans of fantasy/steam punk/faerie stories of any age.

1 comment:

  1. I just listened to this on Audible, and it was such a charming, yet sometimes surprisingly sinister, book. I really enjoyed it, and the narrator was wonderful.