Review: The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry

The PeculiarsThis 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.

The Peculiars is one of those books that I enjoyed storyline and character wise but due to some issues with the pacing I'm definitely grading it down a little, because this book was so slow that I started it at the end of April and only picked it up again yesterday and I literally had to force myself into the book again. The pacing has it's moments where it gets exciting but suddenly it just drops again.

That being said, I loved so many aspects of this book that as soon as I got interested in the characters I knew that i was going to finish this book, no matter how long it took me. I like steampunk books but it's a genre that I only enjoy on occasion, I love the mix of steampunk and fantasy on this book... the manners and the characters are so believably Vixtorian but there is the aspect of the steampunk with aerocopters and science in there which doesn't overtake the books, I liked how well the author balanced the steam part of things with the historical aspect and the fantasy, it all worked really well for me.

I found that the characters well well developed, but the development took some time and the only character that I felt attached to for a while was Lena, who I think I came to like because of her seeing herself as an outcast, by the end I liked most of the characters, especially Jimson who is Lena's love interest, I really liked that the hints of romance were there but barely, so the sweet scenes were very cute!

I would have liked more on the peculiars and what made them that way, maybe that will come in the sequel, but all in all I liked the little bits of fantasy in this book, it made it a little bit creepy and obscure, giving the book a unique tone.

Overall, a fantastic storyline and amazing characters that i just loved, the blend of genres was done so well and the plot ran seamlessly, unfortunately this book isn't even close to perfect due to the massive problems with pacing, seriously I struggled with the pacing because it was so slow so...

Overall Rating: C

Book released by Abrams and Chronicle on May 1st
book received from the publisher for review... thanks!

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