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The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann
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The Peculiar (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Stefan Bachmann

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2851939,557 (3.86)13
Member:swanack
Title:The Peculiar
Authors:Stefan Bachmann
Info:Greenwillow Books (2012), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann (2012)

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» See also 13 mentions

English (18)  German (1)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Just finished Stefan Bachman's The Peculiar, which started off really cool and interesting (faries! Steampunk! Bath and London!) and sadly lost steam (lol I slay me) as it developed.

I think this is partly because to me it seemed the writing began to suffer from about the half way mark on, as though the first half of the book had been worked on carefully, and the second merely spat out. There was a lot of really cool ideas and imagery, but characterisation was thin and weak, and the plot relied a lot on coincidence.

So, a sort-of recommendation for those who love books about fay and UK. As a first novel from a young writer, it shows *a lot* of promise, but hopefully the writer doesn't rest on his wunderkind laurels and works harder at his craft.

(I see he's written a handful of books since then, so I may check them out at some stage if the library has them.)
  CatHellisen | Jun 26, 2015 |
I have wanted to read this book for some time. I ended up picking it up off of the dollar table at one of my son’s book fairs at school. It ended up being a wonderful steampunk middle grade novel with magic and mystery.

This book takes place in an alternate London where fae unwillingly fell into our world. The story follows two characters; the first is Bartholomew Kettle, who lives with his mother and sister in the faery slums of Bath. Bartholomew is a Peculiar, half fae and half human. When he sees a strange woman in a rich plum dress he is determined to find out the mystery behind her. The other character is Arthur Jellyby who is on the London council. Arthur just wants to coast through life unnoticed and unbothered, however he ends up drawn into a mystery surrounding the disappearance of Peculiars that puts him in contact with Bartholomew.

I loved the lush and descriptive writing. This book is all about the moody atmospheric setting; the descriptive writing makes all of the scenes really come alive so that you feel like you are walking the streets of this strange and peculiar London.

There is some excellent world building here and I really loved the idea of a London where faery had unwillingly taken residence. It’s a very creative idea and very well done. I love that you never know what kind of fae you will see next wandering the streets of this book.

This is one of the first middle grade steampunk books I have ever read and it was well done. There are a lot of fun steampunk elements in here.

Probably my biggest issue with the story was that I had a bit of trouble engaging with the characters. I just am not all that sympathetic to the characters and their plight; they come off as a bit dry. I also thought the story ended very abruptly. I didn’t realize that this was part of a series, but even knowing that now the ending to this book just seems very unfinished...which is a shame.

Overall this was a well done middle grade steampunk novel. I enjoyed the world-building and the wonderfully descriptive writing. I did have some trouble engaging with the characters though. I would recommend to middle grade and older readers who love mysteries with some fantasy in them; especially to those who are interested in the steampunk genre. I personally am not sure if I will continue reading the series. ( )
  krau0098 | Jun 21, 2015 |
I did not get all the way through this one. The problem was that there were no characters that I cared about at all. ( )
  piersanti | Sep 28, 2014 |
First of all, let me say that this novel is incredibly well written, especially for a first time author. I loved the writing. The world building as well is just fantastic. Just amazing descriptions of wide variety of places, from the slums of faery-land to London High Society.

However, I had a few problems with a couple of parts of this novel. I had a hard time getting attached to any of the characters. I did like Bartholomew, but struggled to really get attached to him or to Arthur. The author, in my opinion, was a bit too distant when writing from their points of view.

I also got frustrated by the number of questions the author left unanswered. For example, WHY does everyone hate the changelings/Peculiars so much? I never got a hint as to why they were so universally despised. Or Why were Arthur and Bartholomew able to fight off the effects of the magic spells when others were not? What makes them special? These were vital plot points in the novel, but I was left with these nagging questions pulling away my attention from the main plot of the novel.

The ending was very well done, but there wasn’t any sort of conclusion. It just kind of ends, with the characters standing in the rubble. Did they get arrested? They have no sort of proof about the plot they just stopped. What happened to them? It was very frustrating for me as a reader.

Overall, I still give this four stars. It might have given it five stars, despite the unanswered questions, if the novel had even a short chapter of conclusions on it. ( )
  Madison_Keller | Sep 14, 2014 |
Great fantasy, action-packed novel! The story, half-steampunk genre follows Bartholomew as he tries to free his sister, after she has been taken to open a faery door between the Old Country and London. With the help of Mr. Jelliby, he will have to fight off humans and faery alike. ( )
  smheatherly2 | Jul 24, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stefan Bachmannprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Altschuler, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my mom and my sister,
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Feathers fell from the sky.
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After humans win the faery wars in England, a half-human, half-faery child, scorned by both races, finds himself at the center of a web of intrigue and danger when he is stalked by a sinister faery.

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