Title: The Peculiar (The Peculiar #1) by Stefan BachmannBuy a copy from National Bookstore!
Release Date: January 8th 2013
Published by: Greenwillow Books
Source: Publisher (Thanks Christine!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
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.
The story starts in Bath, once a town filled with people and was wiped out in a night. And then the Fay appeared, and their mere presence scared the people of London. There were wars fought, and the Fay was defeated. But Bath never returned to what it was before, it became a town filled with Changelings, half fay and half human. Bartholomew was one of them, together with his sister Hettie, they kept away from the eyes of the people, because Changelings were not accepted. And if people knew, they will die. With Bartholomew's curiousity, he became a target for the dangerous things happening to Changelings. And then his younger sister Hettie was taken, Hettie who can never pass for a human with her pointy ears and hair made of tree branches. Bartholomew needs to get Hettie back, and his only ally came in the form of an unlikely Parliament member who wants to save a woman dressed in a plum dress.
From the moment I first read of him, Bartholomew latched onto my heart and never let go. He's a perpetually curious child, longing to be accepted in a society that doesn't take too kindly of the fay, and he and his sister Hattie were not even full fay, having a human mother. Changelings are treated worse than the fay, trapped in the human world without a chance of going back to where they came from. His family is poor, and his mother constantly fears of their existence's discovery, but Barty just had this zest for life as any child would have. His life is hard, but even though they don't have much to eat, and his mother would constantly nag him to do chores, Barty's had this brightness, this optimism in him that just endears him to the readers.
The Peculiar's story revolves around a highly magical, imaginative world created by such a young mind like Stefan Bachmann, and yet it didn't fail to amaze me how he was able to craft this world in such rich detail, full of life and great descriptions that just makes the reading experience to rich and very enjoyable. Such a setting provides a great foundation to the story, along with such an engaging plot and very interesting characters, The Peculiar, with its unique mix of gothic steampunk, a little bit of horror and a little bit of fantasy, is quite a read.
I think I'm a little bit surprised and amazed at the same time at how easily I breezed through the first 100 pages of this book. I have this book sitting on my shelf for quite a while and I've also read a few reviews, and I disagree with some points that say the beginning was slow. The author took time to carefully build a world before the plot pushed through and the first 100 pages made sure that the next 200 is well paced, well thought of and well written. It's interesting how the fay was portrayed in this book, excluded, conquered and enslaved and blamed for the horrible things that people were too afraid to search the real reason for. It was frightening and horrible how there was a purging of the Changelings, and for that, the people were afraid and the children were kept in hiding in a world that was already dark and scary enough especially if you are not human. Stefan Bachmann showed the side of the fay we are all familiar with, angry, vengeful and prideful like Mr. Lickerish and he still presented us with more. One can tell how much research and work was put in this book to create such a believable story.
The Peculiar is classified as a middle grade book, but it can be enjoyed and read by anyone who has a taste for a rich, imaginative story unlike any other they have read in recent years. Stefan Bachmann has a knack for a great storytelling. It's unbelievable how I was immediately engaged in the story and the characters just leapt out from the pages and presented themselves in all their complexity and intriguing selves. I jumped quite a few times along with Bartholomew, got confused, intrigued and a little bit afraid while reading The Peculiar.
Buy this book, it's not one you should miss!
Content (plot, story flow, character):
Content (plot, story flow, character):
Stefan Bachmann, thank you for sharing your wonderful imagination with us by writing this book!
Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!
The cover is just as wonderful as the story!
This review is part of the blog tour for The Peculiar organized by Pinoy Book Tours and supported by National Bookstore! We have a cute video of Stefan announcing the tour here and him speaking a few Filipino words!
For this tour, you have two chances of winning!
HarperCollins is giving away 5 SIGNED, HARDCOVER COPIES of The Peculiar, 1 of which can be won by a Filipino reader: And there's also a GRAND PRIZE of a SIGNED COPY AND a SKYPE CHAT with the author himself, Stefan Bachmann!
OPEN TO EVERYONE OUTSIDE OF UK, US AND CANADA
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And for more chances of winning, Pinoy Book Tours is giving away TWO PAPERBACK COPIES of THE PECULIAR to some of our lucky readers! Check out the info below:
OPEN TO PHILIPPINE RESIDENTS ONLY
a Rafflecopter giveaway
We are also having a Twitter giveaway at the end of the tour on February 2, so make sure to join us so you can win more awesome prizes!