“PZ7.M24715 Pec 2012”Maureen P wrote this review Thursday, March 14, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I have to say I really did like the story of this book and thought the writing was very good. The characters are wholly original and I thought to be very likable. I also thought the story flowed well with few stumbles. My only real complaint was the main character's development. I didn't think there was any and I never really felt conected to her. I actually much prefered the side characters over Lena. With subtle steam punk influences I'd recommend this story if you are looking for a fun fantasy. ”Wyatt Packard wrote this review Thursday, February 28, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This was really nice. Hidden within the fantasy genre, Maureen McQuerry tackles prejudice and stereotypes and how those in that minority feel about themselves. Well done!”Owen M wrote this review Wednesday, February 20, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book is very odd and not very interesting. I tried to finish but couldn't make it. ”Antionette Haynes wrote this review Friday, February 15, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“When Lena receives a small inheritance from her long-absent father for her eighteenth birthday, her choices seem obvious: go to Scree, find her father, and find out if she really is like him. If she might, in fact, be Peculiar, the way her grandmother and the doctor always thought. Her long hands and feet have always been a source of shame. Are they signs of some other, deeper difference?
Lena hadn't counted on Jimson Quiggley, a scientifically-minded librarian whose enthusiasm and acceptance start to break through her shell. Nor had she anticipated the likes of the marshal Thomas Saltre, whose presence dogs her steps and perhaps her heart. Being a Peculiar risks more than friendship or romance. The government has started to crack down on Peculiars, and Lena needs to know the truth about herself in order to know who to trust and where to find answers.
The book blends several genres well: steampunk, myth, romance, adventure. It leans a bit more towards the romance angle than I care for: love triangles frustrate me immensely, particularly in this case where one of them is manipulative and pushes Lena into areas she shouldn't have gone. There are some interesting questions of philosophy debated well throughout the book. What makes us human? Do Peculiars have souls? I appreciated the way the God-versus-science debate showed through characters who each deeply believed in their side of the argument, and neither one was slammed to the ground.
The biggest difficulty I had with the story was Lena herself. Her character never grabbed me; her anxiety about her differences is well-portrayed, but she seems to have no depth beyond that. Her lack of conviction leads her to easily fall under the suggestions of various others, she's got little to contribute beyond librarianship skills picked up from her mother, and her crowning moment at the end felt as much like her trying to save herself as well as anyone else.
The plot is serviceable, though it covers so much ground in the 354 pages it felt like each segment flew by. Peculiars don't get a lot of depth beyond two basic types, though it's hinted there are more. The government is a rather stock variety of evil oppressiveness and in my opinion would have been better off not mentioned, as its sole contribution is a single poster which provokes a background level of menace. Lena's persecution at the hands of other people would have been enough. And in the beginning, the point of view switches from first-person to third several times, but it's always Lena, so it felt very random to have the flashbacks in first person.
Overall, this wasn't a bad read, but nothing about it really stuck in my memory (other than my delight at finding a quote from Julian of Norwich embedded in the middle). I rate this book Neutral.”
“Good for readers of all ages. Suspenseful and twisty, sort of a steampunk genre.”BookLicious wrote this review Thursday, November 22, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I'm generally a big fan of steampunk novels, and so I was excited to read The Peculiars. Although, it didn't turn out to be quite what I expected. This was a book that held my attention for the most part, but was really missing something also. Slow at parts, I almost didn't make it through. Still, at the end of the day I'm glad that I did.
Lena's an okay main character. She's flawed in a lot of ways, which makes her equal parts lovable and infuriating. Raised to be constantly worried about her odd hands and feet, Lena has a lot of misconceptions about the world around her. She believes that she may be part goblin, and that her father was too. I have to praise this young character for her perseverance! Lena doesn't give up.
The premise of the plot was interesting, but the pacing was what really hindered the ready for me. There are portions that move so slowly while Lena tries to figure out who to trust, that it makes it hard to follow her. Lena is, if nothing else, a bit naive at times. However towards the end of the book so much happens all at once! Amazing inventions, fantastic discoveries, all in a matter of days. I wish it would have been more spaced out.
I truly believe that if the world building had just been a little more vivid, and the characters a little more fleshed out, I would have enjoyed The Peculiars much more. I did enjoy the story by the end, but it was an uphill battle to get there in the first place. If there was a sequel, I'd come back. For now, this one sits on the self of books that were enjoyable, but not my favorite.”
“Call # F McQ”P West wrote this review Monday, September 10, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A very quick read. I liked the world a lot and can't wait to read more. ”Jessica wrote this review Friday, August 31, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“On Lena's 18th birthday, she is given a letter from her long lost father. It contains a small inheritance which Lena decides to use as purchase of an adventure to find who, or what, she is. For Lena believes she is a Peculiar. The Peculiars are, for lack of a better word, mutants banished from acceptable society. Lena spent her entire youth hiding who she is and is ready to find a place she belongs, perhaps in Scree - the land of Peculiars. Along the way she will meet an enthusiastic librarian, a mad scientist, a charming lawman, a winged woman and a cat who's crying sounds like human mumbling. But will she find herself?
First, let me speak to the cover (as I am such a sucker for a great cover).... It is beautiful and pulled me in immediately. Big applause there.
Now to the plot. McQuerry's world in The Peculiars is interesting and intriguing. It has a Victorian/ Steampunk feel, which I am a fan of. It was mysterious and exciting and I loved it.
However, the characters inside the world didn't draw me in as much as I had wanted to. Lena herself started out great as an awkward, somewhat sheltered girl but she never felt fully developed to me. Other characters seemed a bit pointless even. Honestly my favorite character was the cat.
It's a solid good book, just not over the top memorable.”