Release Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Abrams: Amulet Books
Genre: Steampunk, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Supernatural, Adventure
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository
This 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.A young adult steampunk western fantasy highlighting some primitive and racist behavior and amongst it all, a heroine to be proud of, one who stands up for herself. This book has its fair share of endless adventure and mystery folded in its richly written pages.
The Peculiars caught my eye as being unique when I saw it on netgalley, unique for me is always a pick, as original stories are fun to read. This book, much like other steampunky tales, features a slew of technical advances and inventions, the details are nothing short of fabulous. The characters however were hard for me to relate to and enjoy. Lena Mattacascar, our main character, while lively and brave didn't keep me interested in her story as much as I would've liked.
Lena is our adventurer, a young woman in search of truth and a bit of excitement on the way. When her belongings are stolen on a train ride and she meets a curious man named Jimson on her travels her life takes an unexpected turn and she follows her need for experience deeper than she thought possible. Lena winds up working for a strange and mysterious man, Mr. Beasley, who collects amazing books and just may be collecting something other than priceless literature. Harboring her own secrets she is determined to find truth around her and aid in a countrywide fight against peculiars.
As the story takes flight, literally, it picks up pace and begins unraveling facts at full speed. If the entire novel moved as the ending did I feel like i would have enjoyed it more. While its a fascinating read, it was hard for me to keep picking it up to finish. I do recommend it, as it's one of those books I think a lot of people will love. I absolutely adore the cover!