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The Peculiars [Hardcover]

Maureen McQuerry
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 8.77 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 May 2012
The Peculiars is the story of Lena Mattacascar, a teenager who doesn't understand why her hands and feet are so gangly and long and why she isn't like other girls and especially why her grandmother calls her a goblin. Lena's father, who she has not seen since she was a little girl, has disappeared to the far north in a wilderness called Scree. There it is said that Peculiars live, people unacceptable to modern society as well as those who are "strange" Or have "unnatural talents." On her eighteenth birthday Lena decides to go to Scree and search for her gather. on the train journey there she meets a young librarian named Jimson Quiggley who is traveling to a town on the edge of Scree to work in the private home and library of a Mr Beasely. En route, the train is stopped by wanted men who are being chased by the handsome young marshal!, Tomas Saltre. When Saltre learns who Lean's gather is he is most interested and follows her to the northern city where the two spy on Quiggly and Mr. Beasly. Thus begins a love triangle between Lena, Quiggly and Saltre as well as the strange tale of Mr. Beesly, his home called Zephyr House and the strange folks who go there but who never come out again.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Amulet Books (1 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419701789
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419701788
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.7 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,480,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Maureen Doyle McQuerry has taught for 20 years, specialising in young-adult literature and writing.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected...and not in a good way. 30 Jun 2012
By Kate Phillips TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I was so excited to read this book. It's a YA steampunk book!! I was absolutely chomping at the bit to get into it. The description and cover were amazing and I had a big idea of what this book would be like. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

I was disappointed in this book. It was not what I was expecting at all. The pace moved so slowly and I found myself skimming. There were moments where things got exciting and I thought that the book was finally on the right track...but then those moments faded away and it was back to being boring again.

Another problem is that nothing is really explained. The book started and by chapter 3 I still wasn't sure who was who and what was going on. The characters are introduced so quietly that you almost miss them. I just wanted more background, more explanations for what was going on. Nothing or no-one was fleshed out which was such a shame.

There was a good idea in here. It had the potential to go far but it just stalled and flailed into nothing.

The characters are alright. There is no-one that I felt a connection for. I think you need to have a female lead in books like this that you can get behind. Unfortunately Lena, at times was just really annoying. She acted like a fourteen year old instead of an eighteen year old a majority of the time. Especially if she was around a boy. She had some moments of growth towards the end but really it wasn't enough.

I think that this is not really a steampunk novel. There are a few things here and there but really there is not enough to class this as steampunk, so if that is what you are looking for then I think you will be disappointed.

Another annoyance is the chapter titles.
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4.0 out of 5 stars THE PECULIARS 29 April 2014
By mfu_11
THE PECULIARS is a fascinating adventure story. Lena Mattacascar travels to curious lands with determination to find the father who left her when she was a child, and to uncover some of the mystery surrounding Peculiars and her own unusually long hands and feet.

Peculiars are people with uncommon characteristics—wings, for example. These people are deemed soulless by society and most are rounded up and sent to Scree, where they either live in the dangerous free lands, or work in the mines in terrible, life-threatening conditions.

Our main character, Lena, believes she may be a Peculiar, or at least half Peculiar. Her father left her living in the City with her mother and grandmother when she was young. Lena doesn’t know a lot about him, but her grandmother often refers to him as a “goblin.” Lena then battles with whether or not to take this literally, as it is also commonly used to describe someone who’s a bad person and a troublemaker, and she begins to wonder if she is in fact an actual goblin herself on account of her unusual appearance.

Leaving the City behind, she heads for a small town called Knob Knoster, where she intends to gather supplies and find a guide to Scree. Unfortunately, her purse is stolen, meaning she has to stay in Knob Knoster a lot longer than planned. On her journey she meets Jimson, who is working as a librarian at Zephyr House for Mr Beasley, and Marshal Thomas Saltre, who believes Mr Beasley is breaking the law and lures Lena into helping him. She gets herself into one big tangled mess, and chaos and adventure follows.

The setting is wonderfully imaginative, and there’s a great mix of kooky characters I enjoyed getting to know. Lena’s journey is meaningful and her relationships with others along the way is explored well. I never quite knew who to trust, and I liked that the story kept me wondering right to the very end.
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3.0 out of 5 stars YA Steampunk - not as special as I wanted 15 July 2012
On her 18th birthday Lena Mattacascar decides to leave the safety of home and travel to the dangerous and wild lands of Scree to find her father and discover the truth behind her goblin-like hands and feet. On her journey she meets young Jimson Quiggley on his way to start a new life as librarian to Mr Beasley at Zephyr House, and he offers Lena a job and a safe haven when she needs it. But as the hunt for peculiars increases, Lena, Jimson and the eccentric Mr Beasley must flee to Scree to survive.

Lena is on a journey of self discovery as she heads off to Scree to find out who her father really is and if the rumours of her being descended from a goblin are true. As being a peculiar is a considered shameful and peculiars are treated with discrimination, contempt and mistrust, Lena tries to hide her hands and feet and who she really is. As she travels further north though, she is faced with people who accept her for who she is and others who vilify her, and she must learn to stand up for herself and accept herself no matter what. She does this with courage and bravery, and she was a great protagnoist for the story.

The most intriguing characters for me were the inventor Mr Beasley and his mysterious cat. Mr Beasley was an eccentric, missing his eyebrows, and able to invent pretty much anything; and he was constantly joined by his cat, who seems to be rather human-like and hyper-intelligent and potentially hiding some deep dark secret. I loved the mystery surrounding this unusual pair and the fact that they seemed to somehow know everything and could pretty much solve anything too.

I was intrigued to find out who the peculiars might be. Do they have special abilities? Are their abnormalities just genetic anomalies? Is Lena one or not?
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