by Maureen Doyle McQuerry
"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."
McQuerry introduces readers to the life of Lena, a girl who was born with abnormally sized hands and feet, not to mention an extra joint in each finger, searching for her father and probing for answers about a part of herself that’s been burning inside her for so long. Is she a Peculiar or not? Peculiars are people with unusual characteristics that are deemed unacceptable to the society. On her decision to search for her father, she embarks on a journey like nothing she’s ever seen before.
I’m not particularly a fan of Lena. She’s too impulsive on my account, because just when I thought she’s done something good, she goes about doing something else stupid the next. Doesn’t she ever learn?
Anyway, I am absolutely blown away by the adventure the characters partook. I can imagine the journey Lena boards in with Mr. Beasley, Jimson and Merilee was really exciting. It feels like watching one of those movies where the characters are up in the air riding some flying vehicle and it’s all windy and they’re overlooking a beautiful scenery down below, far and wide [and with the usual matching theme music]. Sweet!
You know the little trivia some people say that a person should learn at least one new word each day? Well, you’ll discover more than one with this book. I appreciated the education I got over reading the Peculiars. Even though I had to do research while reading it, add the frustrating fact that all the words I was looking for were written at the back. Really, Maureen? You could’ve said it was there and spared me the hassle! LOL. Kidding.
I really liked how unique this book turned out to be. At first when I read the words “unusual characteristics,” I thought I was in for some sort of X-Men-like story, and I am so glad that it was so different from what I thought it would turn out to be.
I still have a lot of questions unanswered in the end but overall, the Peculiars is a book definitely worth reading. I’m already looking forward to book II, oh yeah, the journey just barely begun!