Friday, July 26, 2013

Review: The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann

The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann
The Peculiar, #1
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Greenwillow Books
Goodreads | Amazon | The 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.

My Review:

The last few books I have read have been out of my normal reading comfort zone. This one was definitely out of it. I need to do this more often because I really enjoyed this book. I have never read anything steampunk and I am very limited with faery books. One very cool thing about this book is that the author was only 19 when this book was debuted!

The first thing I have to say is oh my goodness the ending! I wanted to keep reading but it just stopped! Talk about a cliffhanger. Thankfully the next book comes out in September, just a few days before my birthday actually!

Stefan’s writing is very solid and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I found that when I had to set this book down, I could easily pick it back up and start reading with no problem. Much like some books I read, I found that I wasn’t forgetting characters names, or what had just happened. It definitely kept me pulled into the story. The writing in this book makes me think of more of a YA book than middle grade and this book looks much like a children’s book and many people classify it as middle grade but I think this could go up to YA also.  

As the synopsis states, there is a murder mystery thrown in with some fantasy and steampunk and you have a great book. The murder mystery is actually a little gruesome when it comes to some details but that was actually a fantastic bit to the story. I loved the very gothic feel to this book and there was a perfect amount of steampunk thrown in.

Hettie and Bartholomew are peculiars, or changelings. Their mission in life is to not get noticed. If they get themselves noticed then they will probably get themselves killed.  The relationship between Hettie and her brother Bartholomew was cute. You definitely got the feeling of an older protective brother when he needed to be but that didn’t mean he wanted to always play with her. He would still tease her and tell her scary stories but he definitely loved her. This was a nice replacement for an actually romance, as in the boyfriend-girlfriend kind. There are so many books out lately that have some sort of romance aspect to them.  

This book had more than one point of view and the character of Mr. Jelliby was probably one of my favorites. He was a very kind person who did not like confrontation. He didn’t really want to make himself noticed although he was active in politics. I loved that he became friends with Bartholomew and set himself out to help him and the young lady, the best he could.

This book was just great, between the writing and the world building I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Do I Recommend this Book/Series?

YES! Especially if you are into steampunk and faeries, then this is the book for you!

Will I Read the Next Book?

After ending on that cliffhanger, absolutely.  

My Rating:


  1. I had been wondering about this book, and after your review I will definitely give it a chance!

    1. You definitely should! It was a nice to read something different.


I love hearing your opinions so please feel free to leave me a comment!