Author: Stefan Bachmann
Pages: 384 pages
Format acquired: Paperback (International First Edition)
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Published on: September 18th 2012
Source: Pinoy Book Tours and HarperCollins International (Thanks!)
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
Buy the book locally (PH): National Book Store
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.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)
Stefan Bachmann creates a novel that radiates wonder and intrigue that will not just attract Middle Grade readers but even an older audience as well. I've always been a big Middle Grade fan and when I was given the opportunity to read The Peculiar and join the blog tour, well you won't be surprised that I jumped the wagon pretty quickly. If there's two things in this world that I know go together, it's magic and Middle Grade books. MG books are mostly hinged upon different supernatural stories or myths and that's probably why they never get boring, because there's always something different per book and trust me, The Peculiar is definitely different.
My heart goes with Bartholomew in this book, having to live a life not knowing whether he'll fit in or not. Whether he'll be normal or not, these are the type of questions we think of today but in cases like Bartholomew's, I think it's definitely more justified. Well you see, Bartholomew is a changeling he's half-faery and half-human and he doesn't fit in anywhere. Like, at all. He seeks comfort with his sister Hettie who's also a changeling and understands what he's going through. And when I read about how his own mother was too afraid to let him/them out and interact with other people, my heart literally broke for these two children who's only wish is to find their place in society.
I absolutely adored Bartholomew (even though his name is a mouthful. Haha!) He's been through so much and I don't think I've met anyone who has withstood so much trials in such a short span of time. His story is heartwrenching and will leaving you wanting to give him the biggest hug possible. I love his relationship with his sister, Hettie. They have this mutual understanding that no one else will ever be able to take away from them. Their connection is palpable and you'll be left wanting to have a brother like Bartholomew who's willing to risk whatever it takes for his sister.
I definitely love the different faeries you'll meet reading The Peculiar, you have the super evil I-want-to-destroy-you-all faery, Mr. Likerish and a really misunderstand rat faery as well. There's literally a plethora of different faeries (and humans) that you'll read about. The Peculiar doesn't run out of interesting characters with even more interesting backstories. You'll keep wanting to get to know these people because they're all so well developed and as you read about them and their adventures, you just can't help but fall in love with them no matter how evil or broken. You'll learn to sympathize with them and really understand how their mind works and what they're going or went through.
"Part murder mystery, part gothic fantasy, part steampunk adventure, The Peculiar is Stefan Bachmann's riveting, inventive, and unforgettable debut novel." I cannot tell you how accurate that line is. I was left absolutely shell-shocked when I got to the detective-y parts and Bartholomew was out there trying to solve mystery (and so was Arthur Jelliby.) The complexity of the different clues that these characters encountered will definitely leave you guessing until when you finally read about what it really is, you'll just think "Oh snap! Why didn't I think of that?" And that's exactly what I look for every time I read a mystery novel, that element in the book that is so surprising that it will leave you speechless. This book is definitely a bit darker than most MG books I've read and that just made me love it even more. Stefan Bachmann did not hold back on even the littlest of details, he stuck by it no matter how creepy it ended up being. And that made it all the more enjoyable and entertaining. Um... and... Steampunk. Adventure. Possibly the two coolest words put together to make an even cooler word.
The Peculiar literally has it all: beautiful world-building, lovable (and hatable) characters, a shocking mystery, mechanical birds and oh, faeries. Trust me when I say that The Peculiar is going to be one of the funnest and most intriguing books you'll ever read. If you're looking for something new and completely unique, I suggest that you read The Peculiar. And honestly, most of the time I was reading The Peculiar, I kept forgetting that Stefan Bachmann began writing it at the age of sixteen back in 2010. Wow, just wow.
~ Open to PHILIPPINE RESIDENTS only (sorry US/ International peeps!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
~ Also, HaperCollins is giving away 5 signed hardcover copies of The Peculiar with a grand prize of a Skype Chat with Stefan Bachmann + a signed copy of The Peculiar! :)
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And a message from Stefan Bachmann himself!
(Such a cutie. Hee!)
There's also going to be a Twitter party at the end of the tour which is on February 2! WHEEE. Check Pinoy Book Tours for the Philippine tour details.