I am super excited to write my review of Stefan Bachmann's debut novel, The Peculiar! It is a middle grade read he wrote when he was sixteen and today is my stop for the Philippine Blog Tour hosted by National Book Store, Harper Collins and Pinoy Blog Tour! Thank you so much for having me!
Here's a little something from Stefan! So cute!
Author: Stefan Bachmann
Series: The Peculiar #1
Publication: September 18, 2012 by Greenwillow Books
Source: Bought from Powerbooks
Genre: Middle grade, Steampunk, Fantasy
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.
PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:
Batholomew is a Peculiar. He's a changeling, a half-human, half-fay. Together with her little sister Hettie, they hide from the outside world because they are afraid to be killed. In Bath, once a beautiful town, Peculiars and Fay for that matter are all treated in a very cruel way. Humans surrounded them with iron, they made them slaves, their magics were suppressed, they almost don't eat and they will never go back home, to their world. But Batholomew saw a lady in plum took his only friendly neighbor in amidst of changelings' murders. Curious as he is, he stepped into the circle where the lady stood and he was magically transported to another place and has been marked "Child Number 10".
The world Bachmann created in The Peculiar somehow reflects what we see nowadays. Poverty and politics were among the few things I've caught from the novel which depicts exactly what happens in real life. I loved how Bachmann used these issues in a completely different way that made its statement in the novel. Bath is a very dark place yet he was able to explain thoroughly its history and made his story work in it perfectly.
Some of the reviews I've read said that the pace is a little slow and I actually agree with those. It took a while before the pace started to go into works and I had an issue with that. But the slow build-up wouldn't affect how I felt about the story and the characters. I strongly felt attached to Hettie, Batholomew and Arthur Jelliby and I wish I could just grab the second book to continue their adventure. It is indeed categorized as Middle Grade but one could also put it in Young Adult for most of its content can be easily marked as the latter. I really really enjoyed reading it.
The Peculiar is a magical novel one cannot simply put down. The darkness enclosed to it is just enough to look forward to the sequel. Its world is cruel but fresh that will make your imagination work triple time and I recommend it to everyone. Adult, Young Adult and kids will enjoy it because the kid in me did!
Here are the other blog tour stops:
Amaterasu Reads (1/13/2013)
Oops! I Read a Book Again! (1/14/2013)
The Soul Sisters (1/15/2013)
Teen Readers Diary (1/16/2013)
- MY STOP -
from Michelle Shouts Random (1/19/2013)
Fragments of Life (1/20-21/2013)
Mr. Bookwonder (1/22 and 24/2013)
Defiantly Defiant (1/23 and 25/2013)
Book Whales (1/26-27/2013)
We Fancy Books (1/28/2013)
Selkie Reads Stories (1/29/2013)
Pinoy Book Tours in collaboration with Harper Collins and National Bookstore, we have copies up for grabs! Just follow the rules and earn points!
For International readers, here's a RaffleCopter for you.
and for PH readers, here's one for you as well!
Again, I would like to thank Christine from HarperCollins, Pinoy Book Tours, National Book Store and Stefan Bachmann for such outstanding tour!