Today I'm thrilled to welcome my mom Pam back to the blog to wow us all once again with her reviewing prowess. I'm having a blast including both my mom and my mother-in-law Cathy (who will be reviewing tomorrow) in this blogging adventure, and I'm hoping I can get them to contribute with more regularity moving forward. It may take some persuading, but I'm on it ;-) Take it away Mom!
Received from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Don't get yourself noticed and you won't get yourself hanged.
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.
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.
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.
A vastly entertaining, fast moving steampunk adventure novel, The Peculiar is packed with suspense, magic, intrigue and murder. In his well-written debut novel, Stefan Bachmann displays his creative literary talents through his command of similes and metaphors, allowing readers of any age to immerse themselves visually and emotionally into a unique fantasy world with unforgettable characters. Bachmann has a remarkable gift for one so young, as he was only sixteen years old when he wrote this inspired book.
The main character, Bartholomew Kettle, labeled a “peculiar” – a changeling that is half-human and half-faery – is loathed by both faery and human societies in a supernatural, clockwork version of Victorian England. Peculiars are to be killed on sight and buried under elderberry bushes as a preventative measure should their ugliness be contagious. Knowing no other existence but fear and hate, Bartholomew and his younger beloved sister, Hettie, suffer from the cruelty and isolation resulting from this tension between classes. Witnessing the kidnapping of several changeling children and learning of the violent death of others, Bartholomew has the opportunity to play an extraordinary role in both changing his life as well as the dark, dangerous world in which he lives.
Amid the seemingly relentless darkness and death, the author treats the reader to moments of brightness by watching Bartholomew grow and mature from an extremely frightened, self possessed child to a determined one, displaying a tenderness of heart in his avid pursuit to protect his mother and sister’s lives at the risk of his own. Through his adventures he also learns to trust and befriend a mortal enemy, a human.
An amazing, highly imaginative book that will keep readers of all ages enthralled. Definitely recommended and his sequel will be eagerly awaited.