The Peculiars
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Peculiars

by
3.23 of 5 stars 3.23  ·  rating details  ·  1,255 ratings  ·  355 reviews
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 so...more
Hardcover, 354 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Harry N. Abrams
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Peculiars, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Peculiars

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Blythe
May 03, 2012 Blythe rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: I don't know if I'd recommend it
*Warning: there will be spoilers in this review, but most are minor. I will mark the major spoiler in a spoiler tag*

Hmm… So this is what steampunk is…. It doesn’t seem any different than any other genres, other than the fact that it’s set in the late 1800’s (which I found out a little too late in the book, I believe at around 40%), and it’s time period is at the dawn of inventions, such as the “aerocopter”. It’s upsetting that this book has gotten such a low rating of two stars from me, because...more
TheBookSmugglers
Original review posted on The Book Smugglers

Lena Mattacascar is a deeply troubled young woman whose father disappeared when she was young. Born with elongated hands and feet, she OFTEN (often!) wonders: are these signs of Goblinism? Is she then one of those Peculiar people? Do they even exist? Was her father really a Goblin as her grandmother likes to say? If so, is she destined to be a wicked, wicked girl since Peculiars are said to have no soul?

On her 18th Birthday, she is given a letter writt...more
Desiree
Actual rating four and a half stars.

The peculiars is the story of a young woman named Lena who is more or less flawed both physically and mentally. Lena sets out on a journey to discover the truth of who and what she is despite the knowledge that finding out may prove both difficult and heartbreaking. When she turns eighteen her mother gives her a letter and a small inharitence that her father left for her before he left his family many years before. Lena has grown up hearing from her Grandmothe...more
AH
I’m a big fan of the steampunk genre. I love all the cool gadgets and contraptions. It was with great anticipation that I picked up this book. Set in the late 1880’s, the Peculiars had that quirky, Victorian feel. As for the steampunk elements, aside from a horseless carriage, they really didn’t make much of an appearance until about Chapter 9.

The Peculiars is the story of Lena Matascar, a young woman with strange hands and feet. Lena is leaving her home to travel north in search of her estrange...more
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
2/5 stars

The Peculiars is what I would call "prematurely published". It's always very unfortunate when someone allows this to happen. It's an interesting idea for a world but the author seems to lack an actual interesting story to put in the world.

Instead what you get is a book that spends nearly half of it's time preforming chores, another half repeating itself (how many times must it be re-iterated that the letter is pinned in her chemise????) and tries to throws together a flight and camping...more
Dani
3.5/5 stars


In The Peculiars, McQuerry has created a fascinating steampunk, alternate history of the American western frontier. In this new time line, some people are born with genetic abnormalities like wings or elongated hands and feet. Rumors abound about a strange land to the north – a land filled with vast natural resources, beasts, criminals and such peculiar people. These stories are often dismissed by law-abiding, non-peculiar citizens as fantastical tales and the superstitions of gullibl...more
Nicola
Well, the Steampunk genre seems to be the next trend in YA fiction. I find the concept of a lot of these books fascinating but I'm not sure if they're really going to be my kind of thing. I was very intrigued by The Peculiars. I loved the awesome cover and the premise sounded different and interesting. I definitely haven't read many books like this so have nothing to compare it with. But really, I didn't find this one all that impressive. It wasn't bad but was missing that extra spark for me.

It...more
Jill Williamson
This is a fun book. Totally clean. Lena is shy and naive, self-conscious of how she looks, especially in regards to her hands and feet. Jimson is loyal to Mr. Beasley and enthralled with invention and progress. He doesn't care much for Lena's faith, which adds some interesting discussions here and there. And Mr. Beasley is the enigmatic inventor, who reminded me somewhat of Doc Brown in the Back to the Future movies.

I enjoyed the premise of what makes one human. The Peculiars with their strange...more
Heidi

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...more
Kara-karina
Egalley thanks to Abrams

Well, I'll keep my review short on this one as I don't have much to say.

First of all, I understand now why they needed to change the cover, because this book needs all the sellable points it could get. However don't be misled, - Lena is not blond and she doesn't have chicken wings. Her Pecular trait is goblinism - long hands and long feet.

I really struggled with The Peculiars and was tempted to DNF it a few times. It was excruciatingly slow to the point of boredom, and di...more
Linny
Review on Linny's Literature

The moment that I saw The Peculiars' beautiful cover, I knew I would have to read it regardless of my general aversion to steam punk and a few reviews I saw that were far from raving. Well, guess what, the cover has virtually nothing to do with the book. That lovely character with the wings? Pretty sure that's the daughter of the maid of the man that the main character ends up working for.



Just.. what? So right off the bat The Peculiars lost my trust. It never redeemed...more
Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews
*Genre* Steampunk, Alt-Historical Reality
*Rating* 2.5

*Review*

On the day of her eighteenth birthday, Lena Mattacascar receives a letter from her father Saul who went missing when she was five years old. In it, Lena receives a small inheritance along with a deed to a mine in Scree. Soon thereafter, Lena leaves home and travels north in search of answers about her heritage.

Lena was born with large hands and feet, and thus everyone believed she was a goblin, or a Peculiar including her own grandmoth...more
Erica (daydreamer)
This book was rather boring. And I’m sad to say that, because it did sound interesting. But it failed to interest me, or excite me, or make me eager to keep reading. Most of my disinterest was because of the characters. They were flat and boring. They didn’t feel real to me. And Lena was the worst. (which is really bad, because if the MC doesn’t generate enough interest in the reader, her involvement in the plot will seem pointless, and her relationships with the other characters will be stupid...more
Abria Mattina
I was looking forward to The Peculiars because I enjoy a good steampunk novel. The book begins with Lena, a self-deprecating oddball who has just turned eighteen and inherited money from her absent father. She decides to go into Scree, his home country, to find him and research her roots. The early chapters of the book contain a lot of action as Lena’s journey to Knob Knoster, the nearest border town, doesn’t go as smoothly as planned. It looked like it was going to be an exciting ride, but as s...more
Nafiza
It took me a very, very long time to get into this book. I think my biggest issue was with the main character. She seemed to be making rather dubious decisions that, really, were just…stupid. I understand that she was looking for some kindness and the man in question pushed the right buttons but come on now. Her choices made me question her intelligence and that’s never a good thing. However, she was redeemed at the end which is not exactly a very good thing since it’s the end of the book but si...more
Cindy
I was so excited to get this book the premise sounded interesting. I thought a story of Goblins with possibly a new approach enjoyable. However that is about as far as it went, this story was painfully slow for me. The plot looked to have potential and then stalled out after the first quarter of the book. It did pick up a bit toward the end or last quarter, but by this point I didn't much care what happened. I think this book might have good potential if marketed for a younger age group eight to...more
Anne
I had to force myself to finish this. There just wasn't enough oomph in the story to keep me interested.
The premise sounds good, but the reality of the plot wasn't my cuppa.

Lena thinks she may be a Peculiar, because she has really loooong hands and feet. Her feet have soft squishy soles, and her fingers have an extra knuckle.
Sorry, but that sounds gross.
Evidently, people are just starting to find out about the existence of Peculiars, and the backlash is not good.
She meets another family of Pec...more
Rae M.
You can read my review @ Booklikes!
All Things Urban Fantasy
THE PECULIARS was a book of great potential that offered alternate history, fantastical creatures, and technology. The heroine’s core was unique and well-written, from her own insecurities to her very real physical differences. The racist and colonialist attitudes of citizens towards the Peculiars of Scree made for a compelling frame around McQuerry’s steampunk fantasy, but predictable character behaviors and a disappointing ending overwhelmed my initial excitement about this book.

Lena was orig...more
Kristy
Okay, so when I think of a Goblin, I think of something along the lines of THIS , not a pretty girl with abnormaly long fingers and feet. But, Lena is not sure if she is actually a Goblin or not. He Father might have been, he left when she was a little girl, and now, on her 18th birthday he has left her some money and a map to her inheritance in Scree (the place where felons and "Peculiars" go). So, naturally against her Mother's and Grandmothers wishes, she is determined to go. She has to know...more
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
I was pretty interested in this book from the first time that I saw the cover and read the synopsis. It sounded like it would be something different and fun to read. Something unique than what is out there right now in the world of YA.

With those high hopes in mind, I was a little sad when this book started out so slow. I admit, I had to put this book down a few times and come back to it after reading something else for awhile.

Thankfully it did pick up a little and while it was still sort of slow...more
Barbara
Thank you, Maureen Doyle McQuerry, for the three gifts you have given a reader of The Peculiars: an interesting story well told; new, fun words to look up or words used in ways I’m not used to using them; and characters for whom I developed such affection that it made me a little wistful to reach the end of the story.

First, I was drawn into Lena’s adventure right off and was eager to return to see it through whenever I would have to set aside the book. The storyline skirted artfully through what...more
Katie_la_geek
This review can also be found on my blog

*The publisher provided me with this book for review, via Netgalley.*

I was so excited to read this book. It’s a YA steampunk book!! I was absolutely chomping at the bit to get into it. The description and cover were amazing and I had a big idea of what this book would be like. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

I was disappointed in this book. It was not what I was expecting at all. The pace moved so slowly and I found myself skimming. There were moments where thi...more
Chantaal
Originally posted at The Wandering Fangirl.

The Peculiars is a novel that seems like tons of fun and could be host to a thrilling adventure and a journey of self-discovery, but it simply falls flat.

The story starts off strong as we’re introduced to Lena Mattacascar, who has extra knuckles in her hands and feet, something she believes to be a sign of goblinism, which might make her a Peculiar and thus unacceptable to society and herself. Most of the novel centers on Lena’s growing struggle with he...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Though this ended up less steampunk and more proto-steampunk than I had hoped, The Peculiars is well, a peculiar but utterly delightful novel. Lena the main character is interestingly flawed - both personality-wise and appearance-wise - and her exploits to find her father and herself in the bargain are never less than entertaining to read. The ending is left somewhat open for a possible (please!) sequel in the hopefully not too distant future; you can be certain that if/when it appears, I'll be...more
Cassandra
Meh, this one just didn't do it for me. My favorite character was Ms.Mumbles(the cat). This book is called 'The Peculiars' but it lacked peculiars, I wanted to know more about them. The different gadgets that were in this book only left me confused, and the main character only served to get on my nerves with her idiotic choices.
I received an ARC from netgalley.com
Marsha
Aug 03, 2012 Marsha rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Young Adults and Adults
I have to say, I almost didn't purchase this book because the of the 3 star reviews. However, the book summary was interesting enough that caused me to have hope. I am very glad that I made my own decision and decided to read "The Peculiars" because I really enjoyed it.

Lena Mattacascar has lived a very lonely life with her mother and grandmother. Her father left when she was just five and her unusual physical characteristics have caused her to be scorned and the butt of people's cruel jokes and...more
Kelly

From the very first sentence I knew that I was going to be in for a good read. Maureen Doyle McQuerry did a fantastic job of creating a world that mirrors the industrial revolution era, but incorporating mythical creatures. The setting reminded me a little bit of Patricia Wrede’s “Thirteenth Child”. A city set on the edge of civilization, with a world of wonder and magic just waiting to be explored.
I enjoyed Lena as a character. She was flawed, and made some bad choices, but owned up to them, a...more
Emily (Book Jems)
As seen on Ed and Em's Reviews!

Warning: This review contains girlish squeals, rambling and quite a few capitals. It probably won't make much sense.

I LOVE THIS WRITING. Sorry for the all-caps, but I cannot stress that point enough. Here, let me give you a tidbit:

"Her hands spidered out like daddy-longlegs."

I love creepy bug references.

"It belched great sighs of steam in satisfaction."

And a little alliteration.

This book has the strangest names for people and places. It's so creative and really in...more
Pretty in Fiction
Originally posted on Pretty In Fiction.

The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry is a whimsical mix between supernatural, steampunk and fantasy. I really enjoyed reading it, because it's a mix of genres I enjoy reading, but I've never read a book quite like it before. The characters were likable, and I fell in love with most of them. The setting was unique and fun to explore along with the main character, Lena. And the inventions! Oh, Mr. Beasley's inventions just might have been the coolest part...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Unnaturalists (The Unnaturalists, #1)
  • Innocent Darkness (The Aether Chronicles, #1)
  • Dead of Night (The Youngbloods, #2)
  • The Friday Society
  • Poltergeeks (Poltergeeks, #1)
  • A Conspiracy of Alchemists (The Chronicle of Light and Shadow, #1)
  • Tarnished (The St. Croix Chronicles, #1)
  • Peaceweaver
  • The Dark Unwinding (The Dark Unwinding, #1)
  • The Demon Catchers of Milan
  • Dead Time (The Murder Notebooks, #1)
  • Candlewax
  • Wonder Show
  • Dust Girl (The American Fairy, #1)
  • Cuttlefish (Cuttlefish, #1)
  • Shelf Life: Fantastic Stories Celebrating Bookstores
  • Sisters of Glass
  • On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave
581549

All of my books have an element of mystery and magic, even the realistic stories. And as a friend pointed out, there is a library in every one of them. It must be because libraries have always been magical places for me.

My books are inspired by two things, the image of a character who eventually begins talking to me and current questions I have rattling around in my brain. The Peculiars began wit...more
More about Maureen Doyle McQuerry...
Beyond the Door (Time Out of Time, #1) Wolfproof Travelers Market Nuclear Legacy: Students of Two Atomic Cities Time out of Time: Book Two: The Telling Stone

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Maybe being brave was not highly desireable in women. Normal women would have fled, like Pansy.” 7 likes
“Maybe it was only goblin women who were restless and wanted to see the world. She didn't know.” 6 likes
More quotes…