Katja Weinert's Reviews > The Peculiars

The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry
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's review
Aug 08, 12

Read in April, 2012

I love Steampunk novels, and I'm so happy to see them trending
in YA fiction, so I was happy to get this book. The Peculiars wasn't disappointing, although it turned out to be a bit of a mixed read. There were parts that I loved and others that were just okay. Overall, I enjoyed this novel, but felt there was a little extra spark missing.

Lena's a compelling main character, she's flawed, and not just because she may be a Peculiar, but because she has her own (little) prejudices and misconceptions to overcome. The other characters were all well-drawn, and my favourite by far turned out to be Jimson Quiggley.

The plot premise is great, but here's the problem for me: the pacing. There were times I was turning the pages and times when the pace just felt too slow, although the adventure towards the last quarter of the book helped things tremendously by picking up the tempo. I liked the suspense as to what was happening at Zephyr House, and liked the way Maureen Doyle McQuerry portrays Lena's confusion as to whom to put her trust in, but I believe it's here that the pacing slowed down a little too much.

The world creation was imaginative, and it would have blown me away if it had been delivered a little more confidently, as I felt the delivery was pretty 'careful'. Wherever the book focuses on Mr Beasley's influences we get that rich flavour of a steampunk world, and when we move away and branch out with the rest of the story, that vividness seems to slip away. I very nearly loved it, but have to settle for saying this was an enjoyable read.

I'd happily read a sequel, as I'd like to know what happens to all of the characters and I see real potential for wondrous adventures and romance in Lena's world.

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