The Peculiar, by Stefan Bachmann (2012)

Genre: Fantasy
Interest Level: 12-16
The PeculiarThis first novel from a very young and promising author is gaining a lot of buzz, and it’s well deserved. Bachmann is 19 years old, and wrote this before his 18th birthday, and is already at work on the next in the series. That said, I didn’t finish this one. I think I overreached my grasp, as it were, following my great experience with The Hobbit. Seems I’m not a fantasy fan, as I suspected all along…
In this novel, Bartholomew and Hettie are siblings, and they are also changelings – half-human and half-faerie (Hettie has twigs growing out of her head, instead of hair). In this world, changelings are disliked by both humans and the fay, so they have learned to keep out of sight. Until one day, Bartholomew sees a woman elegantly dressed in plum loitering in the neighbourhood, eventually slipping away with one of his playmates at her side. Where did they go? Why did she take him? Worse yet, while Bartholomew spied on the goings-on, he is spotted, and thus in great danger.
The writing is inventive, descriptive and almost lyrical at times, yet it feels awkward at times. That is perhaps not surprising, given his age. And of course, I didn’t get very far into it, so my perspective is a bit skewed. I simply cannot abide faeries and twig-haired children. So sue me. I certainly can see the appeal of it, and for those who love otherworld stories, with flying machines birds and mysterious goings-on, give it a try.
More discussion and reviews of this novel: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13455553-the-peculiar

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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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