Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann

Confession: this book made me have to sleep with my light on. One part just freaked me out so badly that I couldn't bear to turn my light off, for fear that a creepy fairy man would sneak around my bed as well. I don't know whether the children this book is intended for are braver than I am. It wasn't too scary otherwise

The Peculiar is the story of Bartholomew Kettle, a changeling, which is a half-fairy, half-human. He is forced to stay inside all the time, along with his sister Hettie. Both normal people and fairies dislike Peculiars like them. Bartholomew witnesses the changeling boy across the street being abducted by a strange woman in purple with a second face on the back of her head. The face sees Bartholomew and marks him as number 10. Nine changelings were found dead in the river, their bodies drained of blood. Bartholomew is next.

Meanwhile, a man named Mr. Jelliby accidentally stumbles into this plot. He is a politician who works with a fairy by the name of Mr. Lickerish. Jelliby encounters the woman in purple, who pleas for his help. A mechanical sparrow leads him to realize that Lickerish is up to something incredibly evil, something that could destroy the entire world if he doesn't put a stop to it.

Jelliby ends up teaming with Bartholomew, and the two are adorable together. I found Jelliby to be very entertaining, though I like the befuddled type. I was attracted to the book by a comparison to Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. I definitely see the resemblance. Just today, I learned that the author, Stefan Bachmann, is only a teenager. I am impressed, and I look forward to the sequel to The Peculiar.

I received my copy of The Peculiar from Edelweiss, courtesy of Greenwillow Books. It is available for purchase now.

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