The Peculiars - Maureen Doyle McQuerry
Released May 1, 2012
"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 train she meets a young librarian, Jimson Quiggley, who is traveling to a town on the edge of Scree to work in the home and library of the inventor Mr. Beasley. The train is stopped by men being chased by the handsome young marshal Thomas Saltre. When Saltre learns who Lena's father is, he convinces her to spy on Mr. Beasley and the strange folk who disappear into his home, Zephyr House. A daring escape in an aerocopter leads Lena into the wilds of Scree to confront her deepest fears."
The Peculiars is a find-yourself, find your way kind of story. After reading the synopsis, I was immediately drawn in - and the cover helped as well! However, I found this book slow and drawn out. I love detail as much as the next person, but I felt the author spent too much time trying to describe everything. It picks up eventually, but even then, I found the "action" scene's just didn't compensate enough.
The main character, Lena, annoyed me at first, but eventually she grew on me. The other main character, Jimson I loved from the start - he was probably the best part about the book.
I haven't read a lot of Steampunk, but I was slightly disappointed about how this turned out. I hope there will be a second book, to see if it will make up for the first.