A delightful Young Adult novel by author Maureen McQuerry, 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.
Here’s what’s being said about The Peculiars:
- STARRED REVIEW: “McQuerry offers a brooding northwest setting touched by steampunk elements to tell a story that is in equal parts inventive fantasy, light romance, and thrilling adventure. With a backdrop as strong as its heroine, this one is a page-turner.” Booklist Starred Review
- 2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults, Young Adult Library Services Association
- 2013 Best Children’s Books of the Year, Bank Street College of Education
- “Themes of acceptance, character, and self-determination are explored without superseding the beautifully crafted story. A wonderful read, recommended for all collections.” School Library Journal
- “A creative, entertaining, and wholly original fantasy.” “Nods to various genres — romance, mystery, Western, steampunk — bring the era of territorial expansion vividly to life.” Recommended Fantasy Book by The Horn Book
- 2013 Winner, Westchester Fiction Award