Lisa Reviews: Maureen Doyle McQuerry's - "The Peculiars"

Hello Fellow Bookworms!

I’m back, yet with another review, this time on The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle. Before I get started I wanted to say a huge thank you to Krista for sending me her extra ARC! Thank you! Truth be told, I read and finished this book at the beginning of the summer, and have pushed off writing the review until now (the end of summer). Not because I didn’t enjoy or like it, but more because I needed to give the story, the characters and the ending time to sink it.

The Peculiars follows the main character Lena Mattacascar on the journey to finding her father, and the reason behind her elongated fingers and toes (she’s always wondered if they were signs of Goblinism). Days before her eighteenth birthday, Lena receives a hand-written letter from her father, explaining why he left and where he’d gone. Deciding to set out to search for him, Lena leaves for Scree.

In the society Lena lives in, folktales and myths have been passed down from generation to generation about a race of people called Peculiars. The word itself means strange, odd, uncommon and unusual. Many people don’t (or at least try not to) believe in them. Peculiars are people with defects, and rumors say, if someone is accused of being a Peculiar, they are sent to Scree to work in the coal mines.

Throughout her adventure Lena learns a lot about herself, and her family. She meets a few interesting people such as Jimson (who sat with her on the train, when her bag with important papers and money was stolen), Mr. Quiggley (who she starts to work for), and Thomas Saltre (a marshall who’s father was murdered by Lena’s).

What attracted me to this book so much was the cover, not the one of the ARC I received, but the actual thing. The summary seemed pretty interesting as well, so I went in with a open mind, ready for anything. But within the first few chapters, I was already bored and uninterested. Getting to learn about Lena and her hands and feet was intriguing, but the beginning dragged on. The train ride was maybe four of five chapters long, and boring. Nothing interesting happened and when it did (when her bag with papers and her money was stolen), everyone acted like everything was okay.

But being who I am, I pushed through and continued reading. The middle of the book had a few good parts, but again nothing too exciting happened. At this point, I was constantly thinking, “Do something! Don’t just sit around!”. But man, did the ending slap me in the face! It was like no other! Even though Lena didn’t meet the person she was looking for, she did meet someone else…who is very close to her (well..biologically)!

In The Peculiars I loved the concept, the ending, the characters, and that the characters loved books! But on the other hand, I do the think the beginning and middle of the book can be a bit dry and drag on at times. The ending is what makes the book good! If you get the chance to read The Peculiars, I recommend being patient and pushing through, because the ending is amazing, and will leave you wanting more!

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