Wednesday, January 16, 2013

(Blog Tour) Review: The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann + Giveaway!

The Peculiar (The Peculiar, #1)
Genre: MG Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Paperback: 357 pages
Release Date: September 18th, 2012 
Buy Now
Don't get yourself noticed and you won't get yourself hanged. 

In the faery slums of Bath, Bartholomew Kettle and his sister Hettie live by these words. Bartholomew and Hettie are changelings--Peculiars--and neither faeries nor humans want anything to do with them. 

One day a mysterious lady in a plum-colored dress comes gliding down Old Crow Alley. Bartholomew watches her through his window. Who is she? What does she want? And when Bartholomew witnesses the lady whisking away, in a whirling ring of feathers, the boy who lives across the alley--Bartholomew forgets the rules and gets himself noticed. 

First he's noticed by the lady in plum herself, then by something darkly magical and mysterious, by Jack Box and the Raggedy Man, by the powerful Mr. Lickerish . . . and by Arthur Jelliby, a young man trying to slip through the world unnoticed, too, and who, against all odds, offers Bartholomew friendship and a way to belong. 

Part murder mystery, part gothic fantasy, part steampunk adventure, The Peculiar is Stefan Bachmann's riveting, inventive, and unforgettable debut novel.

My apologies for sounding cliché but this is a brilliantly written book. The Peculiar is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. The distinctive combination of mystery, gothic fantasy and steampunk adventure is intriguing and exhilarating at times; the world-building very well-crafted and furnished with rich atmosphere. Its unrelenting efforts to find its own identity amid the myriad of stories are not wasted.

The Peculiar is set in Victorian-era England where humans coexist with faeries. It tells the story of Bartholomew Kettle, a Changeling/Peculiar–half human, half faery– boy and Arthur Jelliby, a young gentleman and member of British Parliament. Bartholomew and his family live in the slums of Bath, a place dwelled by other faeries where they toil at the side of poor humans. The fact that Changelings are considered aberrations by both humans and fey brings fear to their home. As a result, they abide by the rule:
 Don't get yourself noticed and you won't get yourself hanged.

The plot and characters in this book scream mysterious and dark –from the woman in plum-colored skirts to Mr. Lickerish, Jack Box and the rest of  the fey folk. The faeries are categorically diverse and have a sinister atmosphere, which is a nice respite from all the otherworldly beautiful ones I often encounter in YA.

It may fall into Middle Grade spectrum but in all honesty, I don’t think I would have completely grasped (let alone enjoy) the story if I read it when I was twelve. For that, I am glad to have had the opportunity to delve into this now because the gorgeous writing, with all the vivid descriptions and macabre bits of images blew me away.

With that being said, I understand how some people enjoyed it less than I did. The pacing could be slow especially at the beginning, and there are a few times when it took me seconds to absorb the author’s thought process. These are quibbles I am willing to overlook because overall, I really liked how Stefan wrote this imaginative and stunning debut novel.

Author Bio
Stefan Bachmann is a writer and musician. He was born in Colorado and now lives with his family in Zurich, Switzerland, where he attends the Zurich Conservatory. He began writing The Peculiar in 2010, when he was sixteen years old.
Follow her on these sites: Website││Twitter|| Goodreads


HarperCollins International, National Book Store and Pinoy Book Tours have prepared awesome giveaways for Filipino  and International readers! Here are three chances to win a copy of The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann.

2 winners will win a copy of The Peculiar courtesy of PBT
Open to PH residents only

 For the tour-wide giveaway, Five winners (one can be won by a PH resident) will win signed hardcovers of The Peculiar! There will also be a grand prize of a signed hardcover of The Peculiar + a Skype chat with Stefan Bachmann!

Here's a video of Stefan Bachmann inviting everyone for the Philippine blog tour and speaking a few Filipino words!

There will be a Twitter party at the end of the tour on February 2nd. Further details will be announced soon so keep an eye out for that! 


  1. Your review makes me wanna read it ;> It's awesome and has the children-feel :D

  2. This book sounds so whimsical and fantastic!

  3. Definitely! I've already heard great stuff about The Peculiar, and wow Stefan is so young! Kudos!

  4. Gotta read this book!! Thanks for the review.


  5. What an awesome cover! Is it a series or stand alone I wonder..


  6. I should have bought this when I saw it in NBS in my area, dang it! Now I can't find a copy. Great review Dea.

  7. Your review makes me wanna read it.

  8. Can't wait to get my hands on this book! :)

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. A friend had told me about this before. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the book to lend me. )=

  11. I really want to read this book! aaagh, got to pay our bookstore a visit soon and stock up on more books. :D

  12. Wow this book is awesome! I wanna read it already. Thanks for the great review!! ^^

  13. The plot of the book is totally unique and that is a good start for a debut novel. It got me wanting to read the story since it's (1)an adventure story, (2) set in the Victorian Era, (3) supernatural creatures - the faeries - are involved, and (4) the cover of the book is awesome. It's one of those books you'll be glad to have.

  14. Great review! A one-of-a-kind story indeed!


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