The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry

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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.

About Maureen Doyle McQuerry

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Maureen Doyle McQuerry is an award-winning poet and author and a teacher specializing in YA literature and writing. She was the 2000 McAuliffe Fellow for Washington state. Her poems regularly appear in the Southern Review, Atlanta Review, and others. She lives in Richland, Washington. Visit her online at
Published May 1, 2012 by Amulet Books. 372 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, Romance, Action & Adventure, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Peculiars

Kirkus Reviews

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Lonely Lena Mattacascar heads to the border to find a father she barely remembers and an answer to her unusual appearance.

Apr 17 2012 | Read Full Review of The Peculiars

Publishers Weekly

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Though Lena Mattacascar is a decisive 18-year-old, her journey from middle-class respectability to adventuress has a youthful air of fantasy about it. She leaves the city, where she has grown up, by t

Apr 09 2012 | Read Full Review of The Peculiars

BC Books

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Maureen Doyle McQuerry produces a thrilling adventure featuring goblins, dirigibles, and fantastical steampunk contraptions.

Feb 13 2012 | Read Full Review of The Peculiars


A young man she meets on her journey tells her it is scientifically impossible that nonhuman "peculiars" are real, yet she knows she must find out for herself.

Jun 09 2012 | Read Full Review of The Peculiars

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