Much like Harry Potter, The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann, is set in an alternate world. It’s Bath, England, but the fairy slums of Bath where a changeling—half human, half fairy—named Bartholomew Kettle, and his sister Hettie live with their human mother.
Sequestered in their tiny home, trying not to get noticed—because getting noticed equates to death—Barthy and Hettie spy a beautiful woman dressed in an elegant plum colored dress walking stiffly down their street, an odd look about her, searching for something, or someone. Barthy is then drawn into a fairy plot to annihilate the human world thus returning the fairies to their former position of glory and power. Befriended by Mr. Jelliby, a politician of some stature, also trying to just get by without much notice, a friendship forms, prejudices are discarded, and a hostile take-over is thwarted, but at what expense? Bachmann has certainly traded on elements from Narnia, Harry Potter, The Last Apprentice, The Tolkien Trilogy, Percy Jackson, and Eragon. But he turns a clever phrase, offering up a swift moving adventure, cloaked in sometimes gag effect fantasy as only a sixteen year old boy can, so I think it makes a good choice as a read-alike for lovers of all these book types . . . I smell a sequel on the way.