by Stefan Bachmann
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. (description from Amazon.com)
The world that Bachmann built here was very intriguing. I was impressed that the author is only a *teenager!* He managed to drop me into a world that felt very real, and very alien from our own. As a lover of all things fairy, a fan of the steampunk sub-genre and a murder mystery fan, this book hit just about every right note for me. Bachmann did an admirable job mashing several genres together while not overwhelming the reader.
I distinctly enjoyed both the new world and the concept for this book. At times, though, I felt slightly disconnected to the main characters. While I found Bartholomew to be a character I felt great sympathy for, at times he was hard to connect to, and when the perspective would jump to Arthur, I found that to be even more true. I was very interested in seeing how things unfolded. I wanted Bartholomew to save his sister. I wanted Arthur to uncover his government's corruption...
Essentially, I enjoyed this book a lot and I hope there might be another in the works... I hope in the second that I have an easier time connecting to the characters, though, too.
Full disclosure: Purchased for my Nook