The Peculiarities

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The Peculiarities by David Liss explores a world of magic and modernity. Much in the same way as his previous novel, The Twelfth Enchantment, Liss delves into the idea of magic as real in this alternative history. The setting is London during the Victorian era. Proper society brushes off the idea of magic, but the dense fogs of London seep into their homes and businesses, transforming people into something “peculiar.” When Thomas Thresher discovers his brother could be sabotaging the family bank, mysteries sprout up around Thomas like the leaves on his skin, and he’ll need to turn to help in the most inappropriate occult places.

The Peculiarities is a rich, engrossing novel with an unusual hero. The pacing is quite Victorian in that the story unfolds by degrees, a slow burn starting out, but once it kicks into gear, it picks up momentum to a spectacular finish. Cerebral and fun, Liss’ book challenges and explores notions of family, Victorian ideas of propriety, and of what is and is not magic. Liss executes this novel gracefully and believably, giving readers an excellent experience along the way.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher Tachyon Publications
Publish Date 07-Sep-2021
ISBN 9781616963583 Buy this Book
Issue September 2021
Category Historical Fiction