Saturday 5 June 2021

Book Review: The Peculiarities by David Liss (Fantasy)

Title: The Peculiarities
Author: David Liss
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Publication Date: 1 June 2021
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: Fantasy
Source: ARC via NetGalley 

All of his life, Thomas Thresher has been free of obligation and responsibility, but that is over now. He is a twenty-three-year-old man whose best days are behind him. Thomas's older brother Walter has trapped him in a tedious clerical job at the family bank in London, and Thomas is expected to wed a wealthy young woman in whom he has no interest.

But Thomas has more serious problems than those of a disaffected young man. There are irregularities at the bank he cannot explain. His childhood friend has mysteriously turned up dead. Worse, a verdant skin malady has infected him: leaves have begun sprouting on his skin. Thomas must conclude that it is due to the long-rumored Peculiarities. London's famous grey fog has been concealing a rash of unnatural afflictions--and worse, the murderous Elegants.

As Thomas grows leafier, the conspiracies surrounding him become more apparent. He cannot determine whom to trust: his own family; his banking co-workers and superiors; the beautiful widow of his companion; the woman he is to marry. Or perhaps a lycanthropic medium; the members of a secret occult society...or even Aleister Crowley.


The Peculiarities was an enjoyable fantasy adventure story. I liked the style of the narration, which worked well for the piece, and I had fun following Thomas on his journey as he fought to find the truth behind the goings on at his family bank while also combating the supernatural threat of the Peculiarities. It was amusing to see some real life figures like Aleister Crowley make an appearance in the tale, giving the book the vibe of an alternate history. The world building was mostly well done. I had a few questions, but in general we only learnt more as Thomas learnt more, and he did not have a perfect knowledge of how everything worked, so neither could we. I didn't really get the vibe of his first romantic relationship, where love seemed to spring up almost instantaneously; however, the other relationships in the book came across well. Overall, this is a different and intriguing tale and I recommend it to fantasy fans looking for something with a bit of a twist. For me it was a 4-star read.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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