Monday, August 18, 2014

The Whatnot

 The Whatnot by Stefan Bachmann

 Every now and then I will find a story so unusual and unexpected it will leave me with book withdrawls once I have finished it. The first book, The Peculiar, left me with this feeling. I had high hopes for The Whatnot, and it was one of those sequel which had everything I wanted and then some.

 Bartholomew Kettle has been looking for years for his little sister Hettie, who was pulled into the faire world. He has traveled all over England, often with the help of his protector, Mr. Jelliby. When he hears of a fairie who might be able to help him he doesn't hesitate to visit her, but instead he receives help from a young boy known as Pikey. Pikey has the gift of being able to see it in the faire world, and what he sees from time to time is a little girl with branches for hair. He might be the only one in the world who can help Bartholomew, but that means both have to learn how to trust each other - a human and a half faire - even as England prepares for war against the faire world.

 I love books that do the impossible. Stefan has somehow managed to wear a Gothic, fairy tale, Steampunk story and somehow pulled it off seamlessly. I would read his books for the world building alone. Everything was alive and it felt like I was there, in both worlds. I could see and feel everything, he is a masterful storyteller.

 To top off his world building and enchanting ability to tell a story are his characters. I have no words for how much I loved Bartholomew in this book. I adored him in the first one, but I fell in love with him in this one. And little Hettie, she stole my heart with her endearing charm and growing courage. I was sad there wasn't more Mr. Jelliby, but when he was in he was just as amazing as in book one. And then there was Pikey. I wasn't sure I would like him, because I wanted more of Bartholomew, but a few chapters in and I loved him nearly as much as Bartholomew. (Nearly. Bartholomew has a special place in my heart.)

 I can't go into much detail with this book without giving things away from book one, but it is a must read. It is every unexpected thing you could ask for in a story and it all works, and it is probably the best brother and sister story I have ever read. Bartholomew and Hettie will win you over and leave you wishing you had more time with them.

 You can find Stefan's blog HERE and you really should read it as he has some hilarious posts. 

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