This is a wonderful coming of age story, about a young girl who has no idea how to define herself and so embarks on the journey of a lifetime to find out. I thoroughly enjoyed The Peculiars - whenever I had to go away from it I was counting down until I could immerse myself in the rich world that McQueery has created. And what a wonderful world it is: based on our own and featuring the wild inventions that have shaped it, with a quirky new twist that kept me entertained.McQueery certainly knows how to spin a yarn. The build up the story is slow, as Lena tries to find a place in Mr. Beasley’s household and live on her own for the first time. There are so many mysteries in Lena’s life, and we, as readers, are kept in the dark with her. As more information becomes available and the action picks up, the story becomes more and more engaging, until you can’t bear to put it down!The characters are, without a doubt, the richest aspect of the story. Lena is a sweet girl, plagued by the differences that set her apart from others, but trying desperately to find her own niche in the world. I thought her a bit dense, irrationally feeling jealous when Jimson receives letters from (she thinks) his fiance and sneaking about Mr. Beasley’s house like a five-year-old. Jimson is by far my favourite character: vivacious and full of laughter, brimming with excitement about life in general. I have to admit I liked Thomas Saltre as well, until he asked Lena to spy - and then I deeply mistrusted him!I like The Peculiars and think those who enjoy steam punk and a good story will like it a lot. It’s different from most of the YA that I read and I enjoyed it a lot more for that.You can read more of my reviews at Speculating on SpecFic.