The Peculiars is my first time reading a steampunk novel and with the cover looking so gorgeous, I was quite excited to start reading! However, when I was almost halfway through the book, I was really frustrated with the incredibly slow pace, it's as if the story got stuck and didn't move forward until the Marshal's men were raiding the Zephyr House because its owner has been helping Peculiars which is against the law. Lena's adventure going to Scree, the land of the Peculiars, was lackluster at best with the exception of when they (inhabitants of the Zephyr House) escaped using an aerocopter.
I didn't like the heroine, Lena, I thought that she's simpleminded and uninspiring. She was so focused on the extra joints on her hands and feet and that's what propels her to do something, i.e. to make a deal with the Marshal. She wanted to go to Scree to meet her father, ask him why he left his family, and to find out if he's really a goblin and what that would mean as her doctor has told her that goblinism is passed on through genetics.
Jimson, Lena's love interest can be sweet but I wanted more from him, Lena was obviously jealous of Pansy, Jimson's fiance, but you can't tell if Jimson was interested in Lena, for me, he was more cold than hot towards her.
Lastly, I initially thought that it was Lena who was on the cover art but then when she was described as having dark hair, I started to wonder who the peculiar with the beautiful wings is. It isn't until much later that we meet Merilee. And to be truthful, I find her a better character than Lena, she's smart - like when she thought of a way to get Lena out of jail - courageous and has a big heart. She doesn't look away when people need her help even if she puts herself in harms way.
Overall, THE PECULIARS was an okay read with deft imagery of the Zephyr House and Mr. Beasly's contraptions, a writing style that is easy to read, and an interesting premise of nature versus nurture.