The Peculiar (The Peculiar, #1)
In an England irrevocably marked by war against the Sidhe, Bartholomew Kettle must hide from prying eyes because of what he is. A changeling, born with both human and faery blood. Cowering in his mother’s dingy apartment day in and day out is bad enough. But matters take a turn for the worse when he witnesses a kidnapping. Someone is snatching changelings, and he might be next.
A tense mystery in a steampunk setting with a decidedly morbid atmosphere. The vibe is gothic horror, and Bachmann’s storytelling has a creepy slant, with unsettling imagery. Perfect for keeping readers on the edge of their seat.
Fair warning: vivid descriptions of nightmarish creatures, sly and vicious methods, two-faced deceit, mass bigotry, violent fight sequences, A Dickens-y plight of downtrodden, deaths, and fleeting descriptions of serial killings. Yes, this is middlegrade, but I wouldn’t recommend it to sensitive readers.
Excellent storytelling *and* character development. I purchased this book for the home shelf along with its sequel, THE WHATNOT.