Manners & Mutiny

Courtesy of gailcarriger.comI love Gail Carriger’s steampunk novels. Have I mentioned this? In particular, I like her Parasol Protectorate books and her Finishing School series. In her latest (and last) of the Finishing School novels, Manners & Mutiny, we follow protagonist Sephronia Temminnick as she tries to finish her final year at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s.

This book was released on Wednesday November 4, so I’m not going to go into too much detail. Just because I finished this book over the course of about three lunch hours doesn’t mean everyone did. But just in case I do spill something plotty, below be SPOILERS. You have been warned.

Sephronia and her friends, Dimity and Agatha, are given some increasingly complex tests as a part of their final year. And not just in classes. They have a ball with the all boys school Bunson’s on Swiffle-on-Exe, where Dimity’s brother Pillover and their friend Vieve (a girl masquerading as a boy) attend. And let’s not forget about Felix de Mersey, Sephronia’s other suitor (the first being sootie Soap).

Felix and Sephronia are at loggerheads due to his involvement of Soap dying and becoming a werewolf in the previous novel. Things do not get better here. Felix is the son of the Grand Gherkin of the Picklemen (aren’t these titles just fantastic?! They’re so silly. I love them), who shot soap and is generally a bad guy and the Picklemen are clearly up to something.

They break into Mademoiselle Geraldine’s after the ball but leave with nothing, vexing Sophronia who got into trouble with the teachers. She chased the Picklemen and got caught. They’re not upset about the former but they are upset about the latter. Sophronia gets saddled with all sorts of busy work that leave her no time to figure out what the Picklemen are up to.

To make matters a little worse, Soap keeps showing up attempting to court her. Sophronia, despite what her heart wants, is still a member of high society and a lady like her can’t be with the only black werewolf in England. It just isn’t done. And don’t blame me or Ms. Carriger for those words. That was the times in mid-1800s England.

Will Soap ever talk Sophronia around? What are the Picklemen up to? Why is Felix trying so hard to make up with Sophronia? And what is going on with Lord Akeldama (and really, we all wonder that)? Read to find out!

I enjoyed the hell out of this book. It makes me sad that it was the last in the series but obviously you can’t continue finishing school once you’ve properly finished and debuted. I’m hoping that we’ll continue to see more from this lovely world and lovely writer. I highly recommend this series and this book. Rating: A+

And we’re back!

I’m sorry for the long delay folks. Its been a rough few months for me. But I’ve decided to actually do a New Years resolution for 2015 (normally I don’t bother). I’m going to try and publish one review a week, likely on the weekends (yay laundry time!). First some news!

courtesy of goodreads.comFor those of you who are fans of Jim Butcher and his Dresden Files (<3), the man himself is doing a steampunk series! Holy crap, I am so excited about this! He’s calling this the Cinder Spires and according to his twitter (@longshotauthor), its off to the editors! Of course, it’ll be a long while going through polishing before it gets released, but its written!

Second, for the Simon R. Green lovers among you (me included), we have found out that there are three more Secret Histories novels on the books, the last of which will be a war between the Droods and the Nightside! Go Nightside. 😀 The titles are: Dr. DOA, Moonbreaker and Night Fall, in accordance with his James Bond themed books. Apparently we are getting just three more Secret Histories because Mr. Green has diabetes and is worried that he would leave us all hanging, should complications arise. After that he’ll be writing single novels or trilogies. I hope he continues writing for a very long time.

Gail Carriger has recently released Wasitcoats & Weaponry, the third installment of her Finishing School series. The next generation of the Parasol Protectorate will kick off in March. Featuring Prudence, the daughter of Lord and Lady Maccon. Apparently this series will be christened the Custard Protocol, the name of which made my husband decide it was the best series ever without having read any of Ms. Carriger’s awesome books. 🙂

Curtsies & Conspiracies

Curtsies and Conspiracies*SPOILERS* As you may have gathered from some previous posts, I do like me some steampunk. In particular, I love Gail Carriger. And her latest release in the finishing school series, Curtsies & Conspiracies, is another home run. This series focuses on the young girls of Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Girls of Quality and protaganist Sophronia Temmennick.

Sophronia has now been at the school for about six months. Its at this time that all new comers such as herself get tested on what they’ve learned. In pairs, her fellows are taken off and come back looking pale. Sophronia and best friend Dimity Plumleigh-Teignmott go last and Sophronia, naturally, passes with flying colors. When the scores are announced, Professor LeFoux (Genvieve’s aunt) makes a point of letting them all know that Sophronia got the highest scores ever. This causes friction and ostracization between her and the rest of the girls in her class. At least for a while.

As much as it pains Sophronia that her friends (and even enemies Monique and Preshea) are ignoring her, there are things afoot at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s. Dimity nearly gets herself kidnapped, graduates that are active intelligencers are boarding in the middle of the night and a bunch of boys from Bunson’s (the men’s evil genius academy) are aboard. Why? Because they’re all going to London to see the arrival of a brand new dirigible that can cross the English Channel in less than an hour using aetheric currents high up in the atmosphere.

Of course, lessons are still occurring while all this is going on and Sophronia eventually gets her friends back talking with her. She also makes a deal with young Genvieve. Help get Genvieve into Bunson’s and get rid of Bunson’s Professor Shrimpdittle and Genvieve will leave Sophronia all of her tech gadgets, including the one that freezes all the mechanicals for short periods. You see, Shrimpdittle is an old friend of Professor LeFoux and knows that Genvieve (or Vieve as she’s commonly known) is a girl.

Sophronia’s attempts at character assassination are successful. Too successful. There are unintended consequences to a member of the school’s staff, Professor Braithwope, who is a vampire. And in the midst of all of this, Dimity and brother Pillover (aboard from Bunson’s) are still under threat. From whom? Read to find out! 🙂

The Finishing School books fall in the same universe as Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate (aka-Alexia Tarabotti) books, just 25 years earlier. You’ll recognize a few familiar characters in this and learn a bit of their back story. You don’t have to read any of the other books really, but I highly recommend you do. They’re entertaining as hell! Rating: A+.