Gail Carriger is one of my all time fav authors. I haven’t read a book or a story of hers that I haven’t loved, whether it’s steampunk or more modern/urban fantasy. She just released the latest of her Delightfully Deadly novellas, Ambush or Adore. This takes place in the Finishing School/Parasol universe. Since this was just released, I will go ahead and put a big old SPOILER ALERT down.
Ambush follows Agatha Woosmoss, the timid and mousy girl from the Finishing School series. Agatha was probably the one I identified with most, TBH. I see a lot of myself in her. Agatha, it turns out, becomes one of the premier intelligencers amongst her group from Miss Geraldine’s. Her ability to slid into the background so completely makes it easy for her to go places and hear things that others can’t.
Agatha too has something of a wild side, I suppose you could say. Even from a young age, she yearned to be free of her father’s yoke and society’s expectations. To travel around the world and see things that most girls could never see. Enter one Lord Akeldama (another personal fav), who sees Agatha, and naturally takes advantage of her peculiar skills.
The one thing Agatha never really counted on was Pillover Plumleigh-Teignmott. Pillover reminds me a lot of my hubs, socially awkward at times and very focused on his particular area of study (biology, in this case, rather than the classics like Pillover). Pillover is Dimity’s younger brother and a begrudging attendee of Bunson’s (later followed by graduate). Pillover gets dragged along on many of the girls’ adventures, much to his chagrin.
This book hops around from “present” (Agatha on the Spotted Custard) to past (Bunson’s/Miss Geraldine’s) and in between. I’m not usually a fan of that sort of thing, because it can easily get confusing, but the amazing Ms. Carriger worked it well. I was never confused as to which time I was reading about.
You really get to know Agatha and Pillover in this book. How they sort of fall into what would have been considered an illicit affair during the Victorian era. How Pillover waited patiently for Agatha. How (SPOILER ALERT) Agatha and Pillover’s last ‘mission’ together set up the events of the San Andreas shifters books. I love when authors meld their series together like this, and all the little easter eggs that happens because of this. Simon R. Green is particularly good at that.
Ambush or Adore is hands down my favorite of the Delightfully Deadly novellas and I really, truly hope it isn’t the last. Do yourself a favor and pick it up immediately, from wherever you get your books (you can also buy direct from the author). In fact, pick up all her books. You won’t be disappointed. Rating: A+.