Title: Curtsies & Conspiracies
Author: Gail Carriger
Series: Finishing School Book the Second (read the review for Book One here)
Who’s it for? Teens
What’s it about? It’s been six months since Sophronia started at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality and there’s sinister plots afoot, an interesting new development in technology, not to mention an intriguing school trip to London which may not be all it seems…
What’s good about it? I still love the writing style. It’s witty, entertaining and really quite exciting. It feels more … settled, which is perhaps the wrong word but a lot of the first book did involve really getting to know the characters and in this that set up isn’t necessary.
The characters are still as fun as ever. Sophronia is a great main character. She’s smart, quietly observant and very good at climbing in a dress. In this, she’s a little more exposed to the world of courting and flirting as a young gentleman named Felix shows great interest in her. That said she’s also got some very confused thoughts regarding her friend Soap, which lends itself to the beginning of a teeny love triangle. I normally loathe love triangles with a fiery passion, but this one … isn’t actually so bad. Mostly because it’s a secondary thing, the important part here is Sophronia’s ingenuity and smarts as she sets about solving the latest plot as Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.
I still adore the universe this is set in. Vampires, Werewolves and High Society – what’s not to love? All the technology, everything about the school, I just couldn’t get enough of it. I especially found the lessons to be just as fascinating as in the first book.
Lord Akledama makes an appearance! This made me happier than I suspect it should have done. However, if you’ve no idea who I’m on about then I definitely recommend reading Gail Carriger’s other series, The Parasol Protectorate (definite, ahem, romance, so younger teens may want to hold off for a little while before reading). Needless to say, his appearance in this book made me smile like a fool for several pages.
What’s bad about it? No niggles, I was entertained from start to finish!
The verdict? This series continues to be so much fun to read. It’s a brilliantly quirky, witty book that I felt improved on the first book, which is saying something considering how much I loved Etiquette & Espionage. The world building is fantastic and I’m loving all the little nods to the Parasol Protectorate series.
So to sum up, if you love the idea of a steampunk world with Vampires and Werewolves, somewhat reluctantly, mixing with high society and an intriguing plot line then this series is for you. It’s a lot of fun, I promise!