Review - Curtsies and Conspiracies

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Title: Curtsies and Conspiracies (Finishing School #2)
Author: Gail Carriger
"Sophronia's first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy (won't Mumsy be surprised?). Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.

Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers' quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship's boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a school trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot--one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card."
RELATED: Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1) | Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School #3) | Prudence (Custard Protocol #1)

Sephronia is back for another round of misadventure and intrigue. This time, her friend is in danger, hardly anyone is speaking to her, and there are gentlemen on board the ladies' flying finishing school. What should be a simple visit to London, for the floating school, is actually a cover for something more mysterious. Not only must Sephronia protect a friend who isn't talking to her, she must uncover the true mission before someone gets hurt.

Curtsies and Conspiracies is better than book one. The action picks up right away, and never really stops. Sephronia and Co, are always up to something, whether it is spying, tricking the bossy Monique, or hanging out in unladylike places. A boiler room with a bunch of fun sooties seems like a cool place to hang out in, for a reader anyways. I'd probably collapse onto the ground in a very real, unladylike faint in real life.

Speaking of sooties, I liked Soap more in the first book than I did in this one. He doesn't change much, but he's more open to the fact that he likes Sephronia in this one. I don't hate him as a possible romantic interest, so much as I don't think Sephronia is in a mental place where any romantic relationship would work out. So, I'm not too sure how I feel about this budding triangle. Felix is interesting. He appears to be everything that Soap is not, but there are hints there that he is more than what we see surface deep. And yet, I'm not a fan of him as a love interest either. Maybe it's the boys, maybe it's like I said that I see them through Sephronia's eyes and she is not in a place where she is considering them. She's starting to, but not quite there yet. We will see.

But the absolute best part of this book is a cameo from my favorite character from the Parasol Protectorate series, Lord Akeldama. I won't say much more because his appearance happens later in the book, but I will repeat that I love him. No one in this series captures the sarcastic humor of these book better than him.

Story wise, this book crosses more into the world established in the Parasol Protectorate series. But the author still keeps it fresh enough for someone who hasn't read that series, could read this YA one and still enjoy the complexity of the world the author created. Gail Carriger has created some of the most complex and creative rules governing the function of the otherworldly creatures I've read in a series. It's interesting, yet unique enough to belong only to this steampunkish world.

If you like Steampunk or proper Victorian women doubling as spies, than you may enjoy this series. But I warn you, you must like silly, sarcastic humor to really enjoy this book.

"No gentleman would ever meet a lady without appropriate headgear, even if that meeting was a joke."

"'What did you do now?' (Dmiity)
'Not me this time, I promise.' (Sepronia)
'It's always you.' (Sidheag)"

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