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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School Book the Second)

Curtsies & Conspiracies - Gail Carriger

This is another YA series I picked up on the strength of it's author's adult series, in this case, the Parasol Protectorate.  (If you're an audio book fan and you think you'd be interested in the Parasol Protectorate series, do yourself a favour and get it in audio - this is one of those instances where the audio is better than the print.)

 

I liked the first book, Etiquette & Espionage, enough to order the second book and I opened C&C on Sunday afternoon wanting something light, fun and amusing.  I got all three in a quick read it was easy to fall into.

 

Sophronia's parents have sent her to finishing school because she's a hopeless tomboy, but it turns out this finishing school isn't your typical pinkie-raised, books-on-the-head establishment.  This is a school for ladies of fine breeding and highly evolved talents for espionage.  Floating high in the sky in dirigibles, the girls learn how best to faint delicately and which poison to use to off your opponent whilst keeping the rugs tidy.

 

Sophronia and her eclectic collection of friends are all likeable and a tiny bit odd while well on their way to eccentric.  Lady Kingair and Genevieve Lafou (from the Parasol Protectorate series) are regulars, although in their much younger years of course.

 

Ms. Carriger's writing is lovely - really well done, and she uses the *best* words and names!  Just a small sampling:

 

"'Oh my goodness, is that an electrosplit goopslimer port?  I do believe it is.  And is that a Thurshbotham pip-monger swizzle sprocket?  Oh, two swizzle sprockets!'  Vieve was practically squeaking in excitement."

 

In some ways the absurdity of it all reminds me of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, even if the stories aren't remotely similar.

 

The plot itself revolves around a trip to London, a mysterious group that's trying to kidnap Sophronia's best friend and an over arching theme of supernaturals vs. scientists.  There continue to be quite a few tie-ins with the Parasol Protectorate; similar characters and similar themes and conflicts.  While I could nit pick a bit, I'm not going to, because I can't say for certain that my criticisms aren't age-related.  I'm not this book's target audience and what may not work for me may work brilliantly for that demographic.

 

I find this series so far to be vastly entertaining and I'm looking forward to introducing my best friend's daughter to them when next I see her.  I'm also looking forward to book the third.