Posted in Loved It, Speculative, steampunk

Waistcoats & Weaponry

Waistcoats & Weaponry

Author: Gail Carriger

Genre: Speculative, steampunk

Rating: L

Synopsis:

Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style–with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspected what–or who–they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all.

Gather your poison, steel tipped quill, and the rest of your school supplies and join Mademoiselle Geraldine’s proper young killing machines in the third rousing installment in the New York Times bestselling Finishing School Series by steampunk author, Gail Carriger.

Bluestocking’s Opinion: I think what I liked most about this book is that fact that there was finally a tie-in to the Parasol Protectorate series! Last book we got to see Lord Akeldama, but I wanted there to be some overlap with plot. Finally, we got to see the effect of Lord Maccon leaving the Scotland pack and how Niall became the new leader even though he wasn’t an Alpha. I’m really interested to see where the author is going to go with the whole Pickleman plot. I don’t recall seeing them in the Parasol Protectorate series. Perhaps Sophronia deals them a heavy blow so they go underground? That would be interesting. I’m hoping by the end of this series we will see Sophronia’s story tie into that of Alexia’s. Anyway, this was a great read. I love the school’s slogan of “sovereign, sovereigns, or seduction.” Words every woman should live by.

I really want one of those bladed fans like what Sophronia has in the picture.  It’s practical for cooling oneself as well as defense and attack.

Other books in the Series Etiquette & Espionage and Curtsies & Conspiracies

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Posted in Loved It, Speculative, steampunk

Curtsies & Conspiracies

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Teaser: “I’m certain it isn’t. Now, let go of the young viscount this moment and behave like a proper lady!”

Author: Gail Carriger

Genre: Speculative, steampunk

Rating: L

Synopsis:

Overview

Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill four fully grown guests?
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 field 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.

In this sequel to New York Times bestselling Etiquette & Espionage, class is back in session with more petticoats and poison, tea trays and treason. Gail’s distinctive voice, signature humor, and lush steampunk setting are sure to be the height of fashion this season.

Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: This was a fun read. I blew through it pretty quickly. I enjoyed this book a lot more since I read the Parasol Protectorate series. Some of the characters in that series are much younger in this book. I’ve been trying to determine whether Sophronia appears in the Parasol Protectorate under a different name. I’m not seeing it thus far if she is in the earlier series. The other thing I’m trying to understand is why Sigheag was sent to a finishing school that specializes in espionage. The whole point of this school seems to produce graduates who will have some sort of assignment in addition to having a position in society. Perhaps as the series progresses the reader will get to see what Sidheag’s post graduate mission will be.

I thought adding the all boys school to this book was an interesting plot line; particularly since the school in question produces evil geniuses. I hope there is more collaboration between the students feom both schools in the future. I think the author used this plotline to establish a future love interest for Sophronia, but time will tell if that angle is correct.

I have to say, one of the things I really enjoy about this series is the names! Shrimpdittle, Dingleproops, Plumleigh-Teignmott, Bumbersnoot- these are some great character names. Some of the names are quite lyrical. I think I mentioned it before, but I will definitely be naming my dog Bumbersnoot.

Anyway, this was another great read. I’m definitely looking forward to the next book in this series.

Posted in Loved It, paranormal, Speculative, steampunk

Etiquette & Espionage

Etiquette & Espionage
Etiquette & Espionage

Teaser:

Until that moment, the bonnet had been rather smart– red with black velvet ribbons and crimson ostrich feathers. The addition of trifle, it must be admitted, made it less smart.

Author: Gail Carriger

Genre: Speculative, steampunk, paranormal

Rated: L

Synopsis:

It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.
Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but the also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.
Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate, this YA series debut is filled with all the saucy adventure and droll humor Gail’s legions of fans have come to adore.

Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: This book was fantastic. I’ve seen a number of people reviewing the Parasol Protectorate series, but I had yet to pick up a book by Ms. Garriger. I was quite a page turner. Even though I had never read any of the books in the other series, I didn’t have any trouble following the “world” in which the book was written. I am curious whether any of the characters in this series appeared in the prior series. I have to say that I would love to go to a school that was on a hot air balloon! Because I read this book, I’ve now decided to name any dog I get, Bumpersnoot. I liked the main character of the book Sophronia. She was very spunky. I thought it was pretty funny that by the end of the book, Sophronia was becoming more a “lady” despite her abhorrence of turning into her older sister Petunia. I hope that the rest of the books in the series centers around a different character.