Author: Gail Carriger
Date of Publication: January 1, 2013
Formats Available: Hardcover, Paperback, E-book
Buy This Book: Amazon
Synopsis: 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.
I'd forgotten how much I absolutely adore Gail Carriger's writing until I started reading this novel. By far one of her best works yet Curtsies & Conspiracies was wonderfully written and full of quirky characters who I just can't get enough of! Paired with the comical writing this novel had so much going for it that it was easy to over look the few slow spots and get engrossed in the wonderful story.
Sophronia was absolutely hilarious and I just love reading about her. When I started this series I was a bit worried because I usually don't like reading about characters under the age of seventeen, but Sophronia is the one exception to that rule. Even though she's fifteen she acts mature enough to keep me from rolling my eyes at her antics but still acts young enough to get away with some of her escapades. I love her down to earth personality and even though she finds herself in some entirely ridiculous situations her level headedness brings even more hilarity to the scene.
There also seems to be a bit of a love triangle forming, but not in a serious way. Romance in this series definitely takes a back seat, and considering the main character is fifteen, I think it works out perfectly. I feel like in many YA novels, no matter how young the main character is, always has some sort of romance going on. Because of that it's refreshing to have a main character who acts her age in that regard and rarely thinks about boys in any way other than her friends. I have no doubt that there is going to be some romance for Sophronia in the future but hopefully after she matures!
Like the last book there wasn't a huge amount of plot, but everything that happened was hugely entertaining just because of the way it was written. There were plenty of moments where I burst out laughing just because of the talent Carriger has of phrasing things in the most posh and outrageous way she possibly can. The whole novel feels like a bit of parody on the Regency era, but in the most positive way possible. With ridiculous names like Professor Shrimpdittle and Bumbersnoot there's absolutely nothing serious about this novel, but thats the reason I love it so much.
The Finishing School series is one of the stars of young adult steampunk and there is no doubt in my mind recommending this novel to fans of young adult. Old fans of Carriger will no doubt be impressed by this novel and those new to her work will definitely be clamoring for more!