Friday, May 8, 2015

Review: Prudence

Title: The Custard Protocol #1: Prudence

Author: Gail Carriger

Date of Publication: March 17, 2015

Formats Available: Hardcover, Paperback, E-book

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Synopsis: From New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger comes a new novel in the world of the Parasol Protectorate starring Prudence, the daughter of Alexia Tarabotti.

When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (Rue to her friends) is given an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female would under similar circumstances - names it the Spotted Custard and floats to India in pursuit of the perfect cup of tea. But India has more than just tea on offer. Rue stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier's wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis and an embarrassing lack of bloomers, what else is a young lady of good breeding to do but turn metanatural and find out everyone's secrets, even thousand-year-old fuzzy ones?

My Review:

Every author out there has a book that just didn't quite turn out. Some of them are horrendous failures, but some are just books that are obviously not the authors best work. Prudence is one of those books. While I wouldn't call this  book a failure, I wouldn't say it was Carriger's best work either. Though the writing was fantastic, as it always is, everything else from lack of plot to poor character development really brought this novel down. 

The number one problem in this novel was our heroine, Rue. Bratty, rude, and annoying, she was everything I hate in a main character and more. I kept waiting for her to show some shred of intelligence but instead I was subjected to her shallow inner dialogue making fun of everyone and their fashion choices. Prim, her best friend, wasn't any better but I wouldn't have minded a shallow best friend character if the main character had shown any amount of smarts, which she didn't. 

The other major thing wrong was that this novel had almost no plot at all. Things do start to pick up toward the very end, but other than that I was completely bored by the majority of the book. Most of the book was spent listening to Rue and Prim compare fashions and make fun of Prim's twin Percy, both of which were entertaining every once and awhile but honestly got old fast. Not only that but, I quickly grew tired of Rue bumbling around looking for "tea" when she had quite obviously embroiled herself in a different conflict and was too dumb to realize. Though the story had the potential for conflict every time I thought something was going to happen, it just didn't.

Though I couldn't stand any of the characters and the plot left much to be desired, there was one diamond in the rough and that was Quesnel. My favorite hero of Carriger's so far I fell absolutely in love with him and his rakish personality. The only bearable parts of the novel were the ones where he was around teasing Rue, dropping French endearments, and otherwise being completely swoon worthy. The only reason I kept plodding away at this one was so I could see more of Quesnel, and he didn't even play as big of a role as I would have liked.

Though I'm willing to read the next book (only because I'm so in love with Quesnel) I wasn't impressed by the first installment of The Custard Protocol series. Hopefully Rue grows up a little in the next one, but really, I'll just be reading for Quesnel.


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