The Compulsive Reader: Curtsies and Conspiracies: Finishing School Book the Second by Gail Carriger

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Curtsies and Conspiracies: Finishing School Book the Second by Gail Carriger

Sophronia never thought she’d enjoy finishing school, but Mademoiselle Geraldine’s school is unlike any other. After a rather interesting start and making many allies (and a few enemies), Sophronia and the first form class prepare for their first examinations. When Sophronia is suddenly ostracized by her peers after receiving the best marks in her class, she suspects a conspiracy that may run deeper than schoolgirl whims.

Carriger’s use of humor, oftentimes constructed by the ridiculous nature of Victorian etiquette, is the main device by which she builds her steampunk world and fleshes it out so wonderfully. The book includes more inventions, new circles of society, and poses the question of who the girls are really working for. With Sophronia on the case, questions usually lead to more questions, but the journey is delightful and full of adventure and thrills. Carriger maintains a nice balance between the character relationships and the greater conflict of the story, making for a nicely complicated and emotionally satisfying book.

Cover Comments: I love the cover, even though the girl looks a lot older than Sophronia, who is supposed to be 14-15. Nonetheless, it captures the fantastic mesh of Victorian setting with danger and airships (look closely at the wallpaper!). Fantastic.

ARC picked up at the Heartland Fall Forum.

Read the first book, Etiquette and Espionage. Also, check out the first book in Gail's adult series, Soulless. It's an excellent crossover book for YA readers. The third Finishing School book is called Waistcoats and Weaponry, and although I don't see an exact release date for it yet, it looks like it'll be out this time next year.

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