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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review: Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School #2) by Gail Carriger

Publisher: Little, Brown Books For Young Readers
Published: November 5, 2013
Pages: 320
Source: For Review from Hachette Book Group Canada
Rating: 4 Stars

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 school 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 short: Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger is a strong and inventive sequel to a brilliantly quirky series.
When I read Etiquette & Espionage earlier this year, I was instantly smitten. And how could I not be? With hilariously clever writing, memorably vibrant characters, and a refreshingly whimsical tone, Etiquette & Espionage was simply a joy to read! I was so impressed at Gail Carriger's talent for humorous scenes and fast paced entertaining plots that I couldn't wait to return to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality to read more about Sophronia and her adventures with her ragtag group of friends in Curtsies & Conspiracies.

And thankfully, the fun continues in Curtsies & Conspiracies! The stakes are raised a bit as well as Sophronia becomes entangled in numerous conspiracies and gets to practice her ever-broadening intelligencer skills. Gail Carriger somehow manages to weave these multiple storylines into one tightly paced and expertly plotted book that culminates in a chaotic climax. The cast of characters - both main and supporting - are as vibrant and fun as ever. A bit of a love triangle is introduced in Curtsies & Conspiracies and while I remain firmly Team Soap, neither gentleman is a viable option for a lady of Sophronia's position so I'm curious how that will play out.

Curtsies & Conspiracies is capital entertainment. It is perhaps a bit fluffy, but I welcomed it. Gail Carriger combines the paranormal and steampunk genres to create a fresh and inventive plot in a hilariously exaggerated Victorian setting. Curtsies & Conspiracies is a strong sequel to a brilliantly quirky series. Highly recommended.

Previously, my review of Etiquette & Espionage.

Other Reviews:
Megan Likes Books
The Nocturnal Library

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  1. I loved the first book in this series too, so I'm glad to hear that the second one was just as fun :)

  2. I've been wanting to read Gail's adult books for a long time, so I hope to finally read SOMETHING by her. This series sounds like a lot of fun too and I'm happy to hear you enjoyed the first two!

  3. Ah, I remember we spoke about this series (I love it's name, by the way) on Instagram and I must say that it sounds fantastic from your review. I quite like the idea of an amalgamation of paranormal and steampunk in a Victorian setting. I mean, how much cooler can it get? Besides, it perfectly matches the covers of the first and second book as well. Also, the author's writing skill sounds very classic and I'd love to give the series a try sometime. I'm glad you enjoyed this book, Aylee. You've tempted me to read this soon with your awesome review!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

  4. I'm not thrilled with the introduction of a love triangle but this series is so light and cute I think I'll be able to handle it. I can't see Carriger making it a big drawn out angsty thing.

  5. I've heard so many good things about Etiquette & Espionage and I've been meaning to read it since forever though I still haven't gotten around to it. I would've bumped this up in my TBR pile but I refrained from doing so at the mere mention of love triangle. Much as I like to read a hilariously good book like this, I can't unless the pairing is established.

  6. I actually got a copy of this one at BEA and I was hoping to get my hands on book 1 before this one came out but, I failed :( I still remember reading your review of the first one and getting really excited about it hehe so I'm glad book two was an enjoyable read for you :D Sometimes a light and entertaining read is needed! I'm a little bummed about the old triangle showing up here but not enough to make me not want to get into the series! Lovely review Aylee^^

  7. Ah, I'm so glad that you and I both continued to enjoy this series as it went on, even if you liked the first book most and liked the second and third less, whilst it went quite the other way with me. I'm so interested to see where the fourth book goes (I'm betting the cover will be orange, just putting it out there), especially in regards to Sophronia and Soap (that plot twist). Ahh. It's exciting, Aylee! xx