Friday, June 5, 2015

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


SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS:
Sophronias first year at Mademoiselle Geraldines Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing. For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy. Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ships boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a school trip to London than is at first apparent. A conspiracy is afootone 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.
MY TAKE:
The more I read of this series, the more I like Sophronia and steampunk in general.

In Curtsies and Conspiracies, the girls of Mademoiselle Geraldine's have several male visitors joining them in the dirigible. Whatever for? That's what they'll find out when they get to London, where more pieces of the mystery of the prototype will be revealed.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love the idea of espionage mixed with finishing school, and this book contains plenty of both. It made me quite happy, especially seeing as how the girls of Mademoiselle Geraldine's and the boys of Bunson have plenty of funny lines, which helped keep the book from being too heavy and serious.

The whole plot of the dirigibles and aethers felt a little too complicated to me, though. The sheer number of groups and interested parties in the mystery felt like it was a tangled, free-for-all thing. Of course, since this is only the second book in the series, we can't expect everything to make sense right away. As messy as some things may seem, I can only assume that later it will all be revealed that things were more tightly woven than they appeared.

The strength of this book, and the first book as well, were the characters, their sense of humor, and also Sohpronia's love life. The interaction between all the characters were entertaining to watch. There were times when I wished this was a television series because there are plenty of priceless lines here.

Sophronia's friends have a more prominent role here, especially Dimity. Of Sophronia's friends, Sidheag is my favorite, but even though Dimity can be a little clueless sometimes, she's got a good heart so I can't help but like her as well.

As for Sophronia's love life, it just got more interesting with the addition of a new love interest, and subsequently both boys being more forward and making clear their intents. Love triangles don't always work for me as I tend to gravitate towards one immediately and then proceed to despise the other. However, here, I liked both boys. Soap is a good guy, and I like the whole noble-girl-working-class-boy matchup. Felix, on the other hand, is a charmer and a bit of a racist and classist, although that's more due to his upbringing than actual malice and dislike on his part. Now normally I would choose the nice guy, but in this instance, I'm actually partial to Felix. I think he's sincere and there's tons of chemistry between him and Sophronia. Also, they have a forbidden romance thing going on as well, which I like. Soap is sweet, but I think he's more best friend material for Sophronia. I think they're going to be endgame, though. That or Sophronia refuses to choose between the two and decides not to marry at all.

THE GOOD:

  1. It has the perfect mix of espionage and Victorian London.
  2. There are plenty of funny lines.
  3. The love interests both have good qualities and it's actually hard to choose between the two of them.

THE BAD:

  1. The plot of the entire series is looking a bit convoluted right now. 

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
“Unless Sophronia missed her guess, the poor lad was already developing romantic feelings toward her friend. Many of the sooties probably were. Dimity was so pretty and chattery, she quite overpowered the average male. Many gentlemen were unable to cope with abundant chatter, which is why they so often married it.” 
READ IT IF:

  1. If you like steampunk novels.
  2. If you like witty banter.
  3. If you like love triangles.

RATING:
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