Monday, 11 November 2013

Curtsies & Conspiracies - Gail Carriger

Pages: 310
Publisher: Atom
Release Date: 5th November
Edition: UK paperback, review copy

Other Titles by this Author: Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless, Timeless, Etiquette & Espionage

Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill six fully grown guests?

Sophronia’s first year at school has certainly been rousing. First, her finishing school is training her to be a spy (won’t Mummy be surprised!), secondly, she gets mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and has a cheese pie thrown at her. Now, as Sophronia steals around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers’ quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship’s boiler room, she discovers there might be more to a school trip to London than first appears...

Sophronia must rely on her training to uncover who is behind a dangerous plot and what role Mademoiselle Geraldine plays in the affair. Which is almost as challenging as surviving the London season with a full dance card!

The first book in this series was endless fun and constant adventure and Curtsies & Conspiracies was the same. I loved it!

I adore the madcap world that Gail Carriger has created. A dirigible finishing school, highway men in top hats, vampire professors and mechanimals – I want to be a part of it. I think that there are a few things that really set the world-building and immersion in Sophronia’s life apart: the names of characters are completely ridiculous, the word choices are obscure and amusing and most of the characters themselves are rather bumbling and odd. All of this comes through in a quirky, subtle humour that constantly had me smirking to myself.

Sophronia’s world was thrown slightly into confusion in Curtsies & Conspiracies, and not just while she was stealing down to the boiler room; boys. Now I kind of fell a little in love with sootie, Soap in book one, and book two did nothing to quell that. Then the high-ranking, charming and gorgeous Lord Mersey, otherwise known as Felix, is thrown into the mix. I thought that this was a real nice take on a love triangle. Sophronia flirts with both boys, who are hanging on her every look, but she has no idea that she’s doing it, and she sincerely denies all crushes. It’s brilliant. I love the innocence and the humour that this brings to the story and it’s so, so refreshing.

There’s a lot going on in Sophronia’s version of Victorian England, and most of it is completely different to how it actually was. There’s just so much to learn about this world! In Curtsies & Conspiracies we were thrown deeper into the world of the vampires and their fascinating hierarchies and ways of life. There are vampires queens, hives, drones and tethers to complicate matters and for the girls to figure out how they fit into the secret matters being planned aboard Mademoiselle Geraldine’s. New vampire mythology is rare nowadays so I was really pleased to learn about something different and genuinely interesting. Also, poor Professor Braithwope...

This series is full of fun, intrigue and wit and I can’t wait for book three. Quickly please!

Thanks to Atom for the review copy!


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