curtsies and conspiracies

Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Released November 5, 2013.

This is the second book in Carriger’s young adult Finishing School series.  Sophronia is still getting into all sorts of trouble aboard the floating finishing school she attends.  It’s an unusual finishing school that prepares its students to be spies and agents as well as ladies of quality.  The girls are tested on their skills and Sophronia when is announced as getting record high scores, the other girls shun her.  Sophronia tries to fill the loss of her friendships by spending more time down in the boiler rooms, but soon she has other distractions.  Boys from Bunsen’s school are on board to travel with the female students to see the testing of a vehicle that will be able to travel the aether.  But there is more to it than that, and Sophronia is determined to figure out why and how the vampires and werewolves are involved.

I loved the first book in the series and was pleased to see the second one lived up to the promise of the first.  Second books in series often suffer from a sophomore slump, but that is not the case here.  In fact, this book builds on the premise of the first and adds much more to the information that the readers have of this steampunk world and its rules.  It also has just as much action, subterfuge and adventure as the first, all done in petticoats and ruffles.

The best part of these books is the humor that laces everything.  Sophronia is a girl who sees past the beauty of society and into the ridiculousness beyond it.  She is a strong protagonist whose wry takes on her own world make for sparkling humor.

For teens looking for steampunk novels, this series is a great one to recommend.  Appropriate for ages 13-16.

Reviewed from digital review copy received from Edelweiss and Little, Brown.