I can’t believe it’s been two years since I last listened to a book in the Custard Protocol series from Gail Carriger, but here it is, the third installment in this rather twisty and occasionally ridiculously fun series, narrated by Moira Quirk
Perhaps the series I had the hardest time to connect with, the crew is aboard the Spotted Custard and this is really more an exploration of the world of steampunk and the influences of sexuality and identity that are brought to bear on the characters, while allowing us to find Prim’s story and what concerns her, even as the action moments were not the highlight in this story. A bit less engaging and developed than earlier books, here the crew is headed to Peru and it feels as if Prim’s heart is more interested in her own appearance and Percy’s growth.
Yes, there were new elements included, and a “Spanish Inquisition- like’ series of moments that while amusing, often failed to pack the punch and intrigue that I’ve found in earlier works. Sure, getting to know Prim and Percy was interesting, and I’d have to say that no one manages to explore sensitive issues of self-identity, choice, acceptance and diversity into a story with quite the same flair. Getting this inside look on the ‘questions’ that characters struggle with, they are young adults (barely) as well, adds a level of depth that was, quite frankly, missing from the world-building in this story. More focused on romance and the ‘outward’ bearing and less on the layered adventures and introduction of new characters. I truly felt as if there was much in this story that happened off-page or was never quite elucidated to the level of earlier titles.
Moira Quirk provided the narration for this book and series, and as always, she’s presenting the story, characters and tone with flair and distinction, each character was unique and distinct, and easy to understand. She’s clearly familiar with the story, and manages to keep interest in dialogue by adjusting the pacing, the retorts, and allowing listeners moments to ‘catch’ the more important pieces where information comes in with a suggestion of important, and grasping those details helps in understanding both the concepts and the action in the story.
Stars: Overall 3 Narration: 4 Story: 3
Author: Gail Carriger
Series: The Custard Protocol #3
Also in this series: Prudence, Imprudence
Genre: Paranormal, Science Fiction / Steampunk, Victorian
Narrator: Moira Quirk
Published by: Hachette Audio, Orbit
Published on: 17 July, 2018
Source: Hachette Audio
Audio Length: 11 Hours: 52 minutes
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All alone in Singapore, proper Miss Primrose Tunstell must steal helium to save her airship, the Spotted Custard, in a scheme involving a lovesick werecat and a fake fish tail.
When she uncovers rumors of a new kind of vampire, Prim and the Custard crew embark on a mission to Peru. There, they encounter airship pirates and strange atmospheric phenomena, and are mistaken for representatives of the Spanish Inquisition.
Forced into extreme subterfuge (and some rather ridiculous outfits) Prim must also answer three of life's most challenging questions:
Can the perfect book club give a man back his soul?
Will her brother ever stop wearing his idiotic velvet fez?
And can the amount of lard in Christmas pudding save an entire species?
A copy of this title was provided via Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.