Curtsies & Conspiracies: Finishing School #2 by Gail Carriger

Book Review:

While still a fun read, the complexities, the clever dialogue and the most intriguing aspects of the first story were, sadly missing in this installment.  I was hoping for more of the skill that Carriger brings to her adult-themed stories, with their clear pathway and well-developed characters.  As in the first book (Etiquette & Espionage) the characters are all fairly middle of the road, what started with some promise has fallen flat with some strange point of view changes that are quite jarring. 

From limited 3rd person to omniscient, too many he said, she said, and several lengthy passages were we are being told rather than shown the action and events, the story read quickly, but that was it. I was reading along, dragged hither and thither without any real need for input or imagination.  Sophrenia is just as adorable here, with her occasional flashes of insight and humor, but there are far too many moments of dialogue that are simply there, without real purpose but to check in on the multitude of characters and their difficulties until they come into Sophrenia’s circle.

Sadly, I see this happen often.  Authors who are clever and well-received in their more adult-themed stories tend to simplify their plots and characters to appeal to a younger audience.  Unfortunately, children and teens are far more capable of understanding and recognizing complexity in stories, and they are craving something MORE in their books and films. It isn’t always about a romance and the language or sexual content – several would do well to recognize that some things: acceptance, finding your place, making friends, discovering and uncovering answers to mysteries appear to us all – no matter what age.

There is still some of the clever word-play and unique names, and Carriger has brought the action and story forward for a predictable but undoubtedly amusing conclusion, but the multitude of conspiracies, red herrings and sometimes outright unneeded character involvement.  A fun read, but in a passive and pass the time sort of way, sadly I don’t believe I will continue with this series.

Curtsies & Conspiracies: Finishing School #2 by Gail Carriger

Title: Curtsies & Conspiracies
Author: Gail Carriger
Genre: Historical Fiction, Teen Reads
Published by: Hachette Book Group
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 329
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 30 minutes
Rated: three-stars
Get Your Copy: Amazon AllRomance iTunes Downpour IndieBound Audible
See this Title on Goodreads

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 field 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 this sequel to New York Times bestselling Etiquette & Espionage, class is back in session with more petticoats and poison, tea trays and treason. Gail's distinctive voice, signature humor, and lush steampunk setting are sure to be the height of fashion this season.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Gail Carriger

New York Times Bestseller Gail Carriger writes comedies of manners mixed with paranormal romance (and the sexy San Andreas Shifter series as G.L. Carriger). Her books include the Parasol Protectorate, Custard Protocol, and Supernatural Society series for adults, and the Finishing School series for young adults. She is published in many languages and has over a dozen New York Times bestsellers. She was once an archaeologist and is fond of shoes, octopuses, and tea

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