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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Friday, September 26, 2014

Finishing School series by Gail Carriger

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1) by Gail Carriger

Mechanicals and mayhem!

Faceless Mechanicals, valves that help travel the aether, dubious finishing schools, vampires and werewolves are all part of this Victorian steam punk spy-in-training romp. Sophronia has been sent to finishing school to try to cure her bad habits including climbing and taking things apart to see how they work. Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality is somewhat more than she expected and certainly her "to be" decorous education takes unexpected twists and turns.
A sometimes farcical caper that introduces some excellent characters and exciting possibilities. There is of course the 'mean girl' and a host of others. The sense of mystery is heightened by the fact that the school is a dirigible or several dirigibles, always moving. Entrancing! "What Ho and away!"

A NetGalley ARC

Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School #2) by Gail Carriger 

...the captivation continues!

The world of Sophronia at Miss Geraldine's unconventional school for would be spies and assassins continues to delight. Sorophina is  shunned by her friends, sought after by Felix Mersey, Viscount of Golborne, becomes involved in nefarious plots and does some mighty stunning plotting of her own.
Leader of the sooties (coal stokers in the school's engine room,) Soap, is once more present as is the young inventor, 10 year old Vieve Lefoux who badly wants to go to Bunson and Lacroix's Boys' Polytechnique, the evil geniuses training school.
Did I mention Bumpersnoot, Sophronia's mechanical dog / Italian handbag is again part of the picture. What a hoot! 
The occasional Sophronia reflection, 'many gentlemen were unable to cope with abundant chatter, which is why they so often married it,' is pure delight.
What with kidnapping attempts, lessons about d├ęcolletage, handsome young lords, plots pitting rival powerful factions against each other, including the Flyaymen and Picklemen and the supernatural shadow court to Queen Victoria,  Sophronia is fully engaged. 
All seems to revolve around the possibility of 'vampires floating through the aetherosphere.' Danger lurks as a constant under-thrum throughout the entire goings on. 
As her friend Lady Sidheag Kingair once said to Sophronia, "Life's always more interesting when I chum about with you."
The "What Ho-ing" never falters! 

A NetGalley ARC

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