by Gail Carriger
Publication Date: March 17th, 2015
Format Read: Kindle E-Book
From New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger comes a new novel in the world of the Parasol Protectorate starring Prudence, the daughter of Alexia Tarabotti.
When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (Rue to her friends) is given an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female would under similar circumstances – names it the Spotted Custard and floats to India in pursuit of the perfect cup of tea. But India has more than just tea on offer. Rue stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier’s wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis and an embarrassing lack of bloomers, what else is a young lady of good breeding to do but turn metanatural and find out everyone’s secrets, even thousand-year-old fuzzy ones?
Here is the scoop: if you liked Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series (and, honestly, who doesn’t?), you will like this book. If you have not read the Parasol Protectorate series, you do not have to do so to enjoy Prudence, but I will guarantee that there are probably fifty inside jokes that you will miss. Which is sad.
Prudence is set in the same world, roughly eighteen years after the last book in the Parasol series and featuring, not our favorite characters, but the children of our favorite characters. Front and foremost is Prudence, nicknamed Rue, with her best friend Primrose, her brother Percy, and the dashing Quesnel Lefoux. They’re a bit of a special crew, Rue especially. She’s a metanatural, able to ‘steal’ werewolf or vampire form off of any supernatural creature.
Readers at the beginning will appreciate references to favored characters–the beloved Lord Akeldama, known simply as Dama, Rue’s ‘Uncle Rabiffano’, Ivy the ‘Queen Mums’, and numerous others. Slightly later on, when Rue is given an airship and a mission from her Dama, things really pick up. Rue, Primrose, Percy and Quesnel sail off to India, supposedly on a mission to protect some very good tea, but hijinks and complications ensue.
The book is written with Carriger’s usual light touch and humor, which fans will appreciate. The characters are all as lively and well-written as their parents, although also clearly their own personalities. There are elements of each character you can pluck out and say ‘aha! I know where that comes from!’ (for instance, Primrose’s acting talent, or Rue’s utter lack of subtlety), but also elements each character makes uniquely their own.
The plot is equally lively, without a dull or humorless moment. And yet, there are moments when Carriger touches on the issues of colonization and the difficult nature of progress. If the book is a satire, it’s a gentle one, merely taking a few moments out of the general fun to question history. Mostly, however, it’s a romp on an airship through politics, intrigue, tea and the aether. It’s the sort of plot that doesn’t recommend itself to greater thought, but it’s a wonderful thing to read when one just wants to laugh.
All in all, yet another Gail Carriger novel–wild, funny, and sweet, a light read that many will enjoy.
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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us.