Rating: ★★★★ 1/2
Synopsis: Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style–with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspected what–or who–they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all.
Huge thank you to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Netgalley for this ARC!
I think of all of the Finishing School novels, this one might easily be my favourite. It was crazy, cracked out and just plain fun from start to finish. Furthermore every character in this series got some great development, so it was nice to have a bit more about Sophronia and her gang of nut cases.
Gail Carriger’s writing continues to delight in this instalment, and for those who are huge Parasol Protectorate fans, this book has so many references it’s pretty fabulous. I admit, reading this book on the bus ride home and giggling in public — yeah, that happened pretty often. It’s just great to see some of the references being made to her other series and the interaction between those characters and the ones of Finishing School is just done with such ease.
Can I also say how much I loved Bumbersnoot in this book? Oh my goodness, Bumbersnoot.
This series just has such a fun tone overall, and despite this one being a lot darker in atmosphere compared to the previous two, I feel like there’s still so much to offer fans of this series and of Parasol Protectorate. Carriger also makes the supernatural elements and the political conflicts amongst the paranormals to be very complex, but not so complex that the novel is over saturated by it. There’s just a great balance between the political, the character conflicts, the humour and the supernatural and I adored it from start to finish.
This means, however, that the wait for Manners and Mutiny is going to be insanely painful. I need it now. Like, right now. Please?