Finishing School #3
Published: 4th November 2014
Format: ebook (available in paperback)
Price: £3.99 (Amazon.co.uk)
Sophronia and her deadly friends are back.
In Gail Carriger’s most recent novel set in the world of The Parasol Protectorate, Sophronia, Dimity, and friends, in an effort to help Sigheag get back to her pack hijack a train. The teenagers unfortunately uncover a Picklemen plot to throw the country into disarray in the process. There are casualties; in order to save her friend Soap from death by shooting, Sophronia makes a bargain with the most important werewolf in England.
This series is fun steampunk for young teenagers, but I still enjoy it. Mostly it’s an adventure, with cross-dressing girls and embarrassed boys having a lark with airships and trains. Each book in the series has introduced a slightly more mature storyline, as the characters grow up.
In general I enjoyed this novel. I enjoyed the writing style, description and characters, and the overall plot. I liked the background it provides for the Parasol Protectorate series, with regards to the Kingaire Pack and Lord Maccon. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the second book though; I wasn’t as engrossed by the story. I am looking forward to the forth book; Waistcoats and Weaponry is a good ‘opening chapter’ to the forth book. I felt as though it were just that though, a filler between #2 and #4, without a particularly strong plot of its own.
Bonus Review: The Curious Case of the Werewolf that Wasn’t, the Mummy that Was, and the Cat in the Jar.
Alessandro Tarrabotti is in Egypt with his servant Floote; officially they are there to have Aunt Archangellica’s cat mummified. Unofficially, Alessandro is on a mission for the Italian Templars, who despise the supernatural community. While in Egypt they bump into the siblings of an old school friend, who are officially tourists in a land that has no supernatural community. Unofficially, one of them is on a mission for the British government. And so the future parents of Alexia Tarrabotti meet.
It’s a funny short story that, as with the Finishing School series provides background to the Parasol Protectorate series. If you enjoyed Alexia’s adventures then this short story will add to the world building. It might be a bit confusing if you’ve never been to Gail Carriger’s alternative Victorian England though so I wouldn’t recommend it as an introduction. Soulless is the best way to introduce yourself to her world.