Title: Curtsies & Conspiracies
Author: Gail Carriger
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Finishing School (Book 2)
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages
ISBN-10: 031619011X (LB Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-0316190114 (LB Teen)
Reviewed by: Michelle
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 school 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.
Quick & Dirty: Carriger knows how to write paranormal, for all ages. A wonderful and riveting sequel.
Opening Sentence: “Miss Temminnick.”
Gail Carriger has done it again with Curtsies & Conspiracies, the second book in the Finishing School series. From vampires, to aether technology, and a conspiracy well worth conspiring about, Carriger has hooked me again. This book has captivated me from the first few pages until the very end. Carriger has left me wanting more, enough so that I’ll have to reread this book again to satisfy my literary hunger. Let me explain why I’m gushing so much.
In Curtsies & Conspiracies, Sophronia is nearing the end of her first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. While one would originally think that it is a school for lessons in proper etiquette and manners, but alas they are training her to become a spy! During one of Sophronia’s late night jaunts around the school, she stumbled upon a conspiracy. From the looks of things, this conspiracy is of catastrophic proportions! A sudden field trip, a stolen device, and a traitor amongst the midst is the perfect recipe of a conspiracy! Of course, Sophronia must rely on everything she has learned to solve the mystery. But how much danger will she find herself in?
Sophronia is just as amazing as she was in Etiquette & Espionage. I feel that she has grown a little more mature, but still containing that wicked gleam in her eye. I feel that she’s more daring, calculating each step and step after that. I enjoyed reading her voice. For a main character that’s set in a paranormal world, her voice is relatable and realistic.
Carriger always has a great supporting cast, and in Curtsies & Conspiracies, the ones I loved came back just as fun, just as snarky, and definitely just as entertaining, if not more. Vieve, the sootie that Sophronia became close friends with, has a more defined role this time. She’s a lot of fun! She’s young, she’s smart, and definitely compliments Sophronia’s antics. Carriger’s other characters all play important parts, and I enjoyed revisiting with them all.
I love stories that are set in historical times, and to add a paranormal element is even better. Carriger has always described her settings in a way that plays like a movie in my mind. Her descriptions are very detailed and vibrant. But the part that impresses me the most is that most of this story takes place aboard the ship. It’s amazing how a ship transforms into this whole other world.
Curtsies & Conspiracies is a fantastic read filled with a daring adventure with engaging characters. I highly urge you to read this, and Etiquette & Espionage if you haven’t already.
Sophronia could feel her shoulders tensing and fought to keep them down. Were my choices correct? Do they want the expected route, or is it better if I did something out of the ordinary? Will they send me down? Sophronia was in ever greater fear that her sojourn at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s might come to a premature end. Only have half a year ago she had resisted finishing school with every fiber of her being, until she realized Mademoiselle Geraldine’s offered no ordinary education. Now she dreaded the possibility of returning home to her former life.
Lady Linette said, “Everyone’s results are given together. You will receive your final marks in front of your peers.”
Sophronia’s heart sank. This explained the pale faces of the other girls – anticipated trauma.
Finishing School Series:
3. Waistcoats & Weaponry (2014)
FTC Advisory: Little, Brown BFYR/Hachette Book Group provided me with a copy of Curtsies & Conspiracies. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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