Waistcoats & Weaponry

September 4, 2017

Finishing School #3. Author: Gail Carriger.


Class is back in session….

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 hijack a suspiciously empty train to return their chum Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. But when Sophronia discovers they are being trailed by a dirigible of Picklemen and flywaymen, she unearths a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos. With her friends in mortal danger, Sophronia must sacrifice what she holds most dear–her freedom.

(Published summary)

My Thoughts:

A slightly different setting here than the previous books – rather than lessons and plots at school, most of the book takes place over a single (stolen) train ride. With Sophronia trapped in close quarters with both Felix and Soap, she’s finally forced to confront her feelings and figure out what’s going on here. About time, too; I think she’s enjoying the attention and care offered by both boys, while avoiding any real commitment. The seduction class ( Blah. Really? ) only illustrates this, as she’s eager enough to test out her lessons on Felix, but instantly alarmed when he reacts, as one would expect, with interest.

Content Review:

Sexual Content: Some teasing about flirting with a handsome teacher./ The students are aware that the werewolf teacher seems to wear nothing under his great overcoat. / The girls have their first seduction class – “Clothing can also transmit messages. Tight stays, for example, offer up to the gentleman the slenderness of one’s waist. Wouldn’t he like to put his hands about it? A low d├ęcolletage suggests that me might like to touch, just there.” “He may also wish to kiss just there. […] The very best ones like to kiss all over.” However, the teacher does then say they must discuss “the boundaries you must keep in place to preserve your reputation” and “We may even study some light anatomy. Anything more than that, I hope you all understand, is reserved for the marriage bed.” / Light flirting, including hand-kissing. Girl notes that her ball gown shows a goodly amount of cleavage: “One never knows when one might need to hide or distract; d├ęcolletage is good for both.”/ “It was a mark of how little, if ever, Mrs. Temminick had fraternized with werewolves that she had decided to categorize both as friendly dogs, rather than naked men.” (the werewolves are in wolf form). / Two male werewolves shift to human in emergency in front of a couple of people, including one school girl – both, unavoidably, are naked.

Language: One exclamation of “God’s bones!” Two uses of ‘bloody’.

Violence: Sparring student takes the guard off her blade and draws blood, but not much. Knife fight between two girls, one of them minorly hurt, then tied up. One character shoots another in the leg. Train rams airdingy, destroying it (nobody hurt). News that a werewolf pack leader, betrayed, has killed his beta and abandoned them to take over a new pack (by killing that alpha). One character shoots another in the gut. One character tries to make the change to werewolf, supposed to be excruciatingly painful – mostly off screen, but the characters can hear disturbing sounds.

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