Finishing School #4. Author: Gail Carriger.
If one must flirt…flirt with danger.
Lessons in the art of espionage aboard Mademoiselle Geraldine’s floating dirigible have become tedious without Sophronia’s sweet sootie Soap nearby. She would much rather be using her skills to thwart the dastardly Picklemen, yet her concerns about their wicked intentions are ignored, and now she’s not sure whom to trust. What does the brusque werewolf dewan know? On whose side is the ever-stylish vampire Lord Akeldama? Only one thing is certain: a large-scale plot is under way, and when it comes to fruition, Sophronia must be ready to save her friends, her school, and all of London from disaster–in decidedly dramatic fashion, of course.
The mysteriously shady picklemen and their (probably) nefarious plans have finally coagulated into a real, substantial threat. One that, given the goofy nature of the books, seems surprisingly real for the steampunk setting: mass control of mechanicals. Given society’s wide-spread reliance, they could create complete havoc in a matter of hours. Sophronia rises to the challenge with commendable selflessness and an A-level grasp on her intelligencer lessons, creating a satisfyingly climatic final book.
So the main plot: good. The side-romance-plot: errrr….
As you should remember, Soap is a werewolf now. To be honest, I quite like the new self-confidence and assertiveness this has wrought in him. I think Sophronia’s treated him quite badly with the best of intentions, assuming that he would never expect something like love, or, heavens forbid, a relationship from a lady of her standing, no matter what silent signals she was sending. And more has changed with his werewolf infection than paranormal power and better social standing; Soap is no longer going to stand for this treatment.
But I’m still mad about the conclusion. Beware of spoilers!
Sexual Content: Comments on tight-cinched ball gown that shows off decolletage. Some kissing. Romantic-plot spoiler behind cut:
Violence: One character shoots another in the side. Mechanical explodes, throwing shrapnel out, and while nobody’s killed multiple people are left bleeding from surface wounds. Man shoots a worker dead. One character hits another over the head with a book. Ship-nappers keep the workers controlled and moving with whips. They also imprison a vampire, naked, in a heated iron-bar cage. Characters rescuing the ship let the vampire loose to feed on one of his torturers, than throw the man in question overboard. Bomb explodes, instantly killing several characters. One dirigible crash, involving some unseen loss of life again.