Title: Waistcoats & Weaponry
Author: Gail Carriger
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Hachette Book Group imprint)
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.
Waistcoats & Weaponry is as entertaining and exciting as adventure as the previous two installments. Mysterious, compelling, and ever so complicated, this is perhaps Sophronia's most dangerous adventure yet.
These are the things we've learned about Sophronia: she wants to know everything, she will always help those she considers close friends, she doesn't like not knowing what's going on around her, and she is most comfortable when in control of the situation. And this does rattle her, this mystery involving Sidheag and her werewolves up in Scotland. There is no question that she will not put down everything and go help. If I were in a similar situation, I would be thrilled to have Sophronia step in and take over, save the day as she so often does.
This time around, she's caught even more between Soap and Lord Mersey. Soap respects her, he will always understand the risks she takes and the decisions she makes. But Lord Mersey... I feel he respects her when it comes to certain things, and I fully believe he is waiting for the day when she will finally acquiesce to his wishes. In terms of Sophronia's own feelings, both of them confuse her. Soap with his changes in this book, and Lord Mersey with his knowledge of a group she is increasingly suspicious of. Both keep her from moving any further forward in terms of a relationship, but she has far too much to worry about.
What I love about this series in the contradiction in the tone. It's a rather serious tone, there's nothing to laugh about in regards to intelligencing and adventuring. Each girl, Sophronia especially, takes her time at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality very seriously, but the mishaps and the adventures, the names and personalities, are just so outrageous that I can't help but chuckle each time I turn the page.
Sophronia has been learning these past two years, of that there is no doubt, but when it comes to putting it all into practice and thinking about the future? That's new, and somewhat frightening. In the end, who will she give her loyalty to? I'm sad that the series will end next year with the final book, but I'm so excited to find out what will happen next.
(I received an e-galley of this title from Hachette Book Group through NetGalley.)