Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Me on Manners & Mutiny

Title: Manners & Mutiny
Author: Gail Carriger
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Hachette Book Group imprint)

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.

Manners & Mutiny is the final book in what's become an adventurous, clever, witty, and entertaining series. Unique characters. Conflict upon conflict up on torn loyalties. Vampires and werewolves and young ladies flashing fans in order to send secret messages.

Sophronia is, as always, Sophronia. Looking for the hidden truths in peoples' actions. Looking to uncover the plot of the Picklemen. But with her past transgressions and actions being held against her, it's harder and harder for her to find those in positions of authority at Madmoiselle Geraldine's to believe her claims. Difficult, yes, but Sophronia isn't one to back down. She soldiers on, worrying about her friends, worrying about Soap. Wondering if Agatha is right, that she now assumes the worst of people, even her own family. Does she? After her time at finishing school, does Sophronia now no longer trust anyone? Does she assume that everyone lies, that everyone has something to hide? Pessimistic, yes, but the past few years have taught her to be suspicious, taught her to observe and discover. Training to be an intelligencer does change one.

As with the previous books, there is no shortage of mystery or deception, of truth-seeking or secret-uncovering. Of Picklemen-hunting or sootie friendship-making. But this is certainly the most dastardly plan Sophronia has ever had to untangle and thwart. The one that might reveal the most about this secretive intelligencer world of hers. The one that, if mishandled, might bring down society as they know it. Fortunately, Sophronia isn't one to back down and will go down with the ship, so to speak, if that means saving the day.

This series is dangerous, comical, intriguing, full to the brim with the impossible, and I've enjoyed it immensely. It took some time for me to enjoy the first, to allow myself to be immersed in this world, because it requires full immersion. This series needs you to listen, to watch and observe and follow Sophronia during these years at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. It needs to to believe in airships and mechanimals, in vampires and werewolves, in the impossible. Now that it's all over, I should like to re-read it, see what secrets, if any, are given away early. A great series to read for those looking for steampunk and a story that mainly focuses on adventure and intelligence with a dash of female friendship and romance thrown in for fun.

(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Hachette Book Group Canada through NetGalley.)

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