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October 5, 2014

Steampunk Sundays: Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Series: Finishing School 2
Format: ARC
Release Date: November 5, 2013 
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: YA Steampunk
Sophronias first year at Mademoiselle Geraldines Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing. For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy. Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ships boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a school trip to London than is at first apparent. A conspiracy is afootone 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.


Visiting Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing School for Young Ladies of Quality always guarantees a crazy good time for me. Gail Carriger's brand of Steampunk is just unique and her style is strictly her own and unparalleled IMO. The plot may be MG/YA but as it's well written and felt very authentic, even with the Steampunk elements, in terms of the time period, language, costumes, and all, I can't help but be swept away by Sophronia Temminick's latest adventure. 

CURTSIES & CONSPIRACIES is another cool installment. I love the idea of a finishing school disguised as an espionage academy where catty girls are trained to use their feminine wiles to spy and even assassinate. Whew! High School's got nothing on the girls Sophronia rolls with. Not only that but the actual school is a giant dirigible floating in Dartmoor with werewolves, automatons, and vampires for professors. It's like a mash-up of Sky High and Hogwarts with corsets and petticoats galore!

This time around Sophronia cracks down a vampire conspiracy interspersed with friendship cool-offs and courtships. The adventure part is full of clever action while Sophronia's personal life had me really invested and even giddy on some parts. The blush of first love and being courted by a handsome but arrogant blokes had my 16yo self in knots. GCarriger got flirting down to pat, the banter was sharp and witty while the sneaky seduction cute and affecting. 

I love CURTSIES & CONSPIRACIES and the series as a whole. The proper nouns are eccentric (who names their kid Sophronia with a last name like Temminnick?!) and dialogue alone is something else. I hope I can articulate it for you and stress why it's one of this series' greatest strength but I'm not that brilliant so just take my word for it. Let me just say that as Finishing School is a historical novel in essence, language is important and GCarriger aced that part perfectly. I found myself transported to the book's time period, sitting more erect like I'm at a frickin' tea party, and adapting a snotty British accent in my head as I read the novel. Suspended disbelief 100% in effect! 

So if you're in the mood for something unique, whimsical, light, easy, and fantastical, I suggest you try Finishing School for a unique reading experience. 










34 comments:

  1. I remember being really excited when the first book in this series was coming out, but then I must have gotten distracted. From your review though, I think I do want to get around to this series one day. it sounds fun! Great review

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

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    1. It's fun and quirky. Did you get to read the first one?

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  2. I was sadly disappointed by book 1 :/

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    1. Too MG? I understand it's quite different from the parent series.

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  3. I haven't read beyond book #1, Braine, but I remember really enjoying it. Glad you loved book #2. I'll get to it very soon! :)

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    1. It's just so fun and not that serious, a light Steampunk if you can call it that

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  4. Now this is a steampunk series I could get behind. I wanna try it.

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    1. It should be on NG. I think they're trying to get people excited for the 3rd one, give it buzz

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  5. I'm not really a reader of steampunk but I've always appreciated the ingenuity of combing industrial and Victorian ages.
    Glad this series continue to be wonderful for you. :)

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    1. Well said and that's the allure for me as well. Have you read any? There are some that are romance and/or paranormal heavy and less steampunk fantasy.

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  6. This really is a fun series, different and crazy but super fun!

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    1. Yeah! It's so whimsical! I don't know if it's the right adjective but it feels like that to me

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  7. I liked the first one but it wasn't a hit for me, maybe I should try more. It looks like you had a great time with this one.

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    1. It's kinda hard to get into, sometimes I feel like there's joke I'm not getting but I don't want to speculate too much and ruin the experience for me. So i eased up and just allowed myself to be entertained. I think we're not meant to take this seriously like her other series.

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  8. This is a series on my wishlist, but I bought the boxed set of her first series and promised myself I would read those first. Myself sucks!

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    1. We all do that so don't worry about it.

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  9. SOLD. Although it wasn't that hard of a sell considering that the series is steampunk. Back when the first book came out, I wasn't much of a steam punk reader but I love the genre now so I have been thinking about going back to read this one! :D

    I am so glad to see you enjoyed the follow-up so much, Braine!! :)

    Lovely review!

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

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    1. This isn't one of those serious Steampunks just to set your expectations. You'll enjoy it better if you just go along with it.

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  10. I've never read steampunk, that I'm aware of. (I'm honestly not 100% sure what it really is) I have this series for review too and I'm looking forward to something outside my comfort zone and different from what I would normally read. Glad to see you enjoyed it so much. :)

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    1. Good luck! I hope your foray outside your zone pays off!

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  11. Sounds like a really lovely steampunk series with some great historical world building. I haven't read many steampunk series although I should really give it a shot, because of what I've read I've enjoyed it. Great review lovely!

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    1. I know you love YA and there's a bunch of great YA Steampunk around aside from this.

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  12. I have her adult series on my wish list, but this YA spin-off sounds pretty good too. Yeah, those names are a hoot!

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    1. Yeah the names are silly ridiculous!

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  13. lol - Nice to hear it affects you so much. I usually use accents in my head while reading books, so I can just imagine the snotty British one I'd need. :D

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    1. It's THAT awesome! She is such an effective writer!

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  14. I have heard good things about this author!! I seriously need to check this series out :) 'Sky high & hogwarts with corsets and petticoats galore' = sold!!

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

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    1. Yup, it's super fun, it's one of those series where you're not meant to take it too seriously.

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  15. This series is a lot of fun. I got my niece reading it too - she loves it.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. Woot! You should ask your niece to guest blog for you and feature this series.

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  16. *cheers* So what's really awesome is that YOU LOVE this trilogy and I HAVE THE FIRST BOOK WAITING FOR ME IN MY BOOKSHELF. Plus, those covers are so gorgeous. :) I try to read as much steampunk as I can, but I always have bad luck with them. :( I have a strong feeling in my guts that this will be amazing! Awesome review!

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    1. This is a silly and fun series so don't take it too seriously, you'll enjoy i better that way

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  17. Seeing how much you love this series makes me even more eager to get started with her Parasol Protectorate series. I have the first book in that one sitting on my shelf and hope to be reading it soon.

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    1. I want to read that one too esp since it's done, easier to binge on

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