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November 9, 2014

Steampunk Sundays: Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Series: Finishing School 3
Format: eGalley
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: YA Steampunk

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 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.

Gather your poison, steel tipped quill, and the rest of your school supplies and join Mademoiselle Geraldine's proper young killing machines in the third rousing installment in the New York Times bestselling Finishing School Series by steampunk author, Gail Carriger.




And my favorite young Victorian lady assassin in training is back! Oh lord, Sophronia Timminick how I love seeing you grow into a very skilled intelligencer, Gin Blanco would be so proud! So WAISTCOATS & WEAPONRY is the latest installment of Gail Carriger's YA Steampunk series, Finishing School, this time Sophronia and friends take us out for a jolly good adventure involving werewolf politics, scheming vampires, and clever villains. They also hijacked a train, inducted a new werewolf, and managed to get a couple of them engaged. Whew! This Finishing School is shaping up to be quite the coming of age novel and with each volume that comes out, we get less of the silliness and more serious stuff. 

And that's what I am loving about this series, the tone isn't stagnant rather it grows with the characters. Similar to the Harry Potter books, we see the characters growing up, they take on each problem or conflict from a more mature standpoint and they slowly realize and acclimate to the demands of the real world. In WAISTCOATS & WEAPONRY, Sophronia's silent contemplation reflects her growth as a character in all aspects of her life. She's proving to be such a natural when it comes of spying from manipulating her target down to combat.

Then there are social matters which is half of the story: connections, friendships, suitors, and candidates for a future husband. Sophronia was caught in this crush triangle between Lord Felix Mersey, a duke's son, and, Soap, the "help", opposites in every way and both appeal to Sophronia in varying degrees. I think this part has been resolved and what a jaw-dropping resolution it was. Let me tell you, it wasn't a simple "break-up" or anything of that sort, it was more dramatic in an action-packed kind of way, things didn't go down that annoying love triangle path some authors like to take. 

I hope you get my gist, I love this series and I find WAISTCOATS & WEAPONRY an amazing addition to the series and a pivotal one at that. To reiterate Finishing School's strongest suit right now is it's development in general, the characters are growing up as well as the tone and feel of the stories. When book 1 was released a couple of years ago, it felt more like MG/YA and it has slowly grown since then. The progression from all angles is natural as it should be and I can't wait to see how the plot and players are going to rearrange themselves after this. 









30 comments:

  1. I'm so jealous. I hadn't noticed that Waistcoats and Weaponry was available! Since it's too late to ask for a review copy, I'm going to have to add this to my wishlist. Maybe someone will give me a copy for Christmas!

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  2. I love that you refer to it as "crush triangle" instead of the other much-despised relationship bungle. Glad you loved this, but ah, you know me. Not much of a steampunk reader, so it's lost on me. :)

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    1. That's okay, thanks for still taking the time to check it out :)

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  3. Braineeeeeee whyyyy?! I've been eyeing this series for awhile but keep leaving it on my TBR. *grabby hands* These look so good.

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    1. Psh, I saw Drea review the first one and I feel the same way about KArthur :D

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  4. Sadly I felt book 1 was not up to her other series standard :/

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    1. I do remember you saying that on the previous post. BUT it's improved though so maybe give book2 a shot?

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  5. I still need to read Curtsies, but I adore this series!

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  6. Glad to know the series is that good, I've just borrowed Etiquette & espionage at my library :)

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    1. Whoopie! It feels like juvenile fiction but it grows up with each book that comes out.

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  7. This really is a fun series isn't it? Glad you liked it.

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    1. Yup, I saw your review for this one previously. Hi5!

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  8. These look really good, but I have the adult series on my pile so I need to start with them first. The concept of girls' training school in historical setting reminds me vaguely of Robin LaFevres' trilogy and the Libba Bray trio.

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    1. This one happens before PP... and I need to start that soon too.

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  9. Ugh. I will read this series someday. I WILL!

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    1. LOL I say the same thing all the time

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  10. I was a bit mixed with the first book, it was ok but not as good as the other series for me. But the good reviews of the sequels make me want to try the others to see if it would be better for me.

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    1. It gets better and more young adult-ish

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  11. Dang it Braine! lol I do want to try hers. I think of all the Steampunk ones she's got the biggest draw on me.

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    1. There's always Parasol Protectorate is YA isn't your thang ;)

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  12. Gah! You're really enticing me to this series, Braine. I'm glad this installment was so good!

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  13. I read the first book and really enjoyed it but felt it was a little younger in tone and I didn't continue. I did get my niece reading it though so maybe I'll have to borrow the books back since you say the characters mature lol

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. I agree with you, the first one does feel like MG but the tone changes with every book that comes out. Your niece will love it, she can sort of grow up with Sophronia

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  14. I can't make up my mind on this series. Reviews are all over. I tried her Parasol series and thought it was just okay. I think I will give this a go eventually, I am glad I read your review, it got me enhusiastic again.

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    1. That's okay, there are other YA Steampunk that might be up your alley.

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  15. Awww Braine you are making me really want to continue some of my long running PNR series. It just makes me miss the character growth that goes with a long series. Great review, I'm so glad the characters grew and it was a fantastic installment.

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    1. Take it slowly, maybe revisiting will whet your appetite to read some more.

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