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.
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.