Sunday, November 16, 2014

Review: WAISTCOATS & WEAPONRY by Gail Carriger

I'm in love with this series. In fact, I think I've said that in at least one other post. The Finishing School series by Gail Carriger is simply divine.

Each character, no matter how minor, is alive with intent and practically pops from the page. Humor is dexterously woven into conversation and circumstances; I always find myself laughing out loud (to the confusion of my fiancĂ©) whenever Sophronia or one of her fellow intelligencer-to-be's says or does something unexpected. Waistcoats & Weaponry (Book the Third, published Nov. 4, 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) only made me fall even more in love with Carriger's writing style.

I'll give you an example:

The dirigible's balloon, along with the top portion of what remained of the gondola, bobbed higher. Sophronia and Dimity stuck their heads out their respective doors; Dimity, pushing Monique carelessly aside as if she were a curtain, craned to look behind. Monique was still screaming, but that might be due to the indignity of being treated like a drapery.
Dimity yelled, "The duke has left Lord Mersey and is trying to collect prototypes--sorry--frequencers. Oh, dear, it's as if he's lost his marbles." 
Sophronia said, "I wager the pickled duke is none too pleased and is going to demand an explanation from his son." (237)
The action is non-stop, packed with punch (literally), and brimming with the intelligent musings of Sophronia--a girl who simply wants to see balance in her world, and uses her vast skills as an intelligencer-in-training to do so.

Another aspect I admire of this series is Carriger's ability to talk about social issues (race relations, women in society, propriety, technology) in a way that neither offends nor bores. Sophronia's world is an interesting blend of Victorian ideals, modern technology, and the supernatural. Throw in a human group of gentlemen called Picklemen who hate supernatural creatures and revere technology, and you have a trifecta of potential disruptive behavior.

Really, I see no reason why this series cannot be read as a rulebook of how to treat your fellow man, regardless of skin color, social standing, or diet.

To sum up: Waistcoats & Weaponry is a delightful paranormal steampunk romp and I recommend it highly to children and adults. Just click the link for more information via Goodreads.

Until next time...