Thursday, 18 August 2016

Imprudence by Gail Carriger

Imprudence by Gail Carriger is the second book in the Custard Protocol series, following on from Prudence, which I have previously reviewed. It's also set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate series (which began with Soulless and ended with Timeless) and the Finishing School series.

London is in chaos.

Rue and the crew of The Spotted Custard returned from India with revelations that shook the foundations of the scientific community. There is mass political upheaval, the vampires are tetchy, and something is seriously wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue’s best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most inappropriate military types.

Rue has got personal problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue’s beginning to suspect what they all really are… is frightened.

When the Custard is ordered to Egypt, transporting some highly unusual passengers, Rue’s problems go from personal to impossible. Can she get Percy to stop sulking? Will she find the true cause of Primrose’s lovesickness? And what is Quesnel hiding in the boiler room?

This book was everything I've come to expect from Gail Carriger plus a bit more. The bit more being the nature of the romantic part of the storyline. Although the plot is mainly focussed on other things, like dirigible captaining and not being killed, there is also a significant romantic subplot that I enjoyed more than I expected to. You can probably guess who is involved if you've read the previous book, but I won't spoil it here. I should also point out, it's not that Carriger's other books didn't have romance in them, it was just handled and presented a bit differently in this one, I though. Initially, at least.

Romance aside, there was a lot of other stuff going on in this book.

The plot structure of this book was a little bit unusual, probably because it's a book two. I don't mean to say it suffers from middle-book-syndrome (I'm pretty sure this isn't a trilogy, for a start), just that it's clear certain things needed to happen and that certain other things were setting up the next book more than happening for their own sake. The first half of the book involves a lot of Rue's family issues, while the focus of the second half is on something else entirely and more similar to the type of adventure she had in the first book. The main difference, I suppose, is that while the first book could stand alone, this second book is more firmly a part of a larger whole.

I don't mean, from the above, to imply that I didn't enjoy the book. I loved it. I haven't been reading as much as usual lately and Imprudence helped me get back on track. It's delightful and funny and continues to develop the world Carriger has created.

If you haven't read this series yet, I highly recommend it, especially if you've liked any of Carriger's other books. I definitely recommend starting with the first book, Prudence, since Imprudence follows directly on from it. You don't have to have read any of the other series set in the same world, however (but they are also good).

5 / 5 stars

First published: July 2016, Orbit
Series: The Custard Protocol, book 2 of ?
Format read: ePub
Source: purchased from Google Play

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