Book review: Prudence (The Custard Protocol)

There are few books I look forward to as much as a new novel by Gail Carriger.  And let’s get a few something cleared up immediately: I will buy anything Ms. Carriger writes, even if it is a treatise on the mating habits of grasshoppers (as I’m sure it would be nothing short of fascinating). Being a huge fan of the Soulless series and a new fan of the Finishing School series, I eagerly settled in to read Prudence (The Custard Protocol) (released on my birthday!). The hallmarks of a Carriger novel are all there – wonderfully diverse cast, laugh out loud lines, intricate details, unique steampunk touches and fabulous female characters.  However, I think there can sometimes be too much of a good thing.  While I did enjoy seeing my favorite characters from the previous series, I perhaps wanted a bit more of a break (which is why, at the moment the gals from the Finishing School are more a favorite than Prudence and her crew).  Furthermore, as any editor or reader will tell you – begin where the action starts.  In the case of Prudence, there is A LOT of, in my opinion, unnecessary action before the inciting event takes place.  Once the story does take off, it’s still difficult to know exactly what the plot (if any!) there is.  Without a true antagonist someone correct me if I’m wrong and the protagonist more or less stumbling into resolving the incidents in her life without real measure (except the constant use of her ability to change form), I was left feeling a bit ‘meh’ about the whole thing. While I still love be transported away to worlds unknown, I didn’t fall immediately latch onto Prudence as I did Alexia (Prudence’s mother).  Nor, did I enjoy the (what felt like) extended terminology and discussion on air travel.  As I am currently working on a steampunk novel of my own, I was hoping to be inspired, but honestly, was not. I would still recommend this book, but it fell a bit flat for me.  I’m hoping the final book of the Finishing School series (already pre-ordered!) later this year will get me back on track!

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Not my particular cup of team (terrible pun), but would still recommend!

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