Book review: Curtsies & Conspiracies, by Gail Carriger

Carriger, Gail. Curtsies & Conspiracies.  Little, Brown & Company, 2013. $18.00. ISBN 9780316190114.  310 pgs. Ages 13+. P8Q7.

Sophronia is starting her second year at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality (yes, this is the second book in the series “Finishing School”).  It will appeal to teenage and adult fans of steampunk, adventurous heroines, and zany storylines. Aboard the floating espionage school, witty, impulsive Sophronia goes to lessons on “portion allotment, puddings, and preemptive poisonings,” attempts to learn to improve her etiquette (this is very difficult for her), sneaks down to the boiler room at night to visit with the “Sooties” and finally tries to get to the root of a dangerous conspiracy, along with some friends and teachers. Carriger’s books involve supernatural characters (vampires, werewolves, etc.) but nothing is taken too seriously. I enjoyed this light, humorous fantasy mainly for Carriger’s witty language and sense of humor. I think teens will find it very entertaining too.

Review by Carol Schramm, February/March 2014.

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