Title: Waistcoats & Weaponry
Author: Gail Carriger
Genre: YA Historical Mystery
Opens: “Funambulist,” said Sophronia Temminnick, quite suddenly
Waistcoats & Weaponry is the 3rd book in the ‘Finishing School’ series. Mind you Miss Geraldine’s Finishing School is not like any finishing school you would have heard of, for a start it is not located in a solid brick building; instead it is contained in a huge airship that floats around Dartmoor for the most part. It also takes on very proper young ladies from the higher echelons of society and turns them into spies and assassins. If this was not unconventional in itself the teachers include a vampire and a werewolf. The young ladies, our heroine Sophronia in particular, don’t lead a normal school life – oh they still learn the art of flirtation and how to dance, but the fans they flutter can be steel-bladed and learning to waltz on thin planks high up in the air can be quite hair-raising.
…."That’s it?" Sidheag was disappointed in Sophronia’s desultory description of the pilot’s bubble.
"When did you get interested in technology?" replied Sophronia.
"It’s not that; I was hoping that after we left, you would fall to your doom. Something exciting for once."
"Thank you kindly, Lady Kingair. The fact that I was initially dropped overboard by a vampire wasn’t exciting enough for you?"
"Not with you, Sophronia, it wasn’t."
"I spoil you, that’s the problem."….
Sophronia shares a room with the ultra-ladylike Dimity and their closest friend in the next room is Sidheag aka Lady Kingair. Sidheag comes from a Scottish Castle that is owned by a werewolf pack and the story follows a disaster that has occurred back at the castle. Dimity and Sophronia decide to travel with Sidheag back to Scotland to protect her reputation, Sidheag, wanting to be with her pack at this time, was planning to runaway and travel alone otherwise. So they steal a small airship, stowaway on a train and stumble across a plot that is being concocted by the despicable Picklemen and the vampires. Sophronia’s two admirers both come along as well, Soap – one of the School’s coal stokers and the young gentleman Lord Felix Mersey. This allows for plenty of tension to be added to the already action packed adventure. The girls have to work out who is friend and who is foe to prevent world domination by quite the wrong people.
I love this series, Gail Carriger is an imaginative and entertaining writer who is able to make the unlikely mechanical gadgets and gizmos seem normal. There is friendship, danger, a light touch of romance, laughter and adventure and I can’t wait to join Sophronia in her next adventure in ‘Manners and Mutiny’ due out later in 2015
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B – Great – I really enjoyed reading it and it is a book I will be recommending to all my friends who like this genre.