Tuesday, March 17, 2015

When one series ends, another begins…

Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series has a special place in my heart. It introduced me to paranormal/steampunk crossovers, and all five books are well-written with a balance of humor, adventure and a bit of romance. I was sorry when the series ended, though by that point the author had already started a prequel series for teens, which I also enjoyed. I couldn’t wait to see what she came up with next. 

What was next was Prudence, first book in the Custard Protocol series and a continuation of the Parasol Protectorate, though with a gap of around twenty years. If you have not read the Parasol Protectorate books, or are in the middle of the series, be warned that this review may have some spoilers.

Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (Rue to her friends) is twenty-one, and a darling of society, but she’s bored and apt to find herself in embarrassing escapades. When her adopted father sends her to India to look into his top-secret tea dealings she’s thrilled to finally have a true adventure. But soon heretofore unknown native shifters pull Rue into their politics, and Rue’s diplomacy skills and quick mind are the only things that can stop a declaration of war on England.

My high hopes for this novel were sadly unrealized. While I loved the idea of all the children from the previous books having their own adventures, mostly this book was about clothing. I got the distinct impression that the author had done a ton of research into the clothing and dress of the time period and was determined that absolutely all of it would be used in one novel. I put the book down several times because I was so tired of reading about what everyone was wearing. I persevered out of some crazy sense of loyalty to the previous books, and was finally rewarded about 3/4 of the way through. At that point the plot kicked in, Rue proved that she did have a quick mind and the plot wrested control away from the excruciating historical detail. 

Imprudence, book two in the series, is due out sometime next year and I will definitely pick it up. Despite my disappointment in this first installment the novel was well-written, and the groundwork has been set for what could be a very enjoyable book two. Everyone has a bad day, right?

Carriger, Gail. Prudence. New York: Orbit, 2015. 3.5 stars. 

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions expressed in the review are mine alone. 

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