Werewolves, and vampires, and Picklemen, oh, my! The opening I used in my review of Gail Carriger's third Finishing School novel,Waistcoats & Weaponry, still fits for the concluding book in her young adult steampunk series. Manners & Mutiny has all the espionage and suspense of the previous books, along with explosions, surprises when it comes to characters, and romance. It's a perfect ending to a dramatic series.
Sophronia Temminick is bored in her final year at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing School where girls are trained in espionage while living on a dirigible. One of her best friends, Sidheag, has moved on with the werewolves. Soap, the sootie who was once in charge of all the sooties who worked on the dirigible, has been turned into a werewolf in order to survive a fatal gunshot. He's gone. In fact, Sophronia promised she'd work for the dewan, the werewolf who turned Soap, once she finishes school. She indentured herself to save Soap's life. But, it seems a little quiet at the school until the Christmas holidays. Although there are rumors that the Picklemen have been testing mechanicals for use against the government, no one is prepared for the explosion at a holiday party at Lord Akeldama's. Sophronia, her sister, and friends are in attendance at the vampire's party, and the students from the finishing school gather what information they can. They'll need all their experience, wit and cunning to deal with the New Year's "festivities".
Throughout the series, readers have watched Carriger's young ladies grow up, beginning with Sophronia. It was time to end the series before readers, like Sophronia herself, grew bored. For one last time, Carriger takes readers back to Victorian England, where the supernaturals, the vampires and werewolves, support the Queen's government, while the Picklemen, a secretive group of noblemen, plot against the government, using mechanical devices when possible. And, a small group of young ladies, trained in espionage, are the last defense against the Picklemen's audacious plan.
Manners & Mutiny is a brilliant ending to this series. It's a series that featured wit, courageous young women, fascinating supernaturals, stories of class systems overcome by love and strength, and fascinating plots. Bravo, Gail Carriger.
Gail Carriger's website is www.gailcarriger.com
Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger. Little, Brown & Company. 2015. ISBN 9780316190282 (hardcover), 326p.
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