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Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger

BOTTOM LINE: Man, I love Gail Carriger and her cheeky wit.

Genre: Young Adult; Science Fiction
Publication Date: 3 November 2015
Source: Mine. All mine.

Synopsis from the Publisher:

“When the dastardly Pickleman plot that has been building through the series comes to fruition, only Sophronia can save her friends, her school, and all of London. What will become of our proper young heroine when she puts her training to the test? Find out in this highly anticipated conclusion of the New York Times bestselling series..”

My Thoughts: Manners & Mutiny picks up shortly after Waistcoats & Weaponry ends. The action starts almost immediately, as Sophronia once again finds herself privy to a secret plot that could destroy her entire world. Yet again, she relies on her training to save the school and her friends from harm and maintains her dignity as a lady of quality the entire time.

While the story occurs within the school environs, there is very little narrative devoted to school itself this time. Instead, we see Sophronia and her friends applying what they have learned to outside situations. In many ways, Manners & Mutiny is a final exam for her, as she is quite literally pushed to her limits to thwart the Pickleman plot. We see Sophronia in real danger for the first time, and it adds an element of realism to this silly story.

At the same time as Sophronia must use everything she has learned from her instructors in order to stay alive, she also comes into her own as a woman. Within this subplot, we see Sophronia understand what sacrifice is as well as what love means. The third book showed Sophronia learning about the messiness of love, and this final novel provides a lovely conclusion to that part of her story.

One of the best parts of the entire series is the sly commentary on women and their roles in society that Ms. Carriger sneaks into the dialogue. In Manners & Mutiny, Sophronia spends a fair amount of time lamenting the fact that women must give up their professions upon marriage and how men always disregard women as worthy opponents. While the series occurs during the 1800s, modern readers can relate to much of her frustration and can celebrate every time Sophronia proves that opinion wrong.

Manners & Mutiny is everything I have come to love from Gail Carriger and more. Her satire game remains strong, and there are plenty of ridiculous scenarios to test our dauntless heroine on her etiquette and her intelligence training. In fact, I could not ask for a better conclusion to this rollicking good story.

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