Title: Curtsies and Conspiracies (Finishing School #2)
Author: Gail Carriger
Narrator: Moira Quick
Audiobook Length: 9 hours, 30 minutes
Genre: Science Fiction; Young Adult
Origins: Mine. All mine.
Release Date: 5 November 2013
Bottom Line: Fun and funny
“Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill four fully grown guests?
Sophronia’s first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy (won’t Mumsy be surprised?). Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.
Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers’ quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship’s boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a school trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot–one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card.
In this sequel to bestselling author Gail Carriger’s YA debut Etiquette & Espionage, class is back in session with more petticoats and poison, tea trays and treason. Gail’s distinctive voice, signature humor, and lush steampunk setting are sure to be the height of fashion this season.”
Thoughts: Sophronia is back and up to more mischief than ever. Granted, it is not really mischief when the main purpose of her education at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality is to teach young ladies how to become spies. In fact, one could argue she is just putting into practice what her professors teach her. So, in this second round of the Finishing School series, Sophronia not only faces greater tests of her abilities, both innate and learned, but she must also face the added hazard of boys.
Moira Quick returns as the narrator for this quirky series, and she is delightful. She has an adorable way of modulating the volume of her voice to fit the sneakiness of a scene. Also, she delivers the most satiric sentences with an innocence worthy of an award. She capitalizes on the spirit of the novel to create a performance that breathes even more life into Ms. Carriger’s eclectic world.
As always, Ms. Carriger’s balance between satire and earnestness is laugh-out-loud funny. She utilizes the extremely intricate rules of the Victorian era high society to great effect. In a world where zeppelins are school grounds and werewolves and vampires have a place on the Queen’s private counsel, it makes perfect sense to have a finishing school teach espionage and a boys’ academy training future evil geniuses. Sophronia is deliciously innocent and yet hyper-observant; those moments when she catches on to the joke are particularly entertaining. Curtsies and Conspiracies and the whole series is essential Ms. Carriger – quirky, sarcastic, and just plain fun.