From New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger comes the delightful sequel to Prudence.
Rue and the crew of the Spotted Custard return from India with revelations that shake the foundations of England's scientific community. Queen Victoria is not amused, the vampires are tetchy, and something is wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue's best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most unacceptable military types.
Rue has family problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue's beginning to suspect what they really are. . . is frightened.
The second installment of Carriger's Custard Protocol series picks up not long after the events of 2015's Prudence, set in an alternate Victorian England populated by various paranormal entities. Series heroine Rue, the daughter of previous protagonists Lord and Lady Maccon, is chastised for her unconventional and unauthorized approach to diplomacy and stripped of her legal protections by Queen Victoria. Undaunted, Rue carries on; when a family emergency requires that she use her airship, the Spotted Custard, to transport her parents to Egypt, she seizes the opportunity to see more of the world. Their journey is fraught with danger, with attackers appearing like clockwork, and it's all Rue and her eclectic crew can do to fend them off. The trip is made ever more complicated by matters of the heart: Rue is falling for her chief engineer, Quesnel Lefoux, but is determined to keep things casual. Romance and mayhem are described with a tongue-in-cheek mannerly tone as Rue and her friends try to discover why they're being attacked and to stop it before things get out of hand. Carriger remains deft at mixing comedy with action in her idiosyncratic steampunk and paranormal setting.
Lots of fun in a fast and easy read. Some pleasant surprises set in a richly described world using clever situations and well drawn characters. Recommended
Another Fun Story
This review was first published on Kurt's Frontier.
Rue (Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama) and the crew of the Spotted Custard are back from India. The revelations of weremonkeys have shaken the scientific community of the steampunk alternative world of Victorian London to its core. Queen Victoria is not amused that Rue has made a treaty with them. Worse, it cost the empire a source of tea. But, Rue has other problems. Her father is suffering from the Alpha Curse and will have to be replaced as pack Alpha. Rue’s best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to unsuitable men. Prim’s brother Percy is angry that Rue’s engineer, Quesnel, published a paper on the weremonkeys before him.
Rue decides to take her parents to Egypt where a plague—oddly enough—may keep her father sane for what’s left of his life. However, someone attacks the Custard. Since Percy published a paper on werelions, the Custard’s security officer, Miss Sekhmet, may be in danger. Rue’s skill as an airship captain will be put to the test as will the skill and dedication of her crew. She needs a cup of tea.
The second book of the Custard Protocol picks up on Rue’s return to London. She has upset the queen by making a treaty with the weremonkeys she found in India. As a result, she is stripped of the queen’s protection. She must fend for herself, and there are people who wish her harm. Her family is in turmoil due to her father’s illness. She’s having an affair with her chief engineer, which isn’t going well. Now her werelion security officer is being hunted.
This was another fun story. Character development is witty. The science of steam and airship travel is interesting. The characters are engaging, from the various supernatural and metanatural creatures to the young deckhands. Like the original book, much of the adventure is tongue-in-cheek. It is a little less episodic than Prudence. I’m looking forward to the third book.