From NYT bestselling author Gail Carriger comes a witty adventure about a young woman with rare supernatural abilities travels to India for a spot of tea and adventure and finds she's bitten off more than she can chew.
When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama ("Rue" to her friends) is bequeathed an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female under similar circumstances would do -- she christens it the Spotted Custard and floats off to India.
Soon, she stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier's wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis (and an embarrassing lack of bloomers), Rue must rely on her good breeding -- and her metanatural abilities -- to get to the bottom of it all...
The Custard Protocol
For more from Gail Carriger, check out:
The Parasol Protectorate
Finishing School (YA)
Etiquette & Espionage
Curtsies & Conspiracies
Waistcoats & Weaponry
Manners & Mutiny
Carriger (Waistcoats and Weaponry) introduces fans of her Parasol Protectorate world to the next generation of madcap supernatural entities with the fluffy first Custard Protocol novel. Twenty-year-old Prudence "Rue" Akeldama and her best friend, Primrose Tunstell, have grown up in a version of Victorian England filled with vampires and werewolves. Rue, who can borrow the traits of any supernatural creature she touches, yearns for excitement and leaps at the chance to journey to India in search of a superior type of tea for her adoptive father, a wealthy vampire. She and her friends set off on a gaudy dirigible, only to run headfirst into danger, intrigue, and local politics. In a madcap adventure of manners, Rue veers from one threat to the next, always trying to maintain her dignity and composure. Fortunately for her, there's never any sense of real danger. Carriger maintains a droll, tongue-in-cheek tone, and her protagonists are as concerned with witty banter and fashionable hats as they are with fighting for their lives. Series fans will enjoy this mischievous romp, which revisits old favorites while raising a new crop of charming characters.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Witty and Fun to Read
This review was first published on Kurt's Frontier.
Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (Rue to her friends) is a socialite in the steampunk alternative universe of Victorian London. She is also something of a wellborn scamp. When she is given a dirigible as a surprise gift, she names it the Spotted Custard. She is then given a mission to pursue the perfect cup of tea. In India, she finds herself in the midst of a brewing crisis. Local dissidents have kidnapped the local army commander’s wife.
Rue is far from helpless, however. She is a metanatural, able to steal other supernatural creatures powers. Risking the loss of her bloomers when she changes shape, she must solve the mystery of the brigadier’s wife and prevent a war.
The Custard Protocol is set in the same universe as the Parasol Protectorate series. (It should be noted that the reviewer is has yet to read the Parasol Protectorate series.) Prudence is a mortal protagonist in a world dominated by various immortal creatures such as vampires and werewolves. She possesses one advantage from being related to such beings by birth. She has a rare “metanatural” power. She can steal the powers from an immortal. Of course she may have to sacrifice whatever she’s wearing if she takes the powers of a were-creature, leaving her embarrassingly exposed.
The first thing one must realize about this book is it is written “tongue-in-cheek.” The characters are stereotypical in their Victorian mannerisms. This leads to some amusing situations. The story is episodic instead of plotted. This weakens the story, but not terribly. The setup is long with the action taking place in the second half of the story. While not quite a page turner, the story is witty and fun to read.
Good Stories are made from taking something that everyone is familiar with, then approach it from a new angle, or with slight twisted generality. And I’d the author can stick within those boundaries, What shakes out of it can be a lot of fun.
Victorian Steampunk is the setting, and the twist is simply that good manners were created to keep the werewolves and the vampires playing nicely in the sandbox together.
So this series of books isn’t about the supernatural, it’s about politeness between aristocrats. Strange, correct, ridiculous, funny, outrageous, weird, thought-provoking, difficult yet enviable ways to treat others, and to be treated by them.
Because the twist is small, and easily understandable, yet unexpected, the world building from that twist seem very different from a distance. However at its core, that world is a logical conclusion of the twist, is very relatable and on point. The suspension of disbelief required to be absolutely pulled into this story is minimal, even though where you end up going is completely unexpected.
It’s like a fine meal from a supreme chief, cooked with some extra spices that give it a whole unique flavor, that makes you want to lick the plate and then ask for another helping.
It’s fun, smart and a joy to read.