Bookish and proper Percival Tunstell finds himself out of his depth when floating cities, spirited plumbing, and soggy biscuits collide in this delightful conclusion to NYT bestselling author Gail Carriger's Custard Protocol series.
Percival Tunstell loves that his sister and her best friend are building themselves a family of misfits aboard their airship, the Spotted Custard. Of course, he'd never admit that he belongs among them. He's always been on the outside - dispassionate, aloof, and hatless. But accidental spies, a trip to Japan, and one smart and beautiful doctor may have him renegotiating his whole philosophy on life.
Except hats. He's done with hats. Thank you very much.
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This charming conclusion to the Custard Protocol steampunk series (following 2018's Competence) sees the unorthodox crew of the good airship Spotted Custard taking on a new ship's doctor before setting forth for Japan to investigate rumors of unknown shapeshifters. Dr. Arsenic Ruthven is just what they need: forthright, dedicated, and comfortable with "explosions and cats." She's also an intellectual match for Percival Tunstell, the ship's navigator and overeducated stick-in-the-mud; much to everyone's surprise (and secret relief), Arsenic and Percy develop a bond over their mutual love of scholarship, though neither is ready to admit the growing attraction. Meanwhile, Capt. Prudence Akeldama is pregnant and no one knows whether her child will be mortal. Things take a turn for the complicated and diplomatically awkward when they dock at the flying city of Edo and stumble across its long-held secrets. Carriger's prose is playful and droll, with frequent laugh-worthy moments, tongue-in-cheek humor, and sparkling repartee. While the characters never truly feel in danger, there's still an underlying weight to their emotional connections and the unusual family they've created. A familiarity with previous installments is recommended, but newcomers can still enjoy Percy and Arsenic's blossoming romance amid steampunk hijinks.