Curtsies and Conspiracies (Finishing School #2) by Gail Carriger (review)

March 5, 2015 All Reviews, Fantasy, Historical, Humor, Paranormal, Steampunk, YA 0 ★★★★

Curtsies and Conspiracies (Finishing School #2) by Gail Carriger (review)Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on November 5th 2013
Number of Pages: 320
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Humor, Mystery, Paranormal, Steampunk, Young Adult
Source: Gift
Format: ARC
Purchase: At Amazon

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 gets mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and has a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.

Now, as she steals 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 that holds 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.

I haven’t read the first book in this series, but was still able to figure out what was going on in this one fairly well. Sophronia is a 15 year old girl in a finishing school. Only this finishing school is also a spy training ground. The teachers are all women, except for the werewolf and vampire teachers who are men.

Their school is run in a huge airship, which is kind of a cross between a blimp and a hot air balloon. There are 4 large balloons that keep it afloat, and the school hangs below them. The school is also filled with mechanicals. Robot maids, and all sorts of other robots that keep the ship working.

I liked Sophronia, even though she was just a little too perfect. She was super smart, the top of her class; able to sneak her way anywhere in the school without being caught; had two boys falling for her (yes, love triangle warnings); beautiful; and able to plan a rescue and have it succeed with little to no complications.

The way vampires in this book are described is interesting, though more details would have been nice. They almost sound like they’re based on honeybees, which is something I haven’t read before. Werewolves had even less detail than the vampires, but since I didn’t read the first book, it’s possible there was more description of both creatures in it.

The book was funny, and interesting. I wanted to know what was going to happen next, and there were many subplots and plots within plots. Every page or two seemed to have more ‘I can’t stop reading yet!‘ moments.

I will definitely be picking up book 1, and most likely book 3 as well. If you haven’t read this series yet, and like mystery and intrigue books as well as steampunk, I would recommend trying it.

My copy was an ARC gifted to me by a friend after she finished reading it. So things may have changed in the finished version.


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