This is the second book about Prudence, daughter of Alexia Tarabotti and Conall Maccon of the Parasol Protectorate books. I’m pretty sure you’re only going to like these books (the first is Prudence) if ours already invested in the world and the characters.
This is a very silly book. There are silly amusing events, silly amusing misunderstandings, and very silly characters. I enjoyed it but… it is silly.
This book has a lot more about Alexia and Conall than the first Prudence book did – in fact the first third or so is explicitly about them and their relationship with Rue and what’s happening with them and the consequences for everyone. Then things proceed to be more about Rue and the crew of her ridiculous dirigible The Spotted Custard. The action is mostly well paced and the events follow one another smartly; there’s certainly no time for boredom.
As I said, I enjoyed this book but I would have liked it more if I had a better grasp of who Rue is. Perhaps I’m expecting her to be too much like her mother, which is a failing of other people as Rue has grown up and so I’m embarrassed to admit it. But I found her disconcerting because it feels like she vacillates between ‘I’d rather stay at home and have tea’ and ‘daring adventurer!!’ in a way that’s not particularly convincing. I wonder if this is partly because we see her as a toddler in the last Alexia book, and then in her first book she’s 20 – but there’s little filling-in-of-background, not that much explanation for how she came to be the sort of person she is (with the exception of being accepting of non-heterosexuality). So that was a detraction.
It’s a fun, bubbly read, with the sort of attention to dress and food detail that I’ve come to anticipate from Carriger. Not for the Carriger noob, but a nice light read for those fond enough of the world to want to revisit.
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