YA Review of Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Book Review, Young Adult Books

Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up
Series: Finishing School (Book 3)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (November 4, 2014)

Source: From publisher via NetGalley

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

About the Book:

Class is back in session…

Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style–with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspected what–or who–they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all.

Gather your poison, steel tipped quill, and the rest of your school supplies and join Mademoiselle Geraldine’s proper young killing machines in the third rousing installment in the New York Times bestselling Finishing School Series by steampunk author, Gail Carriger.

My Thoughts:

I am hopelessly hooked on this series. It’s so fun and exciting!  This book picks up nearly a year after the last one ended, and the characters are more mature, the stakes are higher, and choices have lasting consequences.

This is the first book that doesn’t spend the majority of the time on the ship. Sidheag gets some terrible news and disappears for a while, only to show up again and request Sophronia’s help. Of course, Sophronia jumps at the chance. So does Dimity, and Soap, and Felix. The five of them make a wonderful team, stealing modes of transportation, interrupting diabolical schemes, and generally wreaking havoc everywhere. The plot was fast paced and unpredictable. Nothing went the way I thought it might, and Sophronia surprised me again and again.

The ending was both happy and sad for me. Some characters got what they wanted, but I will have to wait for the next book to find out about the others. Lines were drawn, allegiances tested, and Sophronia was finally forced to make some tough decisions. Old characters showed up and we were introduced to a couple of new ones. The ending was more emotional and serious than I expected it to be, and it left me anxious for the next book.  I almost wish I had waited until they were all out before I read them so I didn’t have to wait a year for the next one! In the meantime, though, I plan on reading Gail’s Parasol Protectorate series, so I have that to look forward to.

Content: Some rude humor and some innuendo, but this is a pretty clean series.

Source: I received a digital galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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  • Reply
    Tressa S
    November 28, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Perfect review, Dena! I completely agree!! I plan on reading her other series as well. This series has been so entertaining, but these last two books and especially this one, felt much deeper. It's going to be a long wait for the next book…

  • Reply
    November 29, 2014 at 1:43 am

    I don't know how I missed this read-along. I just found out about it on Twitter…..with only 3 hours left I don't think I'm going to get far so I'm tagging this series to start the new year. My library has e-audio books for the first two titles. It would be nice to have the 'real' book to read along with while listening to the audiobook.

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