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Thursday, 21 July 2016
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher, Orbit!
London is in chaos.
Rue and the crew of The Spotted Custard returned from India with revelations that shook the foundations of the scientific community. There is mass political upheaval, the vampires are tetchy, and something is seriously wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue’s best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most inappropriate military types.
Rue has got personal problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue’s beginning to suspect what they all really are… is frightened.
When the Custard is ordered to Egypt, transporting some highly unusual passengers, Rue’s problems go from personal to impossible. Can she get Percy to stop sulking? Will she find the true cause of Primrose’s lovesickness? And what is Quesnel hiding in the boiler room?
Imprudence is one of those books that you fall in to and kind of start to assimilate with the world, so apologies in advance if I sound a bit more...elegant than usual. Shall we say? I am so completely, and utterly in love with Gail Carriger's books. I can't even begin to describe how utterly fantastic they are! A few years ago, I fell in to an obsession with steampunk when I stumbled across a book at the library. That book was Soulless, the first book in the Parasol Protectorate series which is the series that comes before this one! To be fair, you most likely could get away with reading The Custard Protocol without having read PP, but it's much more fun if you do read PP! There's also the Finishing School series which I still need to read and prequels all of them! ANYWAY. I read all of the PP books in like....five days. So like...a book a day. I was bereft when it ended, and went through a fair few steampunk books but as much as I loved some of them...they could never quite match up to the writing in Carriger's book, to the imaginative world that sucks you in.
The book carries on from the last book fairly swiftly, we've now made it back to England and Rue is in a smidgen of trouble with our Queen. Oops? Things are starting to get tricky as plot lines from PP start to come in to play among others! That's the thing I love about these books, the plots are always complex, there's a couple of threads, with lots going on, that all weave together and you always end up being surprised. I don't know what I was expecting in this book, but at the end when the pursuers are revealed? It definitely wasn't the incredibly....creepy gentleman. Carriger takes care to make the two series interweave, when you read PP you're aware of something looming in the future and in this book it finally comes in to place and I feel like two of the PP characters have been brilliantly resolved, although I'm hoping to see them again!
I love getting to see all of the characters I loved from PP, Biffy, Alexia, Lord Maccon, Akeldama, Floote, Quesnel all grown up and so on. We get to see how they're getting on and what's been going on with them and there are mentions of other characters as well, like Ivy and Genevieve! In Quesnel's case it's a chance to see more of him as he's more of a main character than in PP and like I said, he's all grown up now! But as well as the old characters there's a whole host of new characters! Spoo, Virgil, Tasherit, Percy and Primrose being a few. I'm kind of iffy with Aggie! Carriger brings old and new characters together perfectly, giving the old a presence without taking over from the new, and each of her characters is so lively and interesting and brilliantly brought to life with depth and heart and....I just love the characters okay!
I love Rue, I love her general personality, she doesn't back down easily, she'd not afraid to jump right in to things, and she doesn't dwell on her status in the country as a metanatural and the negativity that goes with it, she's daring and courageous and bold. She's basically a hell of a lot of fun to read about as she narrates through all these crazy adventures, I love how she's determined to kill with kindness as it where with Aggie and I adore her friendship with Prim, and the banter the two share. They really are the perfect pair! I live for their scenes together! I find it very intriguing to see the relationship Rue has with all three of her parents, considering how she had to be raised, and while it's true to character, her relationship with Alexia did make me a little sad, but it also made me chuckle.
I also completely love Quesnel! He's completely adorable, although I doubt he'd relish being called that. He's just so laid back and flirty and likes to have fun and then when it comes to Rue he's just....adorable. Protective but still let's her do her own thing...after much shouting and gesticulating. I ship Rue and Quesnel so badly, I can't lie, I did since Prudence and in this book I was waiting for things to develop and I fangirled a lot because I love the two of them together, and there where obstacles in the way, and I wanted to bash their heads together because of all the ridiculous fuss from the two being so blind...but I got such intense warm and fuzzies once or twice, I'm trying to decide if I may or may not love them more than Alexia and Conall!
Imprudence is hugely entertaining, and has plenty of moments that have you chuckling, as well as a few heartbreaking moments like with the pack, and the parasol pledge. It's got a good mix of emotion and ends up being rather like a rollercoaster ride, but then I did read this book mostly in one day, after re-reading Prudence of course because why not?! I love how original the book is, the world Carriger has created, the history and lore to it, the characters and so on. It's incredibly immersive and once you started reading you fall in to the world, everything is so vivid and the author paints a picture with her words. It's an incredibly rich world, one you can't help but wish you could visit.
It's incredibly well researched, the historical bits that is! And it's obvious from the little details thrown in here and there that make the book so authentic, along with the writing style! I love how Carriger writes these books, the authentic writing, amusing narrative, complex twists and turns and research all combined with many other elements to bring you a unique and hugely engrossing read. The descriptions of the devices and gadgets are spot on so you get an idea for how they look and how they function, and they bring your imagination to life. The book is mostly set on a dirigible and there's a great amount of detail to how it works without overloading you with tonnes of information, it creates an authentic setting and has you feeling like you're right there with the characters. Honestly the attention to detail is amazing!
Imprudence is a brilliant continuation of The Custard Protocol and I'm excited to see where our crew are going to head next and what trouble they will get themselves in, especially considering the ending of this book! (The rather unladylike words 'effing Templars' may have been muttered). I'm intrigued to see what's going to happen with certain characters and their relationships, Prim for one, Rue another! I'm hoping the wait won't be too long because I'm always sad to leave this world! Plus I have a burning desire to know more about things that a character knows, that even we don't know from the PP books! There's just so much more of this world left to be explored, more of the characters to get to know, and more relationships to cheer on. Things where wrapped up rather nicely, but there's still some things left to intrigue...to make you wonder. I really, really, desperately need the next book! I've come over all bereft!
Genuinely, I can't even begin to tell you guys how much you should read these books, wether you're a steampunk fan or not, they're a great place to start if you're looking to get in to steampunk books! They're just so brilliant, and they really stand out from other books and please do yourself a favour and check them out! This series just gets better and better and I'm always so excited to see where it's going next!