Book Review: Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Title: Waistcoats and Weaponry

Author: Gail Carriger

Series: Finishing School #3

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

The Overview: 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. –Goodreads

The Review:

Though this one was the best yet, I’m feeling a bit underwhelmed about the series.

I can’t seem to find a reason to care about the conflicts in these books or the overarching plot. They’re not bad necessarily, but they lack substance. They also seem a bit random. Halfway through this book, when it suddenly took a different direction, I found myself totally disengaged even though I’d been enjoying it up to that point. I think because it shifted focus to the external plot and left behind the stuff I liked.

The stuff I liked: the espionage finishing school, where the ladies learn the finer points of intrigue. And really the selling point of the series for me. This installment had more learning sequences than previous books, which is probably why I liked it a tad more. I also like the side characters and the banter between them all. The love interests are just okay (I have a clear preference), and the passages where she’s trying to navigate her relationship with both boys are probably the most engaging parts of the series so far. For the record, love triangles don’t bother me at all. I like having options.

While there are some things I like and overall the basic writing is easy flowing and fun, I still think the series is pretty mediocre. There just wasn’t enough time spent showing the reader the development of the external conflicts, so each book so far has just felt like everyone going through the motions but no one really invested in what’s happening.

Recommendations: pick this veritable hodgepodge of genres up for a light YA read. Although it’s not blowing me away, it’s still an entertaining romp.

Other books you might like (same as for the first two books):

by Niki Hawkes

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