Curtsies & Conspiracies, the second book in Gail Carriger's Finishing School series, was a real treat to read. This YA steampunk series set in an alternate Victorian England follows Sophronia, a student at a finishing school that doubles as a school for spies. The second book in the series is even better than the first and I highly recommend the series to teens and adults alike.
In Curtsies & Conspiracies, Sophronia continues to learn espionage as well as her place in the world amid a conspiracy that puts her best friend in the path of kidnappers. Sophronia must navigate Carriger's beautifully imagined world, rife with vampires, werewolves and scientific invention, to save her friend and unveil the conspiracy against them. The novel is fun, exciting and wickedly smart. There are also some tie-ins to Carriger's adult paranormal romance Parasol Protectorate series, which provided wonderful gems for adults familiar with the series without being baffling to those who are not.
Curtsies & Conspiracies is a fun and adventurous novel appropriate for a wide audience, from middle-grade readers to adults. I would highly recommend the series to any fans of steampunk, adventure or urban fantasy. Carriger does a beautiful job navigating a complicated world in this wonderful coming-of-age story.
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