Ohhh Prudence…. How I wanted to like you so much more….
The first book in what will hopefully be the “Custard Protocol” series tries so hard to hit the notes of “The Parasol Protectorate” but falls somewhat short. While the character of Prudence is lovely and is a nice blend of both her “soulless” mother and werewolf father, her companions fall a little bit short of the mark (specifically the male characters). The story Prudence (or Rue as she prefers), is tasked with investigating feels somewhat ill thought out and rushed in places; things felt incomplete and poorly explained.
The writing also seemed to be somewhere between the adult “Parasol Protectorate” novels and the YA “Finishing School” series, which led to a kind of weird experience for me as a reader – neither here nor there. That said, I did love returning to the steampunk world that Carriger has created, and it was so nice to run into some familiar faces.
Personally, I would have traded this book for another novel featuring Alexia, but I do have high hopes for the next in the series if it happens.
Available from Amazon.com and on shelves at your local bookstore. Also, Barnes & Noble has (or had) signed copies for sale, however for some reason the cover art on their exclusive edition has a call out about a special discount price printed in the design (which personally I don’t love).