Curtsies & Conspiracies: Finishing School #2
Fans will welcome the further adventures of Sophronia Timminnick, which do not disappoint. Those new to the series will need the first chapter to get acclimated but will soon hit their stride in this second entry in Gail Carriger's Finishing School series, the follow-up to Etiquette & Espionage.
Now that Sophronia is ensconced in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy, the plot thickens. The floating school is about to travel to London for the first aether-borne dirigible flight. The other girls--even Sophronia's best friend, Dimity--are thrilled at the prospect, but Sophronia is suspicious (after all, "Sophronia's gift for understatement was almost as good as Dimity's gift for overstatement"). It turns out the heroine's doubts are well founded: there's a power play to control the patent of the valve integral to the dirigible's technology. Meanwhile, Sophronia also attempts to keep Dimity safe (from the likes of Lord Dingleproops) and hone her talents for espionage even as her classmates grow resentful of her skills. Carriger smoothly weaves in fashion vocabulary and eloquent repartee infused with the occasional barb and an abundance of wit. The author's mix of technology, fashion, friendship, romance and intrigue will continue to fascinate readers. --Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness