Review: Imprudence by Gail Carriger

June 27, 2016 Books, Reading, Reviews 0 ★★★★½

Whilst in the middle of this book, I woke up at 3 am to take care of the sort of business pregnant people take care of at 3 in the morning, and as I was going back to sleep, I found myself thinking, ‘I could grab my phone and read a couple more chapters.’

Needless to say, I’m really loving The Custard Protocol series, and I loved Imprudence.

As much as I loved The Parasol Protectorate, with Alexia and Conall and the rest, I honestly think I’m enjoying reading about Prudence and her gang even more. She’s even bolder than her mother, and I love her more modern take on the world, even as it butts up against that of the elder generation.

Imprudence picks up where Prudence leaves off; The Spotted Custard has returned to London after their adventure in India only for Rue to find herself on the Queen’s bad side. She’s reached her majority, and despite her own excitement at that independence, she quickly discovers that she’s also lost all of the protections she had before she reached legal adulthood. Those protections might have come in handy when the crew of the Custard finds themselves hunted by unknown parties on their float to Egypt.

I won’t summarize much more, because I had fun gasping in surprise even early on in the book, but I loved it. This isn’t to say there aren’t issues; I have noticed with a lot of Carriger’s books that the plot tends to start out very slowly and then rushes to a conclusion in the last ten to twenty percent, and this one is no exception. But honestly, I had so much fun reading it that the pacing really didn’t bother me at all.

The characters are an absolute delight, and I love how organically the queer characters develop. I also love Rue’s boldness and sexual curiosity given the social mores of the time period. And I’m not going to lie, I really, really appreciate the experimental sexy times with Quesnel. Two enthusiastic thumbs up from this reader.

One thing that I found myself really appreciating is that Carriger actually head-on confronts a problem that I noticed in Prudence: that England’s colonialism and its affects on the colonized peoples weren’t confronted very strongly. In Imprudence, it’s definitely dealt with, both in showing the effects of England’s need to impose their culture on everyone else as well as with character learning that the way they’ve been raised to see England and the empire isn’t how it actually works in real life. At one point, our young characters get a slap in the face by the effects of one of their own’s very English sort of arrogance. I was very, very pleased.

If you’re an impatient reader, the pacing might bother you a bit, but if you love this universe and its glorious cast of characters, you’ll enjoy the hell out of Imprudence. I can’t wait for the third book in the series.

Kobo Inc.