Prudence: The First Book of the Custard Protocol

Amazon Pre-Order

We know how excited I was about this book. I preordered it and I never preorder anything. I had a moral dilemma when it arrived because it clashed with my Lenten penance.

Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama, or Rue to friends, is all grown up! It's really touching to see all the old crew 20 years older, even the babies which we didn't get to know really well at the end of the Parasol Protectorate books.
Rue is gifted an entire dirigible of her own by her indulgent adopted father, Lord Akeldama. However, this isn't just for joy-riding and globe trotting in. Her mission, should she choose to accept it, is to visit India and procure some very rare, very new tea plants. Because, as we all know from personal experience, tea is very important. So, along with her homies Prim, Percy, and Quesnel, she sets off, but perhaps a little too hastily. Because fairly quickly the youths discover that maybe they should have stuck around a little longer so that Akeldama could debrief them more on what to expect. Things such as werecats and an abducted Englishwoman. This causes a great deal of confusion (and as the reader it felt a little off the cuff and sloppy).

Plot-wise, the story was imperfect. Many of Carriger's series start off feeling like that, but improve after she embellishes over time. Considering that there is only projected to be one book after this one in the series, I'm a little concerned here.
But the thing that really makes this book work beautifully is the humor and the characters. I loved the banter between Rue & Percy. And Quesnel is just...
...Oh My Lanta. Mother MAY I! Etc etc

As usual, Carriger follows a formula with her cast. There's the plucky female lead, much developed since the soulless and socially cold Alexia. There's the well dressed, vain-ish, but totally loyal best friend (Ivy, Prim, and Dimity), and even that has gotten stronger. And there's the nerdy idiot brother that somehow girls adore. As I say, a little formulaic, but I really love the dynamic and it keeps me coming back for more. 

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