Published: March 17 2015
Number of pages: 357
Genre: fantasy, steampunk, romance, supernatural
Audience: older adults
Rating: 2.5/5 owl hoots
After Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama is given a dirigible, she does what any sensible woman would do, christen it the Spotted Custard and float off to India with her companions. During her journey, Prudence (Rue) encounters a plot involving a kidnapped brigadier’s wife, a familiar pack of Scottish werewolves, and a dire crisis with an embarrassing lack of bloomers! Rue must then rely on her metanatural abilities to get to the bottom of it all.
Since the day my friend introduced me to the Parasol Protectorate series, I became a huge fan of Gail Carriger’s books. I’ve read both the Parasol and Finishing School series, so when I learned that Gail was starting a new spin off I was jumping for joy! It took two months until I finally received my copy of Prudence from my local indie store because it was coming all the way from a UK publisher. I was waiting patiently and when I finally had it in my hands, I immediately read it! I just couldn’t wait any longer because I was just so excited! But then something dreadful happened… in the end I was…disappointed.
If I were to summarize my review in one sentence, it would be this: the characters were interesting but the story was not. First we are introduced to Prudence, the metanatural daughter of Lady Alexia and Lord Maccon. If you don’t know what a metanatural is, then I strongly recommend that you read the Parasol series first, although you might have to anyways if you haven’t read the books yet. The reason for this is because a lot of the characters from Parasol return in Prudence. Most of the time they make a brief appearance but their profiles aren’t explained in detail, probably because Gail expects you to know who they are already. So with that said, read Parasol first before you begin reading this book!
Prudence is a spoiled, rich girl of high society given a dirigible from Lord Akeldama, and names it after her favorite dessert, the Spotted Custard. After gathering up her friends they venture to India for a mission involving very expensive and very good exotic tea. Prudence has some of her mother and father’s traits, but she is very close to Lord Akeldama. I was amused to see how much Prudence reminds me of her mother, but my only minor problem with her is that she doesn’t change very much during the story. I didn’t see any development with her character but for a young girl of her age, she can be very diplomatic when protecting a supernatural race. I still wasn’t very impressed with Prudence nor was I convinced of her romance. To summarize her romance, her first kiss seemed awkward and I didn’t sense any real chemistry between Prudence and her love interest (although he is a very attractive Frenchman).
And as for the story…argh! The story took so long to develop! After reading 100 pages I was getting really bored because nothing happens. Their adventure begins after a fashion faux pas and then she and her friends journey off to India where they encounter a series of unfortunate events together. I felt like my patience was tested because it wasn’t until the end did something finally interesting happen but before that, I was already unimpressed with the story already. Although I found it fascinating how we learn of a new supernatural race, the story was still a little flat but at least the characters were far more interesting. In fact the cast of quirky characters was the only thing that kept me from not DNFing this book.
Overall not my favorite book. It’s a hybrid of Parasol and Finishing School, and like I said before: READ PARASOL FIRST! This will help you make sense of the returning characters. Now after learning that this is a series, the questions remains: will I be reading the sequel? Since Gail is one of my favorite authors, I do want to give her new series a chance so I think I will read Imprudence (just not with high expectations).