Review: Imprudence by Gail Carriger (Custard Protocol #2)


Imprudence by Gail Carriger // VBCImprudence (The Custard Protocol #2)
Gail Carriger
Published: July 19, 2016 (Orbit)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review 

Reviewed by: Jo

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Note: While this review will be spoiler free it may make references to previous books in the series. If you haven’t started this series yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, Prudence.

After her disastrous tea mission to India, Rue is stripped of her sundowner status. On her way back from a right Royal telling off, she witnesses the pack drunkenly brawling. In Mayfair. Can you imagine?!

While reporting this travesty to her three parents, she’s frustrated by their vagueness, but realizes that something serious is going on with the pack; something isn’t right with her Paw, the Alpha, and her soulless mother seems distracted, worried even.

Rue must gather her crew and set out on a new mission to help her father. But with half the occupants onboard at each other’s throats, and the other half making covert eyes at each other, it will be a miracle if they get anywhere in one piece. Oh, and she has to cope with her parents onboard. Much tea will be needed.

The Spotted Custard is back and I could not be happier! As a huge fan of the Parasol Protectorate I was absolutely thrilled to see so many of its characters pop up here in Imprudence. I think it was an incredibly smart move on Miss Carriger’s part to wait until this second installment to have Alexa and Conall so integrated in the storyline. By allowing Rue to go off on her own in Prudence, she is now fully established as her own character and I could sit back and thoroughly enjoy watching the family interaction, rather than comparing Rue to her mother as a main character.

The first half of the book’s plot is very centered around the crisis with her father; this is actually a thread left open at the end of The Parasol Protectorate. Now, I don’t think you need to have read that to enjoy Imprudence, everything seems to be well explained, but I do think you’d miss out of some of nuances of character backgrounds and revelations.

Lord Maccon’s condition isn’t the only issue though; even before they’ve left their mooring The Spotted Custard is attacked. Unsure what exactly these assailants are after, Rue is sure she doesn’t want them to have it. After Percy makes a momentarily selfish cock up, that puts a crewmember in grave danger, the chase sends them all over Africa. While I loved the ‘sea battle in the sky’ type action, it did get somewhat repetitive. Once it reached its conclusion though I was totally satisfied with some of the shocking twists.

While I enjoyed the plot, it’s the characters, relationships and (sometimes flat-out hysterical) dialogue that always makes me hug a Carriger book after I’ve finished. Rue continues to mature in her role as Lady Captain and it was great to see her confidence growing. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for her ‘arrangement’ with Quenel. Watching these two dance around each other (sometimes horizontally) was great fun, but I (along with most of the crew) wanted to shake Rue for how blind she was being to both her and Quenel’s true feelings. There’s also another fabulous relationship brewing onboard, one I did not seem coming but am totally shipping now! Above all else though, I loved how much the friendship between all these characters continued to strengthen.

Imprudence firmly cemented the Custard Protocol series as a worthy successor to Parasol Protectorate. Filled with adventure, friendship and romance, this is an immensely fun ride, in a wonderfully amusing world. No cliffhanger, but the door is most definitely open for more adventures and I, for one, shall be more than ready to jump aboard!

Sexual content: semi-graphic sex

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