Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School #3) by Gail Carriger
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20980648-waistcoats-weaponry
Recommended for: Fans of Ms. Carriger, Victorian England, or the Steampunk genre
Read from December 11 to 17, 2014 — I own a copy, read count: 1
Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger, the third book in the Finishing School series, had A LOT of new information and plot twists that could have MAJOR ramifications for the 4th book, Manners & Mutiny, and even more implications in the Parasol Protectorate Series (which is strange to say since that series is already completely published; however, since I haven't read it yet, I think there are so many strings to tie up from this series into that series).
But I digress! In this installment, we learn so much more about Sidheag and Soap, who have always been two of my favorite characters, besides Sophronia, of course. I found it fascinating to see so much development for them. However, their development is so sad in regards to Sophronia and what it might mean for Manners & Mutiny. And Sophronia all but seals her fate in this third installment, so it has some finality that may or may not create problems in her future.
The only complaint I have, and it was especially apparent in this third book, is the author-created convenience - Ms. Carriger's plot twists sometimes seem too easy. Sometimes Sophronia & Co. are in a major pickle (pun intended), and some convenient escape or defense magically appears out of thin air. I don't want to give any away since some of them create new junctions to key plot points, but I found it irksome that solutions proved to be so easily found. And while I did notice it in both of the previous two installments, it was downright laughable at times in this third book.
However, even this annoyance was not enough to ruin the larger plot, and I imagine that Ms. Carriger's plot development was somewhat limited to the fact that its evolution is already tied to a preexisting series: If she is creating links to the Parasol Protectorate, she cannot deviate from the fate that already exists in those books. And these convenient solutions did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the this third installment, hence the four-star rating.
I have so many predictions about how these Finishing School books are laying groundwork for the Parasol Protectorate series. And while originally, I was planning to hold off reading the Parasol Protectorate Series until after Manners & Mutiny comes out next year, I just can't! I plan to bide by time waiting for it by jumping head-first into the Parasol Protectorate, armed with my magnifying glass, looking for connections to these books.
As always, I very much recommend any of Ms. Carriger's books, and I very much look forward to continuing with her characters through all of her series.