Book Review: Prudence by Gail Carriger and Moira Quirk

Prudence is the first book in The Custard Protocol series written by Gail Carriger. I listened to the audiobook, which was narrated by Moira Quirk. This series can stand on its own, but Carriger fans that have already finished the The Parasol Protectorate Series and the The Finishing School Series will definitely be at an advantage. My personal disclaimer, I love the world Carriger created with her steampunk series. These books are my well loved and slightly addictive snack food, and I love them!

When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (Rue to her friends) is given an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female would under similar circumstances, she names it the Spotted Custard and floats to India in pursuit of the perfect cup of tea. But India has more than just tea on offer. Rue stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier's wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis and an embarrassing lack of bloomers, what else is a young lady of good breeding to do but turn metanatural and find out everyone's secrets, even thousand-year-old fuzzy ones?

Prudence was both exactly what I expected, and a complete surprise. I will admit that I did not read any of the descriptions or reviews of this book. I knew that it was focused on the daughter of the main characters in the Parasol Protectorate series, and that she was a metanatural, and hence able to steal the supernatural abilities of anyone she touches. Where she was heading and why, I left all that as a surprise as I listened to the story. I enjoyed that Prudence went where none of her parents traveled and met creatures that had not appeared in previous books. I loved the looks at the characters remembered or mentioned in previous books, as characters in their own right. The politics and balances are just minor points to me, but getting to know the characters that I had only seen as children previously as capable and very independent adults made me very happy. I do not want to talk too much about the plots or character interactions, because discovering them piece by piece is part of the joy in reading this book.  My only disappointment is that now I will need to wait for the next book in the series.

Prudence is as much fun as I expected. I wished that I could have kept myself from listening to the audio book a little bit long, only so that my wait for the second book would be shorter. The reader does a great job with voices, accents, and inflection. This made the listening even better than expected. 

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