Hello Gemmies! I have a book review to share with you today. I absolutely love the Finishing School Series by Gail Carriger, so I was very excited to read the newest spin off novel Defy Or Defend. Defy and Defend is the second book in the Delightfully Deadly series and follows our finishing school graduates into adulthood. This world of spys, steampunk, manners, and the supernatural is such a delight. I found myself completely transported to this fictional Victorian era London. Defy and Defend is full of gothic makeovers, fantasy, intrigue, espionage, and love with supernatural twists.
I love historical fiction mixed with murder and the paranormal, so Defy Or Defend was right up my alley! The mix of operatives, Victorian manners, murder, and the supernatural shouldn't work.....but it does, and Gail Carriger is the undisputed Queen of this unique genre! What makes everything come alive for me is the incredibly detailed world building Gail Carriger has created. We get glimpses into this fictional Victorian London life, from the clothing, the food, work life, gadgets, and dirigible transport. The majority of this book is set in one location, a dilapidated castle which is also a vampire hive.
Defy or Defend follows my favorite finishing school girl Dimity Plumleigh-Teignmott. Now an adult and a full fledged spy code name Honey Bee. Dimity is bubbly, fresh, fun, deadly and a completely unique character. Dimity is independent, daring, and relatable...you immediately want to know more about her. (Side note: If you have not read the Finishing School series yet, you HAVE to...immediately!) There is also a whole cast of engaging characters. I especially enjoyed the over the top dour vampire dramatics. The love story between Dimity and Cris is also very well done and endearing. Trigger warning this is an adult book not YA like the Finishing School series so there are some adult sexual situations. There are also plenty of plot twists to keep you guessing throughout. To put it shortly, Defy or Defend is a bloody good time!
This gem published by Gail Carriger LLC is available for purchase from all major booksellers. I give Defy or Defend 5 out of 5 gems. If you love historical fiction, espionage, mysteries, witty humor, and dramatic vampires then read this book! I look forward to reading more stories set in the Parasolverse. Happy Reading!