Hello Gemmies! I have a book review to share with you today. Prudence by Gail Carriger is the first book in the Custard Protocol series. We follow the adventures of Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (yes it's a mouth-full!). This is a series and as such I recommend reading the books in order. Prudence takes place about twenty years after the events in Timeless from the Parasol Protectorate Series. You can read this series as a stand alone, but to get the most out of the characters and events, you really should read the Parasol Protectorate series first. We follow the adventures of the now grown up children of Alexia Maccon, Ivy Tunstell, and Genevieve Lefoux. In true Gail Carriger style, there is plenty of fashion, manners, mischief, adventure, tea, gadgets, mechanical animals, intrigue, and paranormal goodness.
I love historical fiction mixed with the paranormal, so Prudence was right up my alley! Prudence has some intense action, humor, heavy tea drinking, steampunk gadgets, dirigibles, and paranormal creatures galore. If you are in need of some laughs, like deadly were animals, strong female leads, plot twists, fashion, and tea....this book is for you. Prudence (Rue) is an engaging character, although I did find her almost a little bit too headstrong. Also her lack of knowledge of werewolf history and her own predicament fell a little flat for me. It was mentioned a few times that her parents prepared her as well as possible to face the world, but she has no idea about the inner workings of her own werewolf pack (i.e. Biffy/Lyall's relationship/history). She also does not seem to realize the gravity of the danger she....the only meta-natural in the world is really in. I know she lived a sheltered life, but her parents not telling her and preparing her for what's to come is not in line with their characters at all. That was the main thing that kept this from being a five star review for me. Now with that being said, I love all of the other characters, and Rue and Prime's friendship is perfect. It reminds me of the friendship dynamics of Sophronia and Dimity in the Finishing School series. Rue's ragtag crew of the Spotted Custard is just delightful. It was also nice to get small glimpses into characters from the Parasol Protectorate series and see where they are now.
Like Gail Carriger's other novels, the world building in Prudence is extremely detailed and original. We get glimpses of Victorian London life as well as travel to India. For the steampunk lovers, there are gadgets and details on dirigible travel. My favorite part of this book....the paranormal elements are extremely well done. We get a plethora of were animals including werewolves, werecats, and weremonkeys! There is heavy flirtation but not a lot of romance in this installment which is fine with me. There are also plenty of plot twists to keep you guessing throughout. This was a promising start to a fun new series.
This gem published by Gail Carriger LLC is available for purchase from all major booksellers. I give Prudence 4 out of 5 gems. If you like tea drinking, wereanimals, friendship, dirigible travel, crumpets and jam, plot twists, and action, then go read this book! This was my last read of 2020 and I'm looking forward to continuing the series in 2021! Happy Reading and Happy New Year!