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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Imprudence (Book Two) Spends Too Much Time in the Sack


Imprudence (Custard Protocol, Book Two), Gail Carriger

Since I do love the world created by Gail Carriger and all its entwining familial and inter-species spheres, I am loath to admit that this most recent book struck me as just a tiny bit thin on plot.  And while I loved the bawdy and larger-than-this-world sexiness of the relationship of Rue’s parents (especially in the original entry of the Parasol Protectorate Series), I had to finally admit that the time spent between Rue and her potential fella, theoretically allowing Rue to become educated in physical pleasures, was downright tedious.  I began to think it was added in just to flesh out the book (pun intended).  Part of what made that first storyline move was that it was so forbidden, so very Victorian, to be involved with a “beast” and to acknowledge that sexuality.  It was what made the character of Rue’s mother so remarkable.


Unfortunately, Rue seems to suffer from that ailment of the children of famous Hollywood (or steampunk London, evidently) parents:  She needs to find out how to make it on her own, but she has had such freedom and special protection (and understanding) growing up that she hardly knows which way to rebel first.  This is reflected in the books, as Rue first flies off in her very own dirigible, the flatulent Spotted Custard and makes enough trouble overseas to cause Queen Victoria to withdraw her support and the special “sundowner” weapon. See Prudence -  Custard Protocol, Book One.


This time around, though, Rue is trying to help her parents, theoretically showing more maturity as she works to give them closure.  But the book also seems to be trying to recreate some of the mystique of the original series with its exploration of a new “were” species and by spending generous amounts of time dancing around the sexual exploits of Rue and her partner.  Not so successful, in my view.

What's next?  In bed with Primrose and the Werelioness?  Perish the thought!  And let's hope next time there is a bit more plot to fill in the gaps.


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