Genre: Young Adult Steampunk
Cover: fun, and a scene in the book.
Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill four fully grown guests?
Sophronia's first year at school has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy (won't Mumsy be surprised?). Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.
Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers' quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship's boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a school trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot--one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card!
I had so much fun reading this book, and getting re-acquainted with Sophronia and her classmates, teachers and other friends aboard the dirigible that contains Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.
I love the strange words invented for all the mechanical appliances and inventions and whatever thingies. The names of all the people in this book keep tripping my tong up, but add to the atmosphere of the story as well.
The school is leaving the Dartmoor moors, where it is drifting, to go to London for a historical event. And 10 boys and a teacher from Bunsen’s school for Evil Geniuses will go with them. Boys aboard a girls school! Sophronia is not really interested in them, but unlucky for her, one of them is certainly interested in her, and he keeps pursuing her. As he is the highest ranking boy, son of a Duke, and a Viscount himself, she really has to behave as much as possible, and use her flirting lessons on him.
But she has not much time for him. The girls just had their six month of classes test, and Sophronia aced it. The highest score anyone ever achieved in the history of the school. Instead of being happy for her, her friends and classmates completely ignore her, giving her the cold shoulder. And that hurts more than she thought it would.
She still has the sooties to visit though, and young Vieve to help her in her investigations. Cause surely there is more to this visit to London than meets the eye, and Sophronia is determined to find out what.
And who is trying to kidnap her best friend Dimity? And why?
I really love this series. It is such a fun mix; it is certainly not a normal finishing school. Of course the girls learn etiquette and everything, but also how to become a secret agent, a killer with unusual weapons and poison, and whatever else is needed. How to faint, how to flirt, how to be sneaky. It is the perfect school for a curious girl who loves gadgets as Sophronia, but she does learn that her actions might have some results that she can not live with after all.
The vampires and werewolves in this world are not friends, and they are also part of the government of Queen Victoria. But not everyone likes them, like the picklemen.
It is a fastpaced book with lots of little surprises, actions and friendships. Sophronia is feeling a little confused about her own feelings though, she wants to be just friends with Soap, but she sure likes being with him. I love following Sophronia in her adventures, and hope there will be many more books.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian