The Custard Protocol Series by Gail Carriger

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Rue and her marauding crew of miscreants charge about in their high-tech dirigible trying to fix the British Empire, loudly and mainly with tea. This series explores the ramifications of Gail’s steampunk universe, both its technology and how the supernatural evolved differently around the world.

– from gailcarriger.com

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I’ve always been the type of person that doesn’t react well to changes and it takes time for me to adapt to them.

At first, it took a lot of pep talk from me to myself to finally click “Buy” and read Prudence, the first book to the spin-off series of the Parasol Protectorate.

I was a little skeptical with Prudence because I think it would somehow tarnish PP. As if Ms. Carriger could actually do anything wrong.

I wish my future self could go back in time and console my doubtful little self.

“Oh, sweetie. Do you really think Ms. Gail would actually write something awful?” future self would ask while she rubs circles on doubtful little self’s back.

DLS would sniffle and shakily say, “No?”

FS would raise her eyebrow.

“No,” DLS would say with more conviction. “No!” DLS would be shouting here now.

FS would give DLS the e-reader. “Damn right. Now read it.”

And so I read.

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When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (Rue to her friends) is given an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female would under similar circumstances – 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?

-Synopsis from Goodreads

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I really had fun reading Prudence. I had lovely time reconnecting to the beloved characters from PP as well as meeting their progenies.

I love that Ms. Gail adds the element of the different times with the changes that comes with it. I really appreciate this because of the numerous disagreements between my mother and I.

The characters are relatable and lovable! I can relate to Rue’s need to spread her wings and have her own experiences. I am also an only daughter. I may not be a metanatural but for my parents being an only daughter is special enough to be handled with care like you do with an egg. But what if that egg wants to be an omelet and be something amazing? Not a good analogy but I know you get me. Haha.

Oooh! Quesnell, my love. I fell in love with him since his first laboratory explosion from PP. And he grew up to be this yumminess that even Rue can’t ignore. I’m giving away something here. Sorry. Spoiler Alert!

The Tunstell Twins! They’re so different from their parents who have a certain flair for dramatics. Primrose is level-headed. Percy is a smarty pants. Whoever could they have gotten it from?

The characters also inspire me to embark on adventures. I am somewhat sheltered (read: only child) and they encourage me to see the world and all that it can offer.

And whenever characters from PP would make an appearance I would hold in a squeal that may or may not be 10 seconds long. I would gasp for breath and put my feet on the air and move them as if I were running from an invisible murderer. Yeah… it’s not a pretty sight.

It always is a challenge for authors to write spin-offs from much-loved series and make it as successful as the first one. But I think Ms. Carriger just did this and more.

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He always smiles as though it pains him to do so. It’s quite… intoxicating.

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“You are amazingly frustrating. Has anyone ever told you that?”

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Unfortunate indeed, but such is life.

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You look like death warmed over without exorcism.

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Everybody.

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Rue and the crew of the Spotted Custard return from India with revelations that shake the foundations of England’s scientific community. Queen Victoria is not amused, the vampires are tetchy, and something is wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue’s best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most unacceptable military types.
Rue has family problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue’s beginning to suspect what they really are… is frightened.

-Synopsis from Goodreads

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It is with a heavy heart that I write this. Not because I am disappointed with the book, far from it, but the characters from PP are evolving and changing. It took me a week to read Imprudence, two days longer than the time I read the whole PP series because I needed time to acclimatize myself with everything that was happening.

But it seemed like Rue knew what I was going through and was speaking to me when she said, “Isn’t growing apart part of growing up?” Okay. You convinced me, Rue. Just. Like. That.

I love that Ms. Carriger still puts characters here and there to keep my PP-fixated self satisfied while she introduces new ones to keep it new and fresh. I am definitely hooked.

A certain valet to Mr. Tarabotti is back.

The despicable hassock-wearing people are back.

And a new preternatural makes an appearance. Urgh. I hate him already.

I am craving for the next book like crazy. It’s all that I can think of right now so, with all the love that I can muster, write fast, please, Ms. Carriger.

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“My darlingest of Alexias, I am never serious. I resent the implication that I should be.”

“Not even about love?”

“What do you take me for – sentimental?”

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…he wore angry petulance so beautifully.

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Quesnel flirted because he genuinely appreciated women, and Rue in particular. Rue had to give him credit for excellent taste.

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…he was simply wounded in a way that made him scared of being prey.

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 “Forgive us immortals our sins of pride, child. We all age like cheese, growing strong and tasty but also covered in the mould of good intentions gone grey.”

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…reckless curiosity and enthusiasm for the unknown.

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Poor thing, she genuinely felt that she should do what was expected of her. What a horrible way to go through life.

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You are also beautiful – silly of you not to see it.”

“I’d as soon you said I was brilliant.”

“Oh yes, that too. But I suspect you’re more ready to accept a compliment on your intelligence and I prefer to keep you on your toes.”

“Here I was thinking you liked to keep me on my back.”

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I think we seldom regret the risks we take as much as the times we did not try at all.

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Sometimes it is better to be practical than pretty.

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Every one of you out there.

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