Review: Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Book Reviews

Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger

5 Stars

This was my favorite Finishing School book yet! If you’re not familiar, Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series is YA that is set 25 years before her adult series the Parasol Protectorate. Both series can be best described as an Austenesque comedy of manners with supernatural creatures, alternate Victorian history, and steampunk elements. They are all wickedly funny, entertaining, charmingly clever books. There will be 4 books in the Finishing School series, Etiquette & Espionage and Curtsies & Conspiracies being the first two. It’s not a requirement to read the adult series, which starts with Soulless, but it’s also excellent and adds a lot of fun Easter eggs to Sophronia’s story.

Sophronia continues to be a delight in the third installment- she is extremely smart, pragmatic, and a lot of fun. I loooved the adventure in Waistcoats & Weaponry (half of the book is not at school!) and I love the friendships and banter between Sophronia and her band of friends. And Soap! He gets more shippable with every book. I also love how vampires and werewolves fit into the story because it’s very unique compared to most paranormal books. Plus the historical element is really excellent- it’s set in an alternate 1850’s Victorian England.

I always get a little confused by the particulars of the steampunk technology, the dirigibles and valves, and whatnot, but it never takes away from my enjoyment. I just skim the technical bits a little ;) But I really like how each book is connecting and I can see more than ever how it will link up with the Parasol Protectorate. There is a HUGE connection I didn’t make until this book! I did miss Lord Akeldama and Vieve but hopefully, they’ll be in the next one. The ending was so exciting and tense, I almost cried!

This is such a great series, I love Gail Carriger’s writing so much. It’s humorous and silly and heartfelt and proper and irreverent all at once. Plus the mixture of Victorian with humorous paranormal elements is such an unusual yet perfect match. I’m dying for Manners & Mutiny now, can’t believe we have to wait until November! At least her new adult series starts in March :D

Book Info

Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger
Series: Finishing School #3
Published by Little, Brown BfYR
Pub Date: November 4th 2014
Pages: 304
Format: Hardcover | Source: Purchased
Genres: SteampunkYoung Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Class is back in session…

Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style–with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspected what–or who–they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all.

Gather your poison, steel tipped quill, and the rest of your school supplies and join Mademoiselle Geraldine’s proper young killing machines in the third rousing installment in the New York Times bestselling Finishing SchoolSeries by steampunk author, Gail Carriger.


Morgan @ Gone with the Words

7 Responses to “Review: Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger”

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    Danielle D

    I just finished an advanced e-copy of Prudence and LOVED it! I haven’t read Waistcoats & Weaponry yet, but I’ve read the other two so I need to catch up. And now I’m feeling an urge to read the whole Soulless series, which I’d never gotten around to. Seriously though – check out Prudence ASAP! Tons of fun and a little more going on than in this series (which sometimes comes off a little fluffy to me).

    • Avatar

      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      I can’t wait to read Prudence!! I’ve been waiting years for it, I’m glad you loved it!! Oh, the Soulless series is excellent, you should go back to it! Yeah this series is definitely more fluffy but I think that’s because it’s YA and the other two are Adult. I love it though :)

  2. Avatar

    Quinn's Book Nook

    So I actually skimmed over a lot of your review, because I haven’t read this yet, but I definitely plan to. I read Etiquette and Espionage (and Soulless) last year and I loved them both so much. I definitely need to check back in and see how Sophronia is doing. I’m so glad to see how much you loved this. It was the push I needed to pick the second book up.

  3. Avatar


    This series sounds fun! I haven’t read any books by this author, but your review caught my eye and I’m definitely interested in a book set in 1850s England! I also love the steampunk aspect–I visited a steampunk exhibit in Oxford a few years back and it was brilliant I like this trend in MG and YA fiction to incorporate the steampunk dimension. Thanks for this review, Morgan!

  4. Avatar

    Stephanie @ Once Upon a Chapter

    This series seems like such a good series! I enjoy it when there is a spin off because it’s like the same series but with new things added in. I have quite a few of Carriger’s books and I need to get on that. :) Thanks for sharing!

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