Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger
Finishing School bk 3. Atom, 2014. ISBN 9781907411618
(Age: 11+) Highly recommended. Steampunk. Sophronia is back at school, learning how to wield a steel-bladed fan while pretending to be a genteel lady. When her classmate Sidheag hears that her wolf pack in Scotland needs her help she enlists the help of Sophronia, and with Dimity, sootie Soap and Lord Felix Mersey, the group stowaway on a train trying to get Sidheag back home. However there are secrets aboard the train that threaten the peace of London and Sophronia clashes once again with her arch enemy Monique in her quest to save her world from chaos.
Gail Carriger once again triumphs with amusing and snappy dialogue that brings the characters to life in this steampunk romp. Sophronia is rather more introspective in this book, pondering on the worth of both Lord Felix and Soap, and knowing that one day she will have to choose a sponsor or even worse, get married. She has to make decisions about where her loyalty lies, but these are all made while having a great adventure. Her sidekicks, Sidheag, Dimity and Soap are all starting to grow up and also thinking about what is important for their futures, but their friendship remains as steadfast as ever.
Filled with action, flying balloons, landing on the top of moving trains, and facing down Picklemen and the powerful Dewar, the story keeps the reader engrossed and the unexpected twists at the end make for some interesting thinking about just what will happen in the next book in the series.
This is such a feel good series. It has everything - lots of action, humour, unusual characters, exciting adventures and to top it all off, it is very well written.