Author: Gail Carriger
Series: The Custard Protocol, #1
I am so angry at this book I can't even. Spoilers. Spoilers everywhere.
The first third of the book is boring and clunky and exists to establish what's been established in the previous series and a bit more. Also to get the "team" together because the book is mainly set in India and so if they don't come immediately, they can't be enlisted.
The team is unsurprising: it's all of the children (including Quesnel) from the previous series! In fact, Prudence (who prefers Rue) doesn't seem to have been able to make any friends who aren't friends of her mother.
Oh, and Rue is a stuck up, self-obsessed teenager-type adult-thing who seems to honestly think nothing she does it wrong. Which mostly just makes me really annoyed. Alexia? She had her character flaws. I wouldn't want to be her best friend necessarily. But Prudence? I don't want to be anywhere near her.
Maybe she'll grow up?
But anyway, that's not the big issue. The big issue here is that basically Rue is sent off to investigate tea and finds out that imperialism has screwed over the local Indian shifters who happen to be weremonkeys. Which means that the last minute quick fix (because that's not gone from the writing) has to save the weremonkeys from imperialism, and Rue is the one to do it.
...speaking of the only one to do it. For being set in India, we certainly only interact with non-Indian characters. We've got the well-meaning British army and British army werewolves and everyone on the dirigible. Oh, and the not really that enigmatic attempting to be enigmatic werelioness.
Perhaps the worst, though, is when Rue is mistaken for Lakshmi by a local because she was dirty and... something. Her dress was ripped. But, yes. Gail Carriger actual went for that trope. Apparently the locals are too stupid to understand the difference between a white girl in a ripped dress and one of their goddesses.
Anyway. Enough rant time. There has to be something good.
I found the flirting between Quesnel and Rue kind of adorable. Mostly Rue's obliviousness. See, that's a point where obliviousness doesn't bother me that much.
I'll probably read the next one because I'm a masochist. And maybe it won't have lines directly apologizing for imperialism.