This was a wonderful second installment in the “Parasol Protectorate” series. Carriger continues to impress with her wonderfully well-developed cast of characters and fantastic world building.
Since I read Carriger’s companion series, “Finishing School” previously, I was so excited to see cameos of some of those characters in this series as well. Genevieve is one of my favorite characters from “Finishing School”, and she is equally lovable in “Parasol Protectorate”. The diversity she brings to the cast is wonderful, without being overly emphasized as oftentimes happens with diverse characters, making her feel like a token.
One of my other absolute favorite characters from “Finishing School” makes her mark on this book as well. Sidheag kicks ass and takes names, and to see her as an adult holding her own as Alpha of a werewolf pack was just awesome. There are so many strong women in Carriger’s books, and each has their own unique flair.
In addition to some wonderful cameos, this second book in the series continues to build more upon the world in which Alexia lives, giving greater insight into supernatural/preternatural powers and history. The plot moved at a much quicker pace in this book than in the previous, which I appreciated. Some of the conclusions and villains revealed at the end were rather predictable, but the huge surprise at the end came out of nowhere, and I loved that many questions are left totally unanswered, leaving the reader to wonder.
Really enjoying this series, and I can only hope the third book continues the trend. I would recommend this series to fans of paranormal, werewolves, vampires, historical fiction, and steampunk.