Carriger is truly a master of her craft. The continued impressive character development and world-building in this series amazes me to no end. I find myself gobbling up this series as quickly as I possibly can! While the first two books in this series focused on developing the main characters and introducing many secondary characters, this third installment further fleshes out those secondary characters and gives them a life of their own. I loved that Genevieve and Professor Lyall got more spotlight, as they are by far my favorite characters in the series so far.
This book however did have a rather repetitive feel to it, which made it horribly predictable and at times a little frustrating. The plot goes something like: Alexia runs. Alexia is found. Alexia flees. Alexia is found. Alexia flees, etc. etc. The most frustrating part of all of this rigmarole was that there is no concrete explanation as to how these people keep inevitably finding Alexia, or how they are coordinating/handing off "the hunt" to one another.
While the plot was terribly frustrating, I just cannot get enough of the characters, thus the high rating I gave this book. This is my favorite exchange:
Professor Lyall looked modestly proud. "I am considered a bit of an expert on the procreative practices of Ovis orientalis aries."
"Sheep!" Madame Lefoux's voice came over suddenly high, as though she were suppressing an inclination to giggle.
"Yes, as in baaaa." Professor Lyall frowned. Sheep were a serious business, and he failed to see the source of Madame Lefoux's amusement.
"Let me understand this correctly. You are a werewolf with a keen interest in sheep breeding?" A little bit of French accent trickled into Madame Lefoux's speech in her glee.
Professor Lyall continued bravely on, ignoring her flippancy. "I preserve the nonviable embryo in formaldehyde for future study. Lord Maccon has been drinking my samples. When confronted, he admitted to enjoying both the refreshing beverage and the 'crunchy picked snack' as well. I was not pleased."
I am so looking forward to reading more of this series, although I am rather sad that it eventually must come to an end.