Imprudence is the second book in Gail Carriger’s CUSTARD PROTOCOL series, a spin-off of her popular PARASOL PROTECTORATE books and related to her wonderful young adult FINISHING SCHOOL series. I didn’t love the first CUSTARD PROTOCOL book, Prudence. I thought the plot was silly, the humor was too often forced, and the romance was dull. However, I loved the audiobook narration by the amazingly talented Moira Quirk, so I was happy to give the sequel, Imprudence, a try.
In this instalment, Prudence (Pru) and the crew of her dirigible, The Spotted Custard, are back home in England, but not for long. There is turmoil in her father’s werewolf pack and he, their alpha, is in danger. Pru has lost the protection of the Queen of England, which means that, due to her metanatural abilities, she may not legally exist. Soon they are off to Egypt, which gives us another chance to fly with Pru and to visit an exotic locale. Fans of THE PARASOL PROTECTORATE will be happy that Pru’s parents are also aboard.
Having reached her majority, Pru decides that she would like to become educated in the arts of love (to put it genteelly) and spends a large part of her time thinking about this and attempting to accomplish it. Her friends, the twins Primrose and Percy, have their own little dramas going on. Meanwhile, the ship keeps getting attacked and Pru can’t figure out what the marauders are after.
I read Imprudence a few weeks ago and am just now getting around to reviewing it because, in all honesty, I could think of hardly anything to say about it that I hadn’t already said in my review of the previous book. I felt exactly the same way about it. I like the concept of the series, I like the characters, and I think some of their banter is amusing but, as I said before, “the plot was silly, the humor was forced, and the romance was dull.”
The romance was, for me, really disappointing. I could not feel the connection between Pru and her lover and those scenes, which contain the same sort of silly chatter that infuses the rest of the story, had absolutely no spark. Likewise, there is another romance developing with Primrose that I believe in even less. I don’t want to say too much, so as not to spoil it, but it doesn’t seem to fit Primrose’s character at all. I am doubtful that Carriger will pull that off.
Readers who loved Prudence (and there are so many of them!) will probably love Imprudence as well and should consider trying Hachette Audio’s version read by Moira Quirk. She is fabulous! As for me, I will probably skip the next CUSTARD PROTOCOL novel. This type of shallow (mostly fashion-related) humor just isn’t my thing. I get tired of it pretty quickly.