cover image Prudence


Gail Carriger. Orbit, $20 (368p) ISBN 978-0-316-21224-3

Carriger (Waistcoats and Weaponry) introduces fans of her Parasol Protectorate world to the next generation of madcap supernatural entities with the fluffy first Custard Protocol novel. Twenty-year-old Prudence “Rue” Akeldama and her best friend, Primrose Tunstell, have grown up in a version of Victorian England filled with vampires and werewolves. Rue, who can borrow the traits of any supernatural creature she touches, yearns for excitement and leaps at the chance to journey to India in search of a superior type of tea for her adoptive father, a wealthy vampire. She and her friends set off on a gaudy dirigible, only to run headfirst into danger, intrigue, and local politics. In a madcap adventure of manners, Rue veers from one threat to the next, always trying to maintain her dignity and composure. Fortunately for her, there’s never any sense of real danger. Carriger maintains a droll, tongue-in-cheek tone, and her protagonists are as concerned with witty banter and fashionable hats as they are with fighting for their lives. Series fans will enjoy this mischievous romp, which revisits old favorites while raising a new crop of charming characters. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency. (Mar.)