Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Sophronia is back in the third installment of the Finishing School series, set in Victorian England in a world full of Werewolves, Vampires, and secret spies bedecked in all things steampunk. The Finishing School series is a Young Adult series which I highly recommend to teenage girls or those adults out there who just enjoy a good supernatural fiction novel.

Waistcoats and Weaponry centers around Sophronia’s group of friends, who decide to go on a mission to save Werewolf-kind, prevent the Vampires from taking over the world, and evade the Flywaymen in the process. Naturally this would include commandeering an air dinghy (dirigible) and a passenger train in the process. And let’s not forget, the ladies have recently learned the art of flirting during their studies at finishing school, so naturally they must put their new skills to use to help in their endeavors.

Gail Carriger is a favorite author of mine-I love steampunk, but more than that, I just adore the silly humor laced into the stories, which mash up the world of Mary Poppins and Indiana Jones and ties it together with automatons, various robots and flying contraptions and all that comes with steampunk genre. If you’ve been meaning to get a Gail Carriger novel but haven’t gotten around to it I highly recommend that you do so. You won’t regret it.

 

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

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Two women decided to risk their lives to serve Great Britain in effort to end World War II. One is a pilot, the other is an agent specializing in espionage. Proving themselves in a man’s world is the least of the problems these ladies face: one night, during a mission, the plane is shot down and the women are separated beyond enemy lines. One of them is brought into SS custody and placed in a makeshift prison to be tortured for information and held until she can be “dealt with”. The other goes into hiding with a solid plan : find her friend, rescue her, and get the hell out of France.

The situation is very, very dire…But the operation is not hopeless. These amazing women cannot be stopped, and the power of friendship is an impenetrable force. Secret codes, secret operations, espionage, targeting rogue enemy operators, and the strength of two remarkable women fill the pages of Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein.

If you liked reading The Hunger Games trilogy, you are likely to enjoy this novel. Reality is harsh, but inner strength and the power of love drive the heroines through the wreckage. If you can’t handle some allusion to POW torture techniques, however, I recommend you avoid this one. Code Name Verity is considered a Teen novel, but is very adult in nature. If you love espionage, especially with strong heroines, you won’t want to miss this one.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Clary Fray is a teenage girl with normal teenage problems-or so she thinks. One evening, in a dance club, she witnesses a murder-and her entire reality becomes a lie. Living right beside her, her entire life, have been supernatural beings threatening to war against one another. The disappearance of her mother, followed by an encounter with a horrible monster in her own apartment draw her in to a world unlike anything she has ever known.

This Young Adult/Teen novel is the first novel of The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Clary befriends The Shadowhunters in an alliance to find her mother and bring balance back to the universe, fighting against a grave enemy that is connected to her in a way she would never imagine. If you love this series, be sure to check out her Infernal Devices series, which is set in the same fantasy world.

If you are the type of adult who enjoys a good teen paranormal fiction novel (Twilight, etc), then you won’t want to miss this series, which has family values, friendship, a touch of romance, and a whole lot of good versus evil…