This was a fantastically fun steampunk paranormal read. I really really enjoyed it. I think this is Carriger's best series yet. I am also a fan of the Parasol Protectorate series and the Finishing School series; but I think this book was more well written than any of those.
I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was incredibly well done. The narrator sounds exactly how I imagined Rue would and does an excellent job with other character voices too. She portrays emotion well and made this book an absolute joy to listen to.
Prudence (aka Rue) is the daughter of Lord and Lady Maccon (the main characters in the Parasol Protectorate series) but has been raised by the vampire Lord Akeldama. Rue is the world's only metanatural which means she has the ability to steal a supernaturals' form.
Rue has been causing a bit of a ruckus in London so Lord Akeldama asks her to go on a mission to India to hunt down some very important tea. In an airship named the Spotted Custard (while happens to be painted like a giant ladybug) Rue journeys to India. However once there she accidentally ends up enmeshed in a battle between two supernatural groups no one even knew existed.
This is a fast-paced story that never slows down and the characters are highly entertaining. This book takes place after The Parasol Protectorate series (which takes place after the Finishing School series). So you do see/hear quite a bit from characters in the previous series, although they are mostly in the background.
I loved this new crew of characters; there is a lot of adventure, hilarity, and hi-jinks. Prudence is a wonderful heroine and her co-horts in adventure are all just as entertaining as she is. I especially enjoyed Primrose (Ivy Tunstell's daughter) and Quesnel Lefoux (Genevieve Lefoux's son). Primrose is much more practical than her mother ever was and can solve just about anything with her charm. Quesnel is delightfully French and a little bit naughty, but his concern and respect with Rue makes him a perfect love interest for her. I love Quesnel to bits and can't wait to read more about him.
The story was wonderfully engaging, fun, full of witty dialogue and spectacular adventure. It's a very well balanced book with lots of humor, action, romance, steampunky goodness, and a wonderful plot.
Overall this series is highly recommended to those who love steampunk reads with a heavy dose of humor. I really enjoyed this a lot. It's my favorite Gail Carriger series yet and I can't wait to read the next book in the series!