Saturday, November 15, 2014

"Waistcoats & Weaponry"

New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger writes comedic steampunk mixed with urbane fantasy. Her debut novel, Soulless, won the ALA's Alex Award. The following books were all bestsellers. She was once an archaeologist and is currently writing her YA Finishing School series. She is overly fond of tea.

Carriger applied the Page 69 Test to Waistcoats & Weaponry, the third book in the Finishing School series, and reported the following:
From page 69:
This seemed to trouble the professor of late, for he would sporadically attempt to rid himself of the fuzzy protuberance. Since he was immortal, this did not work, for the moment the razor was put away his mustache grew back to its exact former state.

Sometimes, like tonight, he’d only managed to shave halfway before getting distracted, so the mustache looked as if it had lost its purchase at last and slid dangerously to the side and was trying, before their very eyes, to claw its way back up. It was hypnotic and difficult not to stare because the facial hair grew as quickly as a vampire’s wounds might heal.

“Young ladies, why are you leaving my class so soon, whot? I believe we have not yet even started. Wait a moment there! Don’t I know you? Yes, I think I do, I believe you are dancers to perform this evening. Or, wait...”

Sophronia and Dimity curtsied apologetically.

“Sorry, sir,” said Sophronia, “we’re excused. There’s this masquerade, you see?”
Dimity added, “Her brother is engaged, very exciting. We have to catch transport tomorrow and we need our beauty rest.”

“Well, that is no lie,” added Preshea from her seat near the back of the room.

The vampire lost interest halfway through their explanation. “Oh, yes, well, if you insist. Don’t forget your sausage, whot.” His mustache had almost resumed full bushiness.

“Of course not, sir,” replied Sophronia with a perfectly straight face.

“I believe they are bringing Viscount Mersey, does he count as a sausage?” Preshea was inclined to be fresh.
I think this is pretty representative of Waistcoats & Weaponry, and of my style. The bit with the mustache is pretty classic Carriger (I have a thing about mustaches, they will creep into most of my writing). Also this scene features a vampire in a position of authority being silly, young women being stroppy, and a hint at romance ~ all typical of this particular installment in my young adult series.

There isn't as much of the main character, Sophronia, on this page as there is in the rest of the book, nor as much action as begins occurring once the girls leave for the masquerade. Also the rest of the story is quite a bit more steampunk. But apart from that, I think it quite representative for the Finishing School series.

I don't know if the skimming reader would be inclined to read on, I suspect that is a matter of the skimmer's taste, as it were.
Learn more about the book and author at Gail Carriger's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Soulless.

The Page 69 Test: Changeless.

Writers Read: Gail Carriger (November 2010).

Writers Read: Gail Carriger (February 2013).

--Marshal Zeringue