Librarian, Avid Reader, Audiobook Addict!
I will start this review off by saying I absolutely adore Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series especially on audio narrated by Emily Gray and I do admit to missing her voice on this book, I am not saying Moira Quirk did a bad job she was actually very good but there were times when I really wanted it to be Emily the biggest difference was timing Emily’s comedic timing is better than Moira’s and she pronounced Genevieve different too, and when it is a character from the other series it was glaring and bothersome to me because of my love for Carriger’s other series and Emily Gray’s narration of said series. I am NOT saying Moira Quirk was bad please don’t think that, she was very good I just could not help the comparison the Emily Gray. Moira was a new to me narrator and her accents and characterizations were very well done and I would definitely listen to more by her.
Now onto the book, this was fun and cute maybe not as much fun as the Parasol Protectorate series but it is the first book and I expect these to get better and better just as Gail Carriger’s other series did. Sophronia was a good character , and it was fun seeing Madame Lefoux as a girl and we also have a Maccon it is the Lord’s great-great-great granddaughter Sidheag ( not the Lord himself unfortunately) but we do get Professor Lyall (Pre-Biffy unfortunately) also I am hopeful there will be more of him in future books . I did enjoy meeting the new characters and I absolutely loved the mechanimal Bumbersnoot and want one for myself! I look forward to seeing more of Sophronia she seems like a character that will have trouble following her wherever she goes and that is the fun of it all. Dimity is quite a character too. Also the finishing school itself is not what it seems it is not where young ladies go to become good wives it is a …well read it and see what kind of school it is! **No Spoilers** We again have this wonderful Victorian Steampunk World that Carriger introduced us to in the Parasol Protectorate, we again have all the wonderful steampunk machines we have come to enjoy from past books. I also adore the names she comes up with, how she does it is beyond me!
I think this will be a great introduction to the world of Gail Carriger for young adults who will then go on to read more of Carriger’s books; I think they will become lifetime fans as I have. This book is fun stuff if you are a fan of the Parasol Protectorate don’t let the Young Adult classification scare you off it is still the humor and fun that Gail Carriger is known for. I am so glad we only have to wait until November for the second book in this series!
Some author / narrator combinations were clearly made in heaven. As soon as you hear 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 actor performing 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 author's creation, you know that those two talents were meant to come together, rendering something magical and beautiful. That happened with Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Rosenblat. Now it has happened again with Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs. You can almost hear something finely-crafted and well-oiled clicking into place, like the Universe doing something right. I enjoyed "Dodger" so much that I turned right around and listened to it again, immediately ... and enjoyed it even more. You will appreciate "Dodger" especially if you have previously read some of Charles Dickens' novels, like "Oliver Twist," in particular. Here (in Pratchett's world, of course), we learn that Dickens not only derived his character, The Artful Dodger, from this eponymous protagonist, but that he derived almost 𝙖𝙡𝙡 of his ideas from Dodger, by following him around, taking notes! Dodger is a "tosher" in Victorian London: He makes his living by scavenging coins and jewelry that the "nobs" have carelessly let fall through the sewer grates. Well, he also does a bit of scavenging above ground, too. We quickly learn to love and root for Dodger, whose smarts have kept alive in a cruel world, without subverting his good heart. Perhaps even more, we come to love Dodger's landlord and mentor, Solomon Cohen, who has done some hair-raising surviving of his own. The magnificent Stephen Briggs switches effortlessly from Cohen's Yiddish accent, to Dodger's cockney, to Simplicity's girlish timbre, to the Outlander's "not Chinese, but not German" accent, to Serendipity's carefully-cultivated Somerset accent, not to mention all the other characters' -- male and female -- unique voices. Oh, and did I mention the humor? "Dodger" is 𝙛𝙪𝙣𝙣𝙮! (Well, of course. I mean, after all, Terry Pratchett wrote it, right?) I can't imagine anybody not liking "Dodger," so just buy it.