This is not a stand alone book, as it's set in the world developed by previous stories. I recommend starting with Prudence's Mother's story 'Soulless..Show More »"' (Soul less) in the Parasol Protector series, of which there are 5 books. Then start off with this series, 'The Custard Protocol' (I'm still laughing at this name!) The Finishing School series is a stand alone and predates the beginning of Soulless. However, you don't have to listen to it first, but can start off with Soulless if you wish.
This story is quite witty, entertaining and surprising. I literally laughed out loud at times, while being moved almost to tears when the London Pack has a surprising change. In listening to this book I was so engaged in the story that I actually cleaned house while listening, just so I had a reason to put off my real work until later! LOL (I get bored when cleaning so I love listening to audiobooks as it makes the time fly by.)
I love Gail Carriger's writing and wit so much that I've attended one author signing at Powell's books and will be attending another next week. She creates strong female characters set in a steampunk world. All too often other authors only write where men must be alpha, which I get tired of. (I'm a natural pack leader myself) However, Gail's writing showcase's the way these female characters forge their way through the world, and in the process are quite entertaining. These are not women who are weak, or even looking for an alpha man, as they're quite capable of looking after themselves with the help of their friends. Each of the characters has their own strength, whether male or female.
When I learned of this new book in the series I couldn't wait. In fact, I counted the days until it was available and then stayed up till after midnight, just so I could purchase it right away on Audible.
This book isn't only entertaining for women either. My Sweetheart actually loves this series as much as I do! What a surprise! He's normally more into science fiction, mysteries and such, liking more mayhem and violence in his books than I do. But he equally likes Gail's writings and attended her signing event with me and will also be going to the next one.
Moira Quirk, as always, delightfully narrates in such a way that I hear the different personalities shining through. The voice for Prudence is especially entertaining, as it brings home the vibrant personality that Gail has created.