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Publisher's Summary

Bookish and proper Percival Tunstell finds himself out of his depth when floating cities, spirited plumbing, and soggy biscuits collide in this delightful conclusion to NYT best-selling author Gail Carriger's Custard Protocol series.

Percival Tunstell loves that his sister and her best friend are building themselves a family of misfits aboard their airship, the Spotted Custard. Of course, he'd never admit that he belongs among them. He's always been on the outside - dispassionate, aloof, and hatless. But accidental spies, a trip to Japan, and one smart and beautiful doctor may have him renegotiating his whole philosophy on life.

Except hats. He's done with hats. Thank you very much.

Custard Protocol

Prudence
Imprudence
Competence
Reticence

For more from Gail Carriger, check out:

Parasol Protectorate

Soulless
Changeless
Blameless
Heartless
Timeless

©2019 Gail Carriger (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Carriger maintains a droll, tongue-in-cheek tone, and her protagonists are as concerned with witty banter and fashionable hats as they are with fighting for their lives. Series fans will enjoy this mischievous romp, which revisits old favorites while raising a new crop of charming characters." (Publishers Weekly on Prudence)

"The author's humor and affection for her outlandish characters is always appealing. A fun launch." (Library Journal on Prudence)

"Blending steampunk and urban fantasy in a colorful alternate Victorian England, Carriger presents a grand cast of characters on a harrowing adventure that stretches from England to India.... Filled with lavish fashions, supernatural high society, and witty dialogue, this story is a fine introduction to a fabulous new series." (Booklist on Prudence)

Featured Article: The Best British Narrators


If you're looking for an audiobook in an accent, check out these listens from our favorite British narrators. Authenticity is something many listeners value in their audiobook experiences, and that often boils down to narration style and accents. Although so many audiobooks are narrated by many talented actors with wide ranges, sometimes it's just nice to listen to an audiobook performed by someone in their native accent. If you're searching for the best British narrators, look no further. We’ve done the tough job of picking just ten of our favorite British narrators that you'll love listening to.

What listeners say about Reticence

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Gorgeous ending

All those connections! All those cameos!! Oh, it was such a fun end to the Custard Protocol. I’ll never love it as much as Parasol Protectorate or Finishing School, but thanks to Percy’s installment, who is undoubtedly the character on the Spotted Custard I personally identify with and am fond of most, it’s now in my “repeatedly reread pile,” along with Gail Carriger’s other series. I’m a little sad I’ll never get to read Reticence for the first time again!!

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A perfect ending to the series

I was worried after the last book ended with so many people in happy relationships, that this book would produce drama by destroying them. I was happily surprised to see it take a different direction, and felt like this tied up the series in a nice pretty bow. A great story, a great ending, and a great series.

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great story

Biffy is British, why didn't that get discussed with the narrator?!! really threw me off

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what can I say that hasn't already been said

this book was very bitter sweet for me because it was the last of the series. I am going to miss Rue, Prim, Tash, Percy, the Doc, Qunnell, Spoo, Anitra, Rod everybody. They have become like family to me. The book was amazing, Moira Quirk was spectacular. I will miss them all, it was also nice to see very old friends as well. If you are a fan of Gail Carriger you have to read this book.

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Nice end to the series

This was a cute way to send off the series! I really liked Arsenic, and it was a lot of fun seeing her and Percy's POV, and that of Spoo! I also liked the way both the Parasol Protectorate and Finishing School characters were sprinkled throughout. The ending did feel a smidge rushed, and I was hoping the epilogue would give us a little bit of insight into the characters several years after the series' end (and for some, it did), but it was also nice to get a little bit of an insight from Lord Akeldama as to the events, so I'm not really going to complain!

Moira Quirk, as usual, delivered a delightful performance. There were a few times when her voice for Percy sounded a little more like the voice she used for Quesnel, but it wasn't enough to confuse me or anything like that.

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Rich in imagination and blend with reality.

The characters are so well written a reader can't help but to fall in love and feel all of the emotions the characters experience. It is a world full of pieces of familiar history and culture mixed with an imagination of another world that is changing. Loved every.moment of the series and the book.

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Overall enjoyable

Good story, but probably my least favorite of the Custard Protocol series. Sad that this was the last of the series!

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Well Done Gail Carriger!

Well Done Gail Carriger! Well Done! I love when a series ends well. 2nd listen was just as delightful.

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A wonderful finish

Every time I reread one of Gail Carriger's books I enjoy them more. I do adore a complex collection of interwoven stories all tied up in a tidy bow and that's exactly what we have in Ms. Carriger's Parasolverse. Thank you for being my go-to comfort read.

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The Best of the Custard Protocol

This series was trying, so to find the finale book this entertaining felt like a justly-earned reward.

From the opening chapter introducing the new doctor (and her place in the world relative to the characters we know), I knew this was what I have been waiting for with this series. The cameos and references back to the other books/series added levels of satisfaction and accomplishment, because to get to this book and understand them means we put in the time and effort needed.

I adored Percy as primary perspective for this book. Exposition hidden as the rambling mind of a professor works quite well, and he is charming in his own way (even as he assures us, others, and himself that he has no charm at all). We get more answers and real information about the nature of the supernatural in this book than in basically all the rest combined. My only negative comment is that this book beautifully set up the true mission of the Spotted Custard to seek out and understand the breadth of the Supernatural in the world--and it's the last book.

I agree with many of the other reviewers about the epilogue, too: it feels like there was a lot more written in regards to what it deals with, maybe even a whole other book that has been dropped from the project list for some reason. It takes a couple small things barely referred to in the books, expounds on them just enough to raise more questions and make you actually think about them...and then ends, all without actually giving us anything about the lives of the characters the books (and I do mean all the books) were about. It was very odd.

But, mysterious "not really cliffhangers" aside, the book itself is solid. Absolutely my favorite of the series and the one I'm most likely to listen to again. I highly recommend it, even if you do have to slog through the first two in the Custard series (the third one ranks second to this one in my opinion) to get here.

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  • Mathias
  • 08-04-21

A great end to multiple Series

having read all the parasol protectorate and finishing school books as well as all the custard protocol books, as well as some of the stand alones in the same universe I found this a very satisfying and to all 3 series, at least assume karma I don't think anymore custard protocol books are planned.

we get to see multiple characters from previous books even some smaller ones including Bumbersnoot.

the writing as usual is to a very high standard as to be expected with Gail Carriger no I would say this would be an immensely difficult book to get into for a newbie in the series. the ending is quite wonderful, leaving still a lot of space for more well at the same time rounding out the story in a way that it feels like we are leaving all the characters in a great place to carry on with the adventurous even without us.

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  • Victoria Pring
  • 04-25-21

It just gets better and better

absoloutly loved it, I have veen following this authors works for a while now, constantly thinking "oohh this book is my new favorite" then she writes another and it's even better. This book is part of the third generation so to speak and it has characters from all the previous books show up and unlike some other stories ive read they aren't just in there as token nods to the the authors previous works, they are integral parts of the story. Could you read this book without reading the authors previous works, ofcourse, its all written in a way that would make sense even if you didnt know the characters (yet it doesnt bore those who have read the other books with long descriptions of characters they have already met, a nice balance).
I can however guarantee if you read this series you will want to read the others so be warned, this will cause an obsessive need for more insight into this world.

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  • Lauren
  • 12-13-20

Thank you Miss Gail!

Absolutely loved this book! I already had the Kindle edition but was looking forward to the audiobook too as that's easier for me accessibility wise and I enjoy the performances from this narrator. Loved the new characters - particularly Dr Ruthven - and revisiting the old favourites too. The scene with Baroness Tunstall had me laughing til I cried. A great story and a much needed tonic in difficult times.

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  • Roobarb
  • 11-16-20

Extraordinary Adventures and marvelous characters

It was so good to get the audio version of this book at last, I had read it in ebook format but as I have the rest of the series in audio and the previous two series also this was a gap that needed filling. I'm happy its now available around the world.

This is the last book in the 4 part Custard Protocol series, a steam punk extravaganza where a group of characters travel the world. It will make more sense if you read the others first as there are character developments and storyline that flow through them all.

This series follows on from the Finishing School series, and Soulless series both of which are brilliant but can be read separately and characters from each appear in this series and a lot show up in this book. You don't have to read those first but it feels so good to meet up with these wonderful friends.