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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)

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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.

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  • J. N. Abbott
  • 07-08-19

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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  • travis
  • 08-10-19

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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  • Nicboogie
  • 07-08-19

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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  • E. G. Koon
  • 08-05-20

great story

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

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-10-19

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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  • medas
  • 25-09-19

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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  • Surri
  • 07-10-20

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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  • Erzebet
  • 02-10-20

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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  • ZenMuppet
  • 22-05-20

Maybe this should have been 2 books?

I quite liked the Parasol Protectorate series, and by extension, this one. This series was a little more fun; perhaps a little more light hearted. I was happy to see Percy get his own book this time, and his own adorably awkward happiness. (Though I have to admit, the formula of ‘existing, perpetually single character + new, challenging character = begrudging romance’ is starting to get a little predictable here). Overall, excellent narration and good story. My only real complaint is that the pace of the story seemed rushed for the last half of the book, with quite a disproportionate amount of revelation and resolution crammed in. I know it’s the last book of the series, and I appreciate the author trying to tie up loose ends, but I feel like it could have been done a bit more gracefully. The epilogue, especially, felt like an info dump. Maybe there were notes for one more book to resolve one particular backstory, and they decided to scrap it and make it into an epilogue instead?

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  • Erin
  • 23-04-20

Custard Protocol As A Whole

This series (The Custard Protocol) started out quite lively and interesting... then it devolved into "The Love Dirigible". Honestly, there was SO much potential set up in the Parasol Protectorate quartet: history, questions, nefarious secret societies, political intrigue, and a HUGE potential in Book 1 of Custard (spoilers!) (you have been warned) A WHOLE WORLD OF NEW AND DIFFERENT SHIFTERS AND TYPES OF VAMPIRES. And yes, they DO meet a few, but by about halfway through Book 2, and certainly by 3 such things feel like an absolute afterthought to matchmaking on the dirigible. The OBO (Order of the Brass Octopus) is pretty much never mentioned again, there is only an afterthought of fall-out from the Were-Monkey debacle, the Were-Lioness debacle actually ISN'T AT ALL... Can we say "consequences"? No? ...sigh... So, I'm really rather disappointed in the series as a whole. A strong start, but absolute fail on the follow-through. Not to say there aren't some truly fascinating bits, but they're squeezed in around foisting characters onto one another. And I'm not saying I was expecting an adventure series and got a romance one instead. There is NOTHING romantic in the way the characters are thrown at one another. No huge character revelations either, in spite of having a different POV character this book (Percy). Aside from the plot issues, I find a somewhat glaring temporal glitch as well. (More spoilers ahoy if you haven't read the Finishing School quartet.) Bear with me as this gets a bit convoluted... the Custard's new Doctor (Arsenic) is supposed to be the daughter of one of the Finishing School girls. Arsenic is basically established as being the same age as Rue, Prim, and Percy (21ish). The (not much older) sister of one of Arsenic's mother's classmates is Percy and Prim's GRANDMOTHER. And this is the late 1800s. Not with me? Arsenic's mother would have had to be in her mid to late 40s when Arsenic was born... in the 1870s. Biology says not so much. Or Arsenic is a good deal older, and her mother was still older (for the 19th century) when she was born. I know, "but it ties all the series together so nicely"... I get picky about things like this, and it bothers me. Or my math is way off... :-) All that said there are some fun bits, and really cool possibilities to ponder, and cameos galore, and a sort of sideways answer to a question or two I'd had for a while, but I would have been far more interested if one of those answers had been a lot less "oh, by the way it just isn't done" and more "this is why it can't work for the English Supernaturals, but can for others".