Review: Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

Description (from cover):

‘Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother.

Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than in proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.

Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate, this YA series debut is filled with all the saucy adventure and droll humor Gail Carriger’s legions of fans have come to adore.’

My thoughts:

I’ve been meaning to read the Parasol Protectorate books for a while now, as they’ve always piqued my interest. However, when I saw that this one was coming out and it was the first in a new series, I knew I had to jump right on it. I love the time period that this book is set. It is very steampunk Victorian which is a whole new genre for me to explore. Having not read Carriger’s previous books, it was a little harder to understand the world that this story and the Parasol Protectorate takes place in. I’m sure lovers of the Parasol Protectorate will be able jump right into this book and completely understand. I felt like I was a little lost at times, but I think if I had read the others before this one, I would have gotten the concept sooner.

Sophronia Temminnick is your not-so-average fourteen-year-old. She loves to do things that are not socially appropriate and she is driving her family crazy with her less than polite ways. Her mother finally has enough after Sophronia embarrasses herself, once again in the presence of company and decides that she must be sent of to Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality at once. Sophronia is not happy about being sent off to finishing school, but when she arrives at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s she soon learns that everything is not as it seems. It appears that the students are taught lessons in proper etiquette and how to act in polite society, but why are they learning about knives and the best way to engage in covert espionage?

I really enjoyed this one and really had wished I had gotten around to reading the Parasol Protectorate before reading this one. I found it a little hard to comprehend at first, because this was all so new to me, but I quickly caught on. I adore Sophronia and the troubles she finds herself embroiled in. This book opened the world to steampunk Victorian novels and I quite enjoyed something that I didn’t think I would like at all. I will be continuing with this series, because Carriger does write a quirky and engaging tale. I really need to move the others to the top of my to-be-read pile, because I can see why these books have such an adoring following. Carriger’s writing style is different, but it is very good and grabs you at the first page. This book is labeled as Young Adult, but I think it is a fun little book that will suit readers of all ages.

Overall Rating: 4.5

Title:  Etiquette & Espionage
Author:  Gail Carriger
Series:  Finishing School #1
Publisher:  Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  February 5, 2013
Pages:  320
Genre:  Young Adult
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

6 thoughts on “Review: Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

  1. I haven't read this author before but this story sounds fun. I love the Mary Quinn books by Y.S. Lee but wish she had shown more of Mary's training. I also enjoy the modern Gallagher Girls series but not so much the modernness of it all.


  2. Lol. Understand completely about the modern thing. I like my books to be in the past. The Y.S. Lee books sounds good. I will have to look into that series.Kimberlee


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