Saturday, April 6, 2013

Book Review: Etiquette & Espionage

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1)
Gail Carriger

Release Date: February 5, 2013

Book Description:
It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners—and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminick 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.

A great new adventure!

As Marie Lu, author of the Legend trilogy proclaims (on the book’s dust jacket), “It is the perfect steampunk version of Harry Potter,” and I couldn’t agree more. Filled with a very colorful, whimsical, steampunk world, familiar to the readers of The Parasol Protectorate series, with addition of new characters, and glimpses of the once familiar ones – Etiquette & Espionage is a delightful first book.

Once again, Gail Carriger masterfully transports us to the alternate world of Victorian England, where one might live next door to a vampire hive, or perhaps a warewolf pack; but where the heightened attention to manners is of outmost importance. Enter young Sophronia Angelina Temminnick, the feisty heroine of the book. Sophronia, being one of the younger Temminnick siblings, and with a certain taste for learning of the unknown, is quite a handful for her mother’s good taste. Thus it is decided that the girl is to be sent away to the finishing school, but unknown to her mother, Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality is not your ordinary finishing school. And Sophronia’s first year is guaranteed to provide plenty of excitement…

Gail Carriger’s books certainly carry a special charm and her unique writing style and ability to incorporate the most absurdly wonderful adjectives are a joy to read. I thoroughly enjoyed my reading of this novel and would definitely recommend the series to others. This novel is certainly geared towards a younger audience, which did not hinder my enjoyment of it. On the other hand, having read The Parasol Protectorate series set in the same world provided a helpful insight and it was certainly a delight to meet some of the former characters here, albeit them being their younger selves.

I am very much charmed by adventures of young Sophronia and her friends and am looking forward to the next release of Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School #2) on November 5, 2013 (the cover & description below) followed by Waistcoats & Weaponry (expected publication 2014).

Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School #2)
Gail Carriger

Release Date: November 5, 2013

Book Description:
Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill four fully grown guests?

Sophronia's first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy (won't Mumsy be surprised?). Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.

Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers' quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship's boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a school trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot--one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card.

In this sequel to bestselling author Gail Carriger's YA debut Etiquette & Espionage, class is back in session with more petticoats and poison, tea trays and treason. Gail's distinctive voice, signature humor, and lush steampunk setting are sure to be the height of fashion this season.


  1. I'm on book 4 of the Parasols, so that means I'm only 2 books away from reading this one :) Can't wait!

    1. Oh! I'm excited for you Tammy. :) Are you loving the Parasols? And this new series is very fun too! ;)


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