Thursday, July 20, 2017

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1)Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Category: Young Adult
Genre: Steampunk, fantasy



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. 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.

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.


Reading Gail Carriger is always a delightful experience. Her characters are charmingly quirky and just plain fun. I love the funny and absurd names she gives her characters too. There is Mrs Barnaclegoose, Frowbritcher the butler, and Lord Dingleproops to name a few. Not only are the characters funny and quirky but her descriptions can be too. This paragraph is a good example:

"He was very pale and boasted an unassuming mustache, which was perched atop his upper lip cautiously, as though it were slightly embarrassed to be there and would like to slide away and become a sideburn or something more fashionable."

Overall Etiquette & Espionage is a very fun, lighthearted read that is set in the same alternate Victorian steampunk world as the Parasol Protectorate series. Time-wise this one is set before The Parasol Protectorate and we get to meet Genevieve Lefoux as a 9 year old and Sidheag Macon as a 14 year old. The setting works well in a YA novel, although this novel did feel somewhat more like a middle grade novel at times.

While I find certain aspects of Carriger's writing delightful, there is something that doesn't pull me in as much as I would like and I never really feel compelled to move onto the next book. Sadly that is again the case here. I'm not sure if I will ever read further into this series, but this book was fun and it did make me laugh which is always a plus.



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