Sunday, February 12, 2017
REVIEW: Etiquette And Espionage by Gail Carriger
Author: Gail Carriger
Publisher: Hachette, Little, Brown & Company
Publication Date: February, 2013
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Steampunk
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible
Description: Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea--and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.
But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right--but it's a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine's certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.
My Thoughts: Sophronia Temminnick is not your average, run of the mill, fourteen-year-old girl. She has no interest in fashion or boys and could care less about balls, performing the perfect curtsy or dancing. She would much rather dismantle items and climb down dumbwaiters and give her mother as much gray hair as she possibly can. At her wit’s end, Sophronia’s mother sends her off to Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality, in the hopes that someone will be able to turn her erstwhile tomboy of a youngest daughter into a lady. Neither Sophronia or her mother realize that this finishing school will teach Sophronia to be a lady, but will also teach her espionage, weapons and how to effectively poison just about anyone.
Etiquette and Espionage is the first book in the Finishing School series and introduces several unique and interesting characters. I really liked Sophronia and felt a lot of empathy for her. She has a quick wit and a strong mind and doesn’t hesitate to stretch the rules, or outright break them, to serve the greater good. Sophronia’s friends, Dimity, Vieve and Soap, were also interesting characters that hopefully will make appearances throughout the series. I also enjoyed the paranormal aspect of this story with characters Professor Braithwope, a vampire and Captain Niall, a werewolf who wears a top hat, even in wolf form. I especially liked Sophronia’s mechanical sausage dog, Bumbersnoot, who consumes coal and emits steam.
My Final Verdict: I enjoyed Etiquette and Espionage for the interesting storyline and tongue in cheek humor with the historical setting and steampunk surroundings. I am curious to see how Sophronia and her friends evolve into ladies and spies.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Etiquette and Espionage from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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