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Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School) Hardcover – February 5, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
I have been eagerly anticipating this first book in a new series by Gail Carriger, author of the fantastic The Parasol Protectorate series.
The book follows the exploits of 14 year old Sophronia Temminnick, a troublemaking youngest daughter of a middle class Victorian family. Not knowing what to do with a daughter interested in technology and books, her mother is only too happy to send her off to an exclusive finishing school. Except this finishing school teaches more than just deportment. It also teaches the arts of espionage and assassination.
This book has all the fun of the first Harry Potter novel; it shows an unsuspecting protagonist encountering a weird and wonderful boarding school, and, in fact, almost an entire new society of which she was previously unaware. So this book takes some pretty familiar "starting a new school" tropes and puts a nice spin on them. Sophonia is an extremely likeable character and her new school provides lots of opportunities for her to show off her daring.
This series takes place in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate series, but it's set several decades earlier, in the 1860s, I believe. So fans of that series will enjoy seeing some familiar characters pop up here and there. As for the steampunk elements, while I tend to think of the Parasol Protectorate as a predominantly supernatural series set in a steampunk world, this series seems to be a steampunk series set in a supernatural world. Meaning that this series seems to involve a lot more technology in more important roles than the previous series. There are also vampires and werewolves, but the supernatural elements don't drive the main plot and are pretty much incidental.Read more ›
It's set in the same world, I think somewhat before the PP series, and focuses more on intrigue and steampunk, and less on the vamps and weres.
Plus- as an American who went to local public schools, I have always ADORED boarding-school fiction! And a boarding school on an airship??? with the companion school for boys devoted to developing Evil Geniuses??? What's not to love?
OK, the kids don't Save The World. What kids really can expect to? but they do rise to their challenges, outwit the adults, and have a grand time doing it.
A good ending, but with enough threads left that #2 can pick up nicely.
I think a lot of Harry Potter fans could love this, if they're OK with the focus being on GIRLS (the horror!).
Highly recommended. And for YA's, too!
I'm a pretty firm believer that you don't have to change your style/writing much (if at all) when you change age levels - there's no need to "write down" to kids (especially in this case, as the Parasol Protectorate series was a highly popular cross-over - Pretty much remove the steamy Victorian sexytimes and you're good to go). But the beginning of the book seemed like Carriger was going to write down to her audience and point things out in a really obtrusive way (as if they couldn't possibly put things together all on their own...), and that has got to be my number one I-will-throw-you-against-the-wall-you-just-see-if-I-don't pet peeve. Even as a kid, I found it highly insulting; you've got to have faith in your audience, and faith in yourself as a storyteller that you're doing fine - you don't have to handhold, and if you do feel the need to, you're not telling it right. But either the handholding was just a brief blip, or I got used to it, because the rest of the book slipped into the quirky, upper-crusty, hilariously Missish storytelling I'd grown to love in the Parasol Protectorate.Read more ›
Sophronia is my kind of girl! She was fearless when it came to asking questions and getting answers. I admired that in her so much. In the midst of her life being turned upside down, she stayed true to herself. She makes Etiquette & Espionage such a fun read with her refreshing characteristics. All of the secondary characters were wonderful, too! I was blown away with the way that Gail Carriger wrote all of them. They were all unique individuals and I loved every single one of them. (Except Monique. She's up to no good. Guarantee it.)
Gosh, can I just gush about how fun Etiquette & Espionage was? It was just a really good book. It was so easy to get lost in the world of Mademoiselle Geraldine's. It reminded me a lot of how it felt to get lost in the world of Harry Potter way back when. It required me to be present while reading, but it was just so fun. I know I need a new word, but that's really what this book was for me. It was an adventure!
With just one book, Gail Carriger has converted me. I'm already crossing my fingers that Santa fills my stocking with the rest of her books. The world of Sophronia and Mademoiselle Geraldine's is a world that I loved visiting and I can't wait to visit again!
**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I highly enjoyed this novel which combines steampunk with espionage and intrigue. Highly recommended to anyone with a love of adventure and mischief.Published 7 days ago by LucyBeE
Excellently Crafted. Couldn't put it down. Finishing School is by far my favorite Gail Carriger series. Read morePublished 13 days ago by mini-purl
I'm no longer a young adult, however, as an older adult, I love this series. I devoured the first three in a weekend and am now on pins and needles waiting for the fourth.Published 14 days ago by Jenna
Floating schools, mechanimals (omg I want!), vampires and werewolves and highwaymen. How to curtsy, poison guests, and spying lessons. I mean. Read more
This is the first book in an excellent young adult series. A steampunk with strong young lady characters, humor, and wit. My twelve year old daughter loved this series! Read morePublished 25 days ago by Loves to bake
What happens when your mom sends you off to a finishing school with a bit of a twist? Etiquette and espionage, that's what. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Christy Hayes