Monday, March 4, 2013

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
Release Date – Feburary 5, 2013
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages - 307 pages
My Rating- 3/5
**Received from publisher for review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.

Sophronia Temminnick at 14 is a great trial more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners -- and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Her poor mother, desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady, enrolls the lively tomboy in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But 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.
Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy produces young women who can charm you with their manners, entice you with their appearance, and kill you with the dagger hidden in their dress. A fun, and often funny, novel where the world building truly shines.

I was not expecting there to be as many steampunk elements as exists in the novel. The adorable Bumbersnoot, a Mechanical that is very dog like, was a sweet touch. The steampunk details added a fantastical touch that complimented the tone perfectly.

It’s this world, and the steampunk elements within, that are the most thrilling part of the novel. The setting is thoroughly developed, and intriguing. The school is a place worthy of being explored. It sets the stage for all the other creatures, mechanicals, and gadgets we are introduced to. There are some paranormal elements as well. We learn of werewolves, vampires, and the potential is there for more to be included. It provides a fun twist to the story.

Bunson and Lacroix’s Boys’ Polytechnique is the sibling school to Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy. It’s a finishing school of sorts for boys. I hope we visit the school in subsequent novel as I think there is more to learn about both the schools, and their ties to each other.

Sophronia is dreadfully unpolished according to her mother. She prefers climbing trees to afternoon tea. Her dreadful manners are a thorn in her mother’s side. When she’s offered a spot at a prestigous finishing school, her mother is only too happy to send her off. Her inquisitive nature, sarcasm, and penchant for trouble make her a perfect fit for her new finishing school. She’s headstrong and precocious. She’s a rather engaging main character, and I was happy to follow her on her journey.

Dimitry becomes Sopronia’s best friend at finishing school. A proper lady who is distracted by shiny things. She is almost the opposite of Sopronia’s but they work as friends. The other characters were almost a footnote. It was in this aspect that I felt something missing. The characters were not as developed as the wold inhabit, and therefore it was easy to not form any attachment to them.

The best word to describe this book really is fun. It’s a light, thrilling read that will charm you. It may at times be too light, but is otherwise an enjoyable read that will appeal to those looking for something different than the usual.


  1. Funny, fluffy steampunk assassins? Souds (very) good to me! :-)

  2. Like you, I found this book to be so fun. I loved Bumbersnoot and all the other steampunk things. Also, I hope the paranormal aspects are explored more in the next book. Great review!

  3. I might have to check this out!

  4. Yes, I found this book to be a lot of fun, but at the same time I felt like I was missing out on something. I enjoyed the story and the characters, but I wanted more and I hope that comes out in the next book.


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