Friday, March 22, 2013

Etiquette and Espionage

Review Time! Etiquette and Espionage is the YA debut of bestselling author Gail Carriger. I've read most of Gail's adult steampunk series, Parasol Protectorate (which are amazing) so I had this one on my radar for some time. I'm excited to review this for you guys today because I can't even put my excitement for this book into words! You can purchase a copy of this book from The Book Depository | The Nile | Bookworld | Fishpond. Thanks to Hachette for the review copy! 

(Goodreads) 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.

The Short Story? - Set in the same world as Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, Etiquette and Espionage follows the adventures of Sophronia Temminick as she attends her first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. The perfect combination of adventure, the supernatural and Garriger's signature "posh" humour, Etiquette and Espionage is high quality reading for the YA audience! Filled with mystery, friendship and the unpredictable, Carriger's YA debut is nothing less than impressive! 

The Long Story? - I've been waiting so long to read this novel and now that I've finished reading it, I regret nothing! It was an absolutely delight to read, beautifully written, rich language and very witty humour, I expected nothing less from Carriger. Etiquette and Espionage is probably aimed at a younger audience since the characters are essentially fourteen however the plot suggests that it's a story that can be enjoyed by all. I was sold on the idea of a "finishing" school where the proper ladies of society learn everything from high fashion to poisoning husbands ( tell me that doesn't sound good! I DARE YOU!) and Carriger definitely delivered. I loved the mystery element of the whole novel, I loved the steampunk and I loved the supernatural. It's not a very action-packed novel and it would have been nice to see a little more "finishing" but I have no doubt that book one is just a learning curve for Sophronia and her friends! I'm a little disappointed at the lack of romance since Carriger writes it so well but the seeds have been planted and I'm sure something will blossom in book two! In other words, bring it on! 

The characterisation was great, I've got a good grasp on Sophronia's character from Etiquette and Espionage, she's unpredictable, quirky and trouble in the form of a fourteen year girl. However she's also quick on her feet and fiercely loyal to her friends, she's good at solving mysteries and although she's far from finishing, she's a lady in the making! Dimity is so lovely, if I could have a partner in crime, I would pick Dimity, she's probably not the most reliable or the best pupil but she's funny and girly and the complete opposite of Sophronia. I was also quite taken by little Vieve who I thought was such an adorable character, not to mention that Vieve's a genius! I thoroughly liked Soap's character throughout the novel, he's charming and sweet and incredibly helpful! Overall, not a bad cast of characters at all! 

If I'm certain about anything, it's that Carriger knows how to write a wonderful historical YA. There is something for everyone to enjoy in Etiquette and Espionage, humour, steampunk, the supernatural, mystery and adventure! Dangerous, exciting and just a little fancy, Etiquette and Espionage is a remarkable debut that brings just as many thrills as laughs! Get your teacups out, slip on your gloves - we're going to finishing school!

What's it Worth? - Hand Over The Paycheck

Badass Bookie xx


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this book! It was a really sweet treat for me and I too loved Soap's character. He was awesome. Great review!

  2. I've been seeing this book around and I really, really want it. I have not read Gail Carriger's other series, but that too has been on my to-read list for some time. Which would you recommend I read first. Because I'm thinking about getting this book before I dive into the other series, but now I figure I might as well get a recommendation. :)

  3. I just read this last week and really enjoyed it. The writing definitely seemed aimed at an older MG/younger YA audience to me but I still had a great deal of fun and am excited to continue with Sophronia.

  4. I just won this one in a giveaway and I am super excited to read such a great review about it. Do I need to read the other series first or can I start with this one?

    1. You can just read this one! :) They're set in the same world but they're separate series'! :)

  5. This sounds so awesome- I feel like it may be a little similar to the amazing Heist Society by Ally Carter, though as you say for perhaps younger readers, and after such a rave review for it this is definitely going on my to-read list. Like, right now. Excellent review, Lisa!

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