I had been dying to read, Etiquette & Espionage, the first book in Gail Carriger’s new Finishing School series ever since her adult series, the Parasol Protectorate, concluded last spring. I even pre-ordered it, something I almost never do because I was so darn excited…maybe it was the book trailer that suckered me into actually pre-ordering but then again who am I fooling? I was planning to download the book on its release date anyway. But I’ll let you decide for yourself…watch this trailer and tell me if it doesn’t make you want to run out and buy (or download and read as in my case) this book.
video source via Youtube
I don’t plan to prattle on like I usually can during a book review, particularly because Carriger’s books are reviewed pretty extensively and really I just want to gush about a few points and be done with it.
Here’s the cliff notes version:
Basic summary: Fourteen-year old Sophronia Temminnick is a bit of a handful who likes climbing trees and tinkering with gadgets more than refining her ladylike manners…much to her mother’s great chagrin. So said mother enrolls her daughter in a finishing school but it’s not your typical finishing school…I mean, yes, the girls do learn the more genteel manners like how to execute a perfect curtsy but they also learn how to finish the finer points of espionage, diversion and sometimes even how do dole out death. Thereby that’s how we find ourselves following Ms. Temminnick and her friends in their first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality as they help discover and thwart a fiendish plot.
–Adorable adventure romp filled with lots of droll humor and witty conjectures just as one expects from a Carriger novel
–Very Steampunk meets Harry Potter with lots of classroom scenes where Sophronia and her friends learn how to curtsy, flirt, pick locks, spar and all other forms of relevant finishing school courses
–YA novel not focused on boys, dating and the inevitable love triangles! Amazing, I was so happy about this!
–Delightful dirigibles, gadgets, inventions, mechanimals, spying…need I say more?!
–Acts as an almost prequel to the Parasol Protectorate series, where the reader discovers the young versions of Beatrice Lefoux, Sidheag Maccon (aka Lady Kingair), and Genevieve Lefoux. For me, it was as though I was able to peak behind the curtain at their early life even those I am well aware of how it all turns out. It gave even greater depth to their well-remembered adult characters.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading the next installment, Curtsies & Conspiracies, this fall.
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