Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

Title: Etiquette & Espionage
(Finishing School #1)
Author: Gail Carriger
Length: 307 pages
Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers
Classification: Young Adult, Steampunk, Paranormal, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Source: e-galley via NetGalley (Thank you Little Brown!)
Read: October 2014
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. 

***I received an e-galley of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

This story wasn't really what I was expecting, but I am glad that I read it. It is a fun story with a fascinating world and entertaining characters.

Sophronia is not your typical girl. She doesn't care much for fashion. She cares more about climbing around and snooping. She likes to see how things work. Which is not proper etiquette. Her mother agrees that finishing school seems to be the right fit for Sophronia to learn more about proper etiquette and manners.

I think that this is a promising start to an interesting trilogy. This is a very imaginative world full of inventions and fun characters. There are vampires, werewolves, mechanicals, and flywaymen.

At first some of the vocabulary was surprising. I haven't really read many books that have the same words. But I really enjoyed the way that the characters spoke and the language used. I feel like it really fit in well with the story. The names were also different than I am used to. Some of them I am not sure I pronounce them the correct way, but I love how the names add to the story.

This book has some action, but not as much as I thought there would be. There were some times while I was reading, where I felt like the story dragged a little slowly for me. I was interested to find out what would happen next.

I like that the story focuses more on friendship than romance. Yes, there are male characters in the story. And yes, there are boys that the girls will mention are handsome. But there wasn't really any romance in the story.

I really like the characters.

Sophronia is a fun and entertaining main character. There were several times where I was anxious to find out what she would do next. She really likes to explore and find things. I really like that she is smart. She figures things out for herself.
I especially love the friendships that she develops through the story.
Dimity is a great character. She reminds me of myself because I also hate the sight of blood. I like that in some ways she is the opposite of Sophronia. I also love how well they get along. Dimity is a wonderful friend and she really is there for Sophronia.
Soap is another fun character. His friendship with Sophronia is also very enjoyable. I like that he also is there for Sophronia and helps her.
Vieve is one of my favorite characters. So smart and clever! I also love the inventions. And this friendship with Sophronia is also loyal and heartwarming.
There are several other supporting characters that I really enjoyed reading about and like their interactions with the main characters.
I also like the little feud between Sophronia and Monique. I had no problem picturing Monique in my head. And I was very interested in the interactions between these two characters.

My Recommendation:
I think this is a fascinating world. I enjoyed reading the story and I am looking forward to reading book two and finding out more about these fun characters and what is going to come next!

My Rating:

(Between 3.5 & 4. I've rounded up to 4 because I did enjoy the story and was left wondering what will happen in the next book.)

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