Review: Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

E&ESeries: Finishing School #1
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 031619008X
ISBN 13: 9780316190084
Published: February 2013
Pages: 307
Format reviewed: Paperback
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Three out of Five
Related Reviews: Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School, #2)

‘Etiquette & Espionage’ by Gail Carriger is the first in her new series ‘Finishing School’, aimed at younger readers (with the main character being 14 years old), it’s still enjoyable for older ages, though possibly more female than males.

Set in the same world as her previous series ‘Parasol Protectorate’, we meet Sophronia, a girl of good-enough breeding but with a taste for mud and climbing rather than fine tea and quaint conversation. Her mother soon decides to send her to a Finishing School which could be utterly terrible… however, thankfully, it is soon revealed that in addition to the art of proper curtsies and etiquette, it has the additional classes of Espionage, threats and parasol fighting.

This leads to a highly entertaining and adventurous novel. As in Carriger’s other work there are vampires and werewolves present and a heavy dose of steampunk (or bustlepunk, as is often used for Carriger’s work.) Sophronia is an intelligent protagonist, armed with the same headstrong nature of Alexia (from Parasol Protectorate) and the want to be friends with those from all classes, which means at times we get to escape the Finishing School girls to meet the servants who are overall more interesting.

Overall this book was enjoyable, and so it is a good thing that we’re not often waiting that long for another to arrive from Carriger’s mind. This series will do well with young teenagers through to young adults, as well as adults with a fondness for Victorian-based novels and a bit of fun.

This review was originally posted at SentientOnline on the 27th February 2013.

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