Etiquette and Espionage

Etiquette and Espionage

Book rating: 04 Paperback Finishing School

By (author) Gail Carriger

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  • Publisher: ATOM
  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 124mm x 196mm x 26mm | 240g
  • Publication date: 2 May 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1907411585
  • ISBN 13: 9781907411588
  • Sales rank: 16,475

Product description

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 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. Temminnick 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.

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Author information

Gail Carriger began writing in order to cope with being raised in obscurity by an expatriate Brit and an incurable curmudgeon. She escaped small town life and inadvertently acquired several degrees in Higher Learning.

Customer reviews

By Brenna Staats 29 Jul 2014 3

I have yet to read Gail Carriger's The Parasol Protectorate series but I was very curious to see what her spin-off series for teens would be like. Etiquette & Espionage ended up being an intriguing read by the end, although I wasn't too sure about it for the first half.

Reason to Read:

1. An endearing adventure:

By the end of the book, I was quite taken in with this fun little story. The characters and world charmed me, with their quirks and fascinating little details. I liked Sophronia's spunky, tomboy personality and how she finds a way to apply herself to her learning... in her own unique way. I love that the characters in this story are a little bit different and very normal - perfect for readers to relate to.

While the book ended up being a lot of fun for me, it took me a while to come around and appreciate it. I don't think this spin-off series is the best place to start for those who haven't read The Parasol Protectorate series. I felt very lost and confused at first, because the world was so unfamiliar as was the language used. I needed more explanation and it just wasn't there, so the world felt disappointingly underdeveloped to me.

But at the same time, for much of the book Etiquette & Espionage felt more like a middle grade read as opposed to a young adult book. Sophronia is 14 in the book, and while I think this would be a great book for many middle grade readers I'm not sure it has much crossover appeal for those who liked Gail's adult series. The book felt very young at first, although by the end it seemed to venture closer to standard YA territory.

That being said, I enjoyed Etiquette & Espionage even if it wasn't quite what I was expecting. By the end I felt like I had found my rhythm with this book so that I had a better sense of the world structure.

ARC received from HBG Canada for review; no other compensation was received.

By Maryam H 05 Jan 2014 5

I'm a big fan of Gail Carriger's books so when I heard she was writing a YA series I was beyond excited.



I immediately fell in love with all of the characters. I thought Sophronia made a brilliant heroine whilst still being a young girl and acting as such. She had a great personality that made me laugh quite a few times right from the very beginning of the book - I really can't wait to see more of her in the next one.



The plot was a little simpler than I would have liked but enjoyable nonetheless. I found this book enjoyable mostly due to Carriger's impressive writing style. There really is no end to the humour, wacky scenarios and quirky characters in any of her books.



Overall this is a very quick, light hearted read that will make you giggle. I really enjoyed it just as much as the other books by this author so I sincerely recommend both this read and Gail's other books.

Review quote

... cleverly Victorian methods of espionage, witty banter, lighthearted silliness, and a ship full of intriguingly quirky people. Booklist, starred review This genre-blender will introduce fans of Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls and Jennifer Lynn Barnes The Squad to a world of mechanical maids and flying machines, while bringing a spy-school romp to readers of the weightier worlds of Cassandra Clare and Scott Westerfeld. Kirkus, starred review Carriger deploys laugh-out-loud bon mots on nearly every page ... in a sparkling start to the Finishing School series. Publishers Weekly, starred review Readers will love the well-developed characters and the quirky charm imbued into every page, and will eagerly await the sequel! Romantic Times