Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
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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. 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.
What I thought
This was a re-read for me, the first time I consumed this book as an audio book from my library. After listening to most of Gail’s book I decided that I absolutely loved her and decided to buy everything she has written. Which I have to do over time there really is quite a few. I really want to give this author so much support as I can, but I can only do it a little at a time. So at some point this year I decided that I wanted to read the books in chronological order, since I was getting them from my Library I was getting whichever series that I could at the time. Since I just love Gail so much I wanted to share the love and do a read-along. Starting in August 2018 we are going to pick up the book in the Parasolverse in chronological order until we finish all of the books in this world. This consists of three series (2 of which are already finished) and various stand-alone books. If you are interested in joining along please see my post talking about the read-along here I listed all of the books and the months we will be reading them. I confirmed my reading order with Gail before beginning this journey.
Please also go and check out Nicole @ thebookwormdrinketh review as well!
I absolutely love this world that has been created, its a blend of paranormal and steampunk with witty banter and I could go on and on. In this series we are following Sophronia. Sophronia who is not what one would have called a proper young lady to her mothers dismay. This story starts off with Sophronia climbing a dumbwaiter and taking off the rubber so she can put it on her boots to better be able to climb places herself. Needless to day the dumbwaiter did not last long after this. Sophronia finds herself being whisked away to Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. “Finishing” may not be what Sophronia and her mother think it is. Sophronia befriends three other new recruits Dimity, Sidheag and Agatha, some Sooties. Quite a go-getter our little Sophronia is.
I will say that this book is a little slow compared to her other books; however this book is technically the first book chronologically to set up this universe and this is the only set of books that were written as YA. I really loved the world she takes so many different elements and just throws them together. The amount of diversity is huge and the way its played off is wonderful. Everyone is just who they are and none of it is used as a reason why the character is there (what I am trying to say is that its never used as a plot point). One thing that I love is the use of balance characters. Sophronia is balanced by her new BFF Dimity as wild as Sophronia is Dimity is reserved. I love how she does this!
Since the Parasol Protectorate Series was wrote before the Finishing School Series you see references from the characters that carry over into the next series. I absolutely love Vieve (Genevieve) reading this the second time around and some of the things that is said just sets up her character for down the line. Each time I found myself smiling and going ahh I see what you did there.
All in all I am trying so hard not to gush and tell you anything that might spoil the story for you if you want to read it.
Beware there are Picklemen and flywaymen afoot.
My Rating: /5