Thursday, March 12, 2015

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger...

Title- Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1)
Author- Gail Carriger.
Publish date- 2013
Publisher- Little, Brown.


Review time...

(A Brief) Synopsis:
A training school for young ladies to learn etiquette is the last place Sophronia wants to be sent, but when she arrives, unwillingly, she finds the school happens to be... unusual, to say the least, and not all of their subjects are quite as predictable as she might have imagined.

What I thought:
I will briefly defend my honour.
I have decided that it isn’t actually My own fault, if I don’t end up reading a book for 4-5 months (over a year in some dire, current cases) because, very simply, I am a reader. And also a reviewer.
Us reviewers are, I think, avid readers as a whole already,  but having books to review, while being glorious and thrilling and really incredibly lovely, does rather make things stack up.
I wouldn’t change it. I might make myself a faster reader, but maybe I wouldn’t.
Even right now, when I am putting every book that isn’t part of a series (Catherynne M. Valente and Sarah J. Maas are exempt from this clause) through a two month wait list (it is usually shorter, but: I’ve been away!) before adding it to my tbr officially, things are still stacking up. So it took me longer than I would have liked to get to Etiquette and Espionage, but oh, I did enjoy it.
Set, for the most part, on a flying dirigible/balloon that functions as a school for young ladies to learn the fine arts of etiquette and killing, poisoning and fighting, the story features an array of characters who are intriguing and enjoyable to spend time with, if too few get the descriptive backgrounds they deserve. Sophronia, the protagonist, is, in a word, brilliant. She goes through some interesting character development as the story goes along, and while one might wonder if she lost a few of her more adventurous qualities as she was refined, I’d say she just learnt to channel them more carefully.

I’m very excited by the prospect of a novel wherein young girls are taught the fine art of weaponry at the same time as manners, so this was, really, fairly well a dead set winner for me. Add the fact that this is set in the mid 1800s in a steampunk past, that includes dubious notions of werewolf reform and vampires as teachers (done very well, all in all, though I’m not sure we’re actually going to get to the “reform” part), a nearby school for boys who, I may add, are training to become evil geniuses, and a general sense of adventure just seeping off the protagonist, and I am there.

I would have liked to see a little more of the lessons, as they were very briefly mentioned and enjoyable when they were, but I shall hold out for more all round next book.

Rating: Excellent.
A story that is wonderfully imaginative, comedic and written with whole passages of one liners, banter and, basically, joy, this is a most promising series starter.


  1. OOooooh!!! I really want to read this now. I have had my eye on it but just never made the time to read it. I need to bump it up on my list that's for sure.

    1. I'd definitely recommend you get to it really soon! Luckily there are already 3 books (three already and a fourth coming, or two and a third... the former, I believe) out, so we can fall onto them quickly, though this didn't really have a cliffy ending. More like, oh, it'll be so nice to go back. xx

  2. This book is pure delight, I'm glad you loved it too! I still have to read the next one, so I totally get you on not being able to read some books until months or years later! It is nice to come to a book late though and you're able to read all the books in the series right after the other. :)

    1. Oh, I agree with that! I can't imagine having been able to wait when it came to the Hunger Games books, which I read the summer before the film came out, all in one go. Books that have really cliffy endings make the wait so hard, though it can also be painfully fun, I suppose! xx

  3. ROMIPANTS!!!!!

    I'm glad even if it did take you a while that you finally got to the book and that you ENJOYED it. HOORAAAAY! Now read the rest of this series! PLUS the Parasol Protectorates - they have MANGA editions now too! And there's a new series starting soon!

    1. And I shall read the second book (I almost said and third, but let's not get too hasty, shall we?) before this year is out! I shall catch up and get ahead, one day!
      I actually tried the manga of that series, or at least the first one, but I didn't go with it. I'm not really into the sex that comes with adult novels. x


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