Title: Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing school #1)
Author: Gail Carriger
Fourteen-year-old Sophronia Temminnick is a great trial to her poor mother – her atrocious curtsy is an embarrassement to the family name. So Mrs. Temminnick enrolls her daughter in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. But Sophronia soon realizes the scool is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies certainly 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.
Sophronia isn’t very happy when she finds out she is being shipped of to finishing school. On the way there, the carriage is attacked by flywaymen. The mademoiselle Geraldine that picked Sophronia, Dimity and her brother Pillover, doesn’t help the situation very much. Sophronia, being herself, manages to get them out the problems, and they arrive at school. That’s when Sophronia realises that this is a different kind of school.
This is a finishing school, but how they finish, are a surprise to Sophronia. She has never been good at sitting still, and she is curious, and that combination is what makes the book amusing in my opinion. We don’t get a lot of the espionage, but we do get to see Sophronia taking some of the lessons to heart in her own way.
This is a steampunk book, and it’s my first steampunk. The mechanimal Bumbersnoot was a nice touch to the story. I loved the big dresses, the small adventures Sophronia did, and her sass. There wasn’t a lot of action in this book, and the plot wasn’t very big in my opinion, but I still really liked the book. I found it to be very fasinating, and it did teach me quite a bit about the world. One of the reasons I liked the book was due to Sophronia, her need to explore and her curiousity. I felt like this book was to get to know the characters and the world, and to set up for future books (which is normal when it’s the first book in a serie). I did have a hard time understanding what Sidheag was saying, and I must admit that she was not a character I liked very much. Dimity however, was a girl that help ground Sophronia, but she wasn’t boring. Dimity did want adventure, she just wasn’t always sure if she should, after all, she was a lady.
All in all, I liked the book, the setting, the steampunk, Sophronia and Bumbersnoot. I’m curious to see what Sophronia does next, so I guess I have to buy the next books in the serie 🙂