Book Review: Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

December 5, 2014 Blog, Book Reviews 2

Book Review: Etiquette & Espionage by Gail CarrigerEtiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
Series: Finishing School #1
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on 2013-02-05
Genres: Action & Adventure, Girls & Women, Historical, Manners & Etiquette, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Source: Purchase
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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 the 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. Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate, this YA series debut is filled with all the saucy adventure and droll humor Gail's legions of fans have come to adore.

My Thoughts

Amazing! I am SO, so, so, so glad I have book two and just got book three from Netgalley!

THE only reason I’m taking the time to write a review is so I don’t get them messed up in my head since I’m pretty much planning to speed through them.

Ok, about this book. Gail Carriger has a remarkable way of making someone absolutely love steam punk. Everything in here is steam punk! The dress, the attitudes, the way people address and parlay with one another. The fact that a gal who is so not your average girly girl, has to go to a finishing school was quite hilarious to start. But this finishing school is not what it seems! Of course she doesn’t find out until she’s there and has gotten to meet a few teachers. Namely, a vampire and a werewolf.

Someone Gail is able to interact with all of these ideas and the heroine although not girly, comes out quite extraordinary in the end. She was just fascinating and I knew I liked her from page one. Although the name Sorophina for a main character is a mouthful I found that I loved all the character’s names. Once again, Gail just has the way of choosing what is right for her story. Some of these names, like Mrs. Barnaclegoose for instance, are just downright amazing and how she thinks of them amazes me!

I read a small paragraph close to the beginning of the book to my hubby and even he thought that this seemed quite hilarious and utterly to die for!

The plot moved very well although I was curious just why Sophorina is so curious but it just seems to be in her nature so I went with it. The other girls were taught to behave like women and not ask too many questions and the fact that Sorophina goes against the grain at every move was just delicious. But she does it with style, even if she is too young to realize it yet. I’m quite curious who Gail Carriger is going to set her up with, although she is too young at the moment, I am hoping we get to see her grow and find an attraction to some smart, devilish man that can match her wit.

For now I will be patient and watch her get in and out of the messes she creates!

In short: IF you haven’t read Gail Carriger yet, do yourself a favor and pick up one of her books. They are fabulous!

Rating Report
4.5 / 5
Character Development
5 / 5
Writing Style
5 / 5
Personal enjoyment
5 / 5
5 / 5
Overall: 4.9 / 5



The Author

About Gail Carriger

Ms. Carriger writes steampunk urbane fantasy comedies of manners 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. She then traveled the historic cities of Europe, subsisting entirely on biscuits secreted in her handbag. She now resides in the Colonies, surrounded by a harem of shoes, where she insists on tea imported directly from London and cats that pee into toilets. Her books are all New York Times Bestsellers.
Gail has a fun newsletter the Monthly Chirrup, sign up at

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

2 Responses to “Book Review: Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger”

  1. R_Hunt @ View From My Home

    I didn’t know this series was supposed to be humorous, wow, that changes my opinion of it. I think that it sounds very amusing and I might like to pick up book one at the library or its online service. Thanks for showcasing this.
    R_Hunt @ View From My Home recently posted…Shadowmarch ReviewMy Profile

    • Christina

      I loved it! I had the pleasure of reading all four and all of them were fabulous! The next few reviews are coming up soon. But yes, more fun than espionage although espionage is definitely a part of it. It’s just a freaking blast!