Etiquette & Espionage is the first novel in the new YA steampunk adventure series Finishing School by Gail Carriger.
Only recently have I become aware of the Parasol Protectorate series and actually bought the complete set at a great deal. Alt-Victorian era fantasy steampunk with wit and humor? Um, sign me up! I haven’t gotten the chance to read them yet, though.
The Finishing School series takes place in the same universe, just a little earlier apparently.
In it, we meet fourteen-year-old Sophronia. As she is always managing to get into trouble and act terribly un-ladylike, her mother jumps at the chance to send her to a finishing school when a representative of Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality appears interested.
Not long after entering the odd, large dirigible of a school does Sophronia realize that she won’t be just learning how to perfect her horrendous curtsy here… she’ll also be advised as to how to poison someone most efficiently, divert attention, and how to excel at espionage.
This is starting to look like more fun…
Etiquette & Espionage was AWESOME!
As someone who loves whimsical, wordy entertainment such as the dearly departed but beloved Pushing Daisies, I adored the fast-paced, fun, inventive, jaunty vibe of Etiquette & Espionage.
Here we have witty wordplay, saucy silliness, and frivolously fluffy fun! Hilariously funny names, a bombardment of info and nutty intrigue and a feisty, spunky heroine to follow in this fantastical steampunk alt-Victorian world!
The days I was reading Etiquette & Espionage I had continual reading interruptions, though. It made it harder to attach to the swift, awesome world and focus on the ever-moving, constantly clever narrative in a way that allowed me to truly soak it up. This was disappointing. Just life stuff. It would have been even better if my mind hadn’t been pulled in other directions!
What we have here is pure diversion: it’s delightful, persistently amusing, lively and energetic with fanciful language! Not to mention marvelously memorable secondary characters, paranormal beings, and mysteries!
Happily, the next book – Curtsies & Conspiracies – is going to be out later this year, so we don’t have too long a wait! Because what was I thinking when it ended?
I want the sequel NOW!