Thursday, October 03, 2013

Book Review: Etiquette and Espionage (The Finishing School #1)

Thursday, October 03, 2013
Title: Etiquette and Espionage (The Finishing School #1)
Author: Gail Carriger
Genre/s: Young Adult, Steampunk, Paranormal, Mystery
Released Date: February 5, 2013
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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. Temminick 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.

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

My Thoughts: 

Amusing and engrossing, Etiquette and Espionage is a hilarious and adventure-filled novel full of badassery and eyelash-fluttering. This book will capture the heart of every girl who aspire to become a badass assassin or a stealthy spy. This surely captures mine.

Set in 1850's Victorian era, this book featured an easily like-able 14 year old protagonist named Sophronia Angelina Temminick. Instead of hosting tea parties and shopping for new dresses and corsets with her sisters, Sophronia enjoyed spending her time climbing things and tinkering with machines. She was also very clumsy and because of her unlady-like behavior, her mother decided to enroll her in the prestigious Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. But little did they know, this Finishing School is nothing like they expected. Girls here doesn't just study proper etiquette and how to curtsy gracefully, they also study the arts of poisoning and fighting using fans, handkerchief and perfume (while still maintaining a perfect posture and elegance, of course)

“Practice your eyelash-fluttering, ladies. Six rounds of one hundred each before bed”

ERMAHGERD! Can I just say how AMAZING this book is. Seriously, this blew my socks off. Gail Carriger's world sucked me inside the elegant Victorian era and amazed me with her steampunk machineries from page one until the end. Also, the cast of characters, from Captain Niall to the Sooties, were all unique and full of personality. I just love them all (except for Monique).

Sophronia is such a fun character to read. She's adventuruous, innately curious, clever, hilarious and not-so girly. I love how she stood up for others and doesn't judge immediately base on the skin color. She's down-to-earth unlike the aristocratic prissy students like Monique who thinks she's better than everyone. But Sophronia is not perfect, she also committed a few mistakes and misjudgement throughtout the story, which makes her more believable and realistic in my eyes. And in the course of this book, her personality and manners improved (especially her unbearable curtsy. LOL!).

The other characters that also became my favorite were Dimity and Pillover. This brother and sister tandem were really amusing and I fell inlove with them the moment the wagon opened. Lol! And don't even get me started with Bumbersnoot, Sophronia's mechanimal. Seriously, I will throw a tantrum just to get one of those. Also, I just have to mention that their school is a dirigible(airship). I mean, HOLY FREAKING GOSH!!! How AWESOME is that!!! 

Overall, this book scored pretty high on my AWESOME-o-meter. And will highly recommend it to steampunk fanatics, paranormal fanatics, aspiring female assassins/spy, and to those who doesn't know about the steampunk genre but wanted to give it a try. Trust me, it's worth it.

My Rating

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