Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School 1)

By Gail Carriger

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
yvette garza
This is the complete review as it appears <a href="http://ianwoodnovellum.blogspot.com/2013/11/etiquette-espionage-by-gail-carriger.html">at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV</a>. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-fifths worth reading! The only reason I've relented and started putting stars up there is to credit the good ones, which were being unfairly uncredited. So, all you'll ever see from me is a five-star or a one-star (since no stars isn't a rating, unfortunately).

I rated this book WORTHY!

WARNING! MAY CONTAIN UNHIDDEN SPOILERS! PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!

I read this novel some time ago and was quite thrilled with the opportunity to read it in ebook form. The ebook version (epub format) for Adobe Digital Editions was beautifully laid out and eminently readable, which was a pleasant experience, and it's only some 200 pages, so it's a fast read.

This novel is the first in a series:

Etiquette & Espionage
Curtsies & Conspiracies
Waistcoats & Weaponry
Manners & Mutiny

Fourteen year old Sophronia is sent to a finishing school, where finishing means exactly that: finishing off people, as in assassination! It's also a school for spies. I'm completely in love with Gail Carriger's sense of humor, if not Carriger herself (And I reserve judgment there!). How can you argue with a line like: "Who wouldn't want an exploding wicker chicken?"?!

The author spent some time in Britain, where this novel is set, and it shows very commendably. She has an amazing eye for the absurd, for the quirks of British life, and for the square peg in a round hole kind of person which Sophronia inescapably is. This novel is Harry Potter on steroids, but minus the too-cute and the magic, that being replaced with a liberal helping of steam-punk and intrigue, along with a sneaky and hilarious sense of humor.

In leading her main character on a merry dance in pursuit of her objective, the author goes through a humbling (for other writers like me!) repertoire of exquisitely-drawn characters, all of whom have quirks and foibles to both hate and love. The adventure begins with Sophronia's escapades at home, which lead directly to her being consigned (some might say exiled) to a finishing school suited to her disposition and talents.

I adore the playfulness of these stories, and the names which the author invents for her characters are exquisite: Bumbersnoot, Lord Dingleproops, Madame Spetunia, Sophronia Angelina Temminick, Dimity Ann Plumleigh-Teignmott, Pillover, Preshea, Bunson's, Duke Hematol, Mrs Barnaclegoose, Frowbritcher. They alone are worth reading the novel for,but the writing is exquisite, the plotting very well done, and the execution remarkable.

After saving herself, the girl who is to become her best friend, her best friend-to-be's younger brother (who is going to a different school to train as an evil genius) and the schoolmate who is in disguise as an older woman and who is highly suspicious, from flywaymen, life at school seems like it will be a let-down for Soph, but she discovers that an associate of the school, who helps them get aboard, is a werewolf, and one of their teachers is a vampire. Oh, and the topics at school are entirely to do with spying. Indeed, when Soph is called to the office after being reported climbing around on the exterior of the airship during one of her snooping forays, she isn't punished at all; she's merely dressed-down for allowing herself to be seen!

So Sophronia has to find her way in this finishing school to which she did not expect to go, and to which she was dispatched with unladylike speed, and find it she certainly does, and quite literally, too. The school is aboard a gigantic airship, which is subject to raids by flywaymen (sky pirates who are seeking something very specific from the school, and Soph is determined to discover what it is they're after).

During one of the sky pirate assaults, Soph actually ends up accidentally acquiring a brass steam dog from the pirates, which she promptly names Bumbersnoot, illicitly secreting him in her room, and feeding him coal! This is much to the disgust of her worst enemy (with whom she's forced to room along with her now best friend Dimity, a rather shy, retiring sort (but who's game for anything, it turns out), and a lanky Scots lass who also joins her troublesome trio. Along with aid from a precocious and amusing child of one of the teachers, and a likely lad from the engine room, as well as some assistance from Dimity's brother, Soph begins making herself very much at home - and very much a handful - on the airship.

In the end she saves the day of course, and I adored this novel. I was immediately, and very much looking forward to the sequel, Curtsies & Conspiracies which I also reviewed favorably. Carriger also has a series set twenty five years after this time period called "The Parasol Protectorate" which, rest assured, I shall be tracking down post-haste.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
r j vaccarelli
Every now and then it is refreshing to take a ride along with a story that doesn’t have any great claims to sense or meaning, but only expects you to enjoy and appreciate the moments as they exist. Gail Garriger manages to create a cute and whimsical story that is laden with wordplay and outrageous adventures, JUST for the fun of it. I’ve seen some liken this to the early books in the Potter series, and while it is true that the sense of fun, unusual names, outrageous adventures and wonderment are similar in feel, this story stands alone and reasonably unique. Steampunk elements are solidly portrayed, and steampunk elements are perfect for spurring imagination of the younger readers: a book suitable for 11 and up, the wordplay and childish attitudes of the characters will suit that age group perfectly well.

Characters in this story are average: while none are particular stand-outs, their personalities and approaches start you on a ‘getting to know you’ path that is sure to follow along in subsequent installments. The friendship between Sophronia, Agatha, Dimity and Sighead isn’t particularly angst-ridden, this is a fun and often silly story that moves from one point to another as the girls are learning to use their ‘feminine wiles’ to best advantage (and many amusing gaffes), with a bit of practical defensive training given. There is, of course, a boy’s school that is all that one could expect from a school for evil geniuses, and Sighead’s rather gruff tomboyish manner contrasted well with the other more feminine girls and Sophronia’s outrageous behavior for no reason other than to BE outrageous somehow fit nicely into the mix.

Add to that top hat wearing werewolves, faintly Shakespearean insults, and dirigibles, flying classrooms, inept pirates and gifts (or potential gifts) from boys that are just completely outrageous. Yes, the bad guys are over-the-top and bordering stereotypical cartoon baddies, but they are so ridiculously bad that it is just giggle material, especially with the outrageous names and visual imagery.

Carriger has penned a fun, funny and lighthearted story that will entertain and amuse: not one of those devour in one sitting stories, a few chapters spread over a few days will keep you engaged and interested in what comes next (even if you have already guessed). More importantly, as the start of a series it does give you an entrée into a new world and series that will introduce you gently to steampunk, giving you a feel for the flair and fun in the genre.

I received an eBook copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
dianne b
I was pleasantly surprised by the silliness and steampunk aspects of Etiquette & Espionage and Curtsies & Conspiracies, the first two books in the Finishing School series by Gail Carriger. Sophronia Temminnick drives her family crazy, what with her constant climbing and spying and getting her dresses all dirty. So when her parents have had enough and send her off to a girls' finishing school, Sophronia is in despair. Her school has no fixed address, since it is aboard a cluster of hot air balloons, so she is immediately interested. It is when she discovers that this is a school for spies that she knows she is in the right place. Then the fun begins, from outwitting the robotic maids to exploring the vessel to making friends...and enemies. The only thing she's unclear about is which category to put boys in.

I really enjoyed this book. Though it is easy for the inventiveness of the names and the steampunk world that Sophronia inhabits to be annoying and too much, Ms. Carriger finds a way to make them not so. I was worried in that first chapter by one of the first characters, with mention of a Mrs. Barnaclegoose (I did shudder at it), but after that, the names were funny without going overboard. Not quite Dickens, but what are you going to do?

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger was published February 5, 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Ink and Page picked this book up from the library.

Rating: 3

Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade Science Fiction Fantasy Paranormal Historical Action/Adventure Spy Romance

<i><b>This review is part of this post: <a href="http://wp.me/p2wqew-19j">Do You Like Your Spies...Historical?</a></b></i>
Imprudence: Book Two of The Custard Protocol :: The Shambling Guide to New York City (The Shambling Guides) :: Barsoom Series Book 2 (Volume 2) - The Gods of Mars :: The Collected John Carter of Mars (Volume 2) :: Number 4 in series (Finishing School) - Manners and Mutiny
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
connie ackerman omelsky
Etiquette & Espionage is an enchanting story that takes place in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate series. Carriger has a knack for weaving a very Victorian style plot in current age vernacular.

The story takes place roughly 25 years before the events of the PP series. Rowdy and rambunctious Sophronia Temminck has once again embarrassed her mother by way of highly unladylike conduct. Luckily for Sophronia's mother, she has already arranged for her daughter to be sent away to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. However, this is no ordinary finishing school. The additional subjects on intelligence gathering and appropriate fighting maneuvers for ladies of quality, while not known to the public (including Sophronia's mother), may pique Sophronia's interest.

The book was absolutely charming! The art of questioning without showing one's motives, eyelash fluttering, and fainting with purpose are just a few of the class subjects that Sophronia and her peers must learn. The plot is hard to judge from an adult perspective. I found it rather subtle and predictable. However, it IS a YA book and my perceptions are coming from a demographic outside of which the book was intended for. I personally found the book so entertaining that I didn't care if I could guess the ending easily. The only true problem I found was the issue pf Monique's teacher spy. Who was it? Will that be revealed later? The characters were intriguing and the premises of the book captured my attention. Carriger does steampunk in a way that is very inviting to people that may not have explored the genre, yet she still keeps to the core elements of the subculture.

E&E is like a wonderful cross of steampunk Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl, minus the fairies. A spectacular school with questionable morals and kick ass technology; in which the main character is special in some way and is always breaking the rules. Add a sprinkle of supernatural creatures and you have E&E. The best part is that a few beloved characters from PP are in the book as their younger selves! A teenage Sideagh (please forgive the spelling), a pint size Genevive, and an alive Beatrice Lafoux (...her name was Beatrice right?)! I loved this book so much and I can't wait for the next installment!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ryan crowther
“Etiquette and Espionage” is a wonderful and whimsical introduction into the world of historical steampunk fiction for the middle reader.

Based around a floating finishing school that also trains young women to become spies in the Victorian era, the subject is rich before a single word was written. The attention to detail in describing the machines and general steampunk ideas is amazing and inspires the imagination.

Added into the plot is a great history lesson about the customs of the era mixed with a great deal of satire concerning the way a “proper lady” should dress and behave. I found myself laughing at several points in the adventure at the sheer ridiculousness of it all. To counter the customs of the day, the author presents a host of very strong female characters and how they are, in fact, equal to men.

There is fantasy type violence, though none graphic, and questionable morality that is presented in a tongue-in-cheek-manner that no reader after fifth grade will see as an example of appropriate behavior, making it a great read for those making the leap from children’s books to young adult. My only caveat is that the language is a bit difficult to get used to, so it is not a good choice for the more reluctant readers.

But don’t let the children have all of the fun. “Etiquette and Espionage” is a fun read for adults who are children at heart.

This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jendi
This is a book I would recommend to those who enjoy adventure books. It’s interesting how the setting and the actions of the main character don’t really seem to match if you look at them individually, but as you read it, you can see how they go together to portray a certain message. Sophronia is a girl whom everyone can find relatable at some point, and that really helps the readers to empathize and immerse themselves in the book. I liked how the author added supernatural beings such as werewolves and vampires in that certain era because it made it more fascinating, but I couldn’t quite see the difference it made to the whole story in general except for certain parts where their traits were described and used, but again, I don’t feel like it would’ve had a big impact on the story if we were to just take out the whole concept. One idea that I really liked about this book though, was that it did a good job of showing how people are different in their own way and that it’s okay. I guess maybe the supernatural characters could’ve contributed to conveying this message. I also liked the setting, idea, and characters of the book, but I still don’t fully understand the idea of the prototype. The whole story ended with the prototype going back into the right hands, but I think the general story lacked details for it. However, some people may appreciate that subtle mystery; to put more of their own thinking into it. Personally, I didn’t really like how although the whole story revolved around trying to find the prototype and returning it to the teachers of the school, they didn’t give much description as to why it was so important in the first place. Overall, I think the book could’ve been more entertaining with better details of the characters and the general setting, but reading this book kept my heart racing for what would happen next. I can’t really assert that everyone will enjoy this book, but I recommend you check it out!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jennifer romolini
Gail Carriger has a lovely narrative voice and can be counted on to offer sensibility with a twist. Etiquette & Espionage is no exception.

This is her take on the Harry Potter sorcerer’s school, only its a finishing school for young ladies of a more … active persuasion.

We start out as ignorant as the main character, Sophronia, who objects soundly to being sent away to learn to be more ladylike until she discovers, quite rapidly, that there’s more to Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality than one might think.

From the very start, she’s breaking the rules (all with very good reason, of course) and discovering what she’s not supposed to know. But she was accosted by flywaymen on her way to the school with the apparent headmistress and overheard demands for a prototype.

Sophronia is not the type to let such knowledge lie fallow. She must solve the mystery while choosing any side that does not include the most detestable Monique who lies for her own betterment and is clearly up to something.

Add in Dimity (a proper lady to be from a very unproper family), Lord Maccon’s (from the Parasol Protectorate series) granddaughter some generations removed, another debut as first years are called, a 9-year-old crazy inventor, a sootie, and a mechanical dog, and you have a grand adventure.

My only quibble is the purpose for the school. Sophronia buys into it, establishing her loyalty to the school above any other purpose, mainly because the other choices involve Monique, but it’s never made clear who they are working for and/or what their aims are.

However, it means I still have more to discover as the series progresses, and discover it I will (though I’m behind already) because the storytelling is just great fun.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
stacie greenfield
When mischievous young Sophronia Temminnick is sent off to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality, she immediately envisions the worst--for she would much rather be climbing and dismantling mechanicals than learning how to be a lady. But coupled with the fine arts of social etiquette, dress, and dance, the girls are also trained in espionage, diversion and intelligence gathering. Insofar as Sophronia had expected to abhor the boarding school, housed in an air dinghy hovering over Dartmoor, she instead finds that she's quite enjoying her time there, thriving in an environment that seems to cater to her shenanigans. Danger ensues as Sophronia commissions some of her new friends in tracking down a mysterious prototype, and meets an odd assortment of gentlemen, flywaymen, and Picklemen along the way.

This was a fantastic read! I quite enjoyed the romp through this fantastical 19th century world, of dirigibles and air dinghies. The writing style was fairly fast paced, slowing down at times when extra description was needed, but otherwise moved along pretty quickly. There were elements of the supernatural as well, though they definitely didn't dominate the story. I loved Sophronia's character, her determination and fearlessness were inspiring. And the little mechanimal Bumbersnoot... awesome!

I've already started on Curtsies & Conspiracies, the second book in the series.

Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mohammad
Genre: YA Steampunk, Fantasy, Historical
Audience: Young Adult
Length: 327 pgs

Rating: ***** (I really loved it!)

Review: Gads, guys, it's been so long since I finished a book. So much other things going on and it hurts me. THIS book was the perfect one to coast in on. Lovely and epic voice. I started Parasol Protectorate (and put it down for personal reasons) and LOVED the voice and the idea and all of it. E&E was so perfect. It had wonderful characters, all of them well thought out, probably all able to have their own story. The execution is hilarious. It felt like the end wrapped up quickly, but it still really worked. Like a cross between Harry Potter and Georgette Heyer--witty, fun, great school world. I'm excited to read the second one!

Content
Sex - 2 (Characters decolletage and bosoms are discussed a few times. It is discussed that certain teachers look more like prostitutes than teachers. The girls speculate that a werewolf teacher may be naked under his coat, and another insinuates that she has heard that werewolves are good in bed, though it is not said bluntly. "I hear they make the best...oooh la la.")
Language - 0
Violence - 2 (There are fights with Flywaymen, with a werewolf, and between spies at a ball. Nothing remotely graphic.)
Substance Abuse - 1 (Some boys spike punch at a ball.)
Content Rating - PG-14

Source - I received a copy via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amanda ryan
I really liked first Carriger's book in the Parasol Protectorate series, Soulless, but oddly did not feel that burning desire to stuff the rest of the novels in my shopping cart. I don't know why. This one, set in the same universe (an alternate Victorian era, but with vampires and werewolves as well as steam-powered mechanical maids) an ostensibly for a Young Adult audience, somehow is making me itch to pre-order the next book in the Finishing School series (not expected until November, darn it).

The heroine of Etiquette & Espionage is a young woman of good family, but the 14-year-old Sophronia just doesn't fit in. She is more interested in taking apart the dumbwaiter (and listening in on adult conversations) than in learning to curtsey correctly, for instance. So her put-upon mother decides to send Sophronia to -- yuck -- FINISHING SCHOOL to become a true lady.

Except this school does not exactly match Sophronia's expectations, as the young women are taught both proper behavior for Victorian women and useful skills for spying. "A handkerchief is endlessly useful," they are taught. "Not only is it a communication device, but it can also be dropped as a distraction, scented with various perfumes and noxious gasses for discombobulation, used to wipe the forehead of a gentleman, or even bandage a wound, and of course, you may dab at the eyes or nose if it is still clean. Dab, mind you! Never blow."

It has a fun built-in spy story, great Victorian fashion, and a peek at the social sensibilities of this time (with wry twists). E&E also has an engaging, funny heroine whom it's easy to cheer for. The result is a story that's just plain easy to read, about which to say, "Oh just one more chapter before I go to sleep...."

And you don't need to be in the YA age range to enjoy this fantasy novel. (Obviously.) It has no "adult topics," not even a serious love interest much less a kiss. Thankfully it is Sophronia's story, not a romance. (Not every book should be about finding a boy.)

(Incidentally, Carriger has one of the best Twitter feeds of any novelist I know, especially if you want to to informed of Youtube videos on how to crochet a parasol.)

I really liked this novel. It's easy for me to assure you that you will, too.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rod dunsmore
That is the best cover I've ever had, plus the first one that has moving parts. :)

I got the entire series of this was netgalley a month or so ago and thought I should finally try and read it. I was nervous because I've read the first book in Carriger's adult series and did not care for it. However, it only took me around a chapter or two to fall in love with this series.

It was confusing in the beginning because this a steampunk type of world with robots that run off steam, and supernatural creatures like vampires (and I love the fact that one way to distract a vampire is to mess up his outfit, lol). But as the story goes on you get comfortable with the weird setting (a floating school) and also having Sophronia as the likeable main character also helps.

All of the side characters that help Sophronia, like Soap and Vivie were so great and I hope they come back in the next novel as well.

I recommend trying out this series, I'm sorry that I waited so long to finally read it! On to the next one. :)

Plus floating school where you learn how to be a lady/how to kill people, lol.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
maizy
Whether this is a prequel or an alternate time line, Gail Carriger does a great job expanding the world she has built. Sophronia is a wonderful main character, young and brash, with gumption to spare. The inclusion of younger versions of known characters allows us to see where they came from and how they grew, and they grow in a very clever way.
As the adventure unfolds (for that is most definitely what this is, an adventure story), we see growth and tribulation shape her and those around her. As always Carriger's witty turn-a-phrase and dialogue keep the story smooth and engaging. I was, and am, a fan of her first series; this is what lead me here. And while this is very much a young adult novel, it will appeal to older audiences.
An easy recommendation for anyone wanting a fun, page turning adventure with smart characters and clever problem solving.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kendall loeber
I found myself reading this book aloud to my sixth grade daughter and thoroughly enjoying the story. As a fan of the author's adult books in this vein (the Parasol Protectorate series), I wanted my girls to be able to enjoy her work as well. Even though my 12 year old tests out as reading at a twelfth grade level, she found the vocabulary to be a bit challenging. One does not often use words like "dirigible" and "comestibles" in normal American conversation or writing. Even the words of the title may be a challenge for some early middle school students. I would recommend that the reading age be grades eight through twelve, though it may be a bit young for some high school seniors, it is a nice, clean introduction to steam punk as a genre. As most of the main characters are young women who are ostensibly at a finishing school, the series will most likely appeal to girls, but since there are also important male characters, interesting adventures and machinery, (not to mention the "secret training"), boys could certainly enjoy the book's dirigibles, vampires and werewolves as well. My daughter hopes to continue the series together.
Heat factor:cool
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
angela gaitas
Originally posted, with links, at Fantasy Literature.

When we meet 14-year-old Sophronia in the first scene of Etiquette & Espionage, she’s diving out of a runaway dumbwaiter after attempting to use it to spy on the mysterious woman sitting in her mother’s parlor. Despite Sophronia’s inglorious entry and introduction, the lady invites her to attend Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. Sephronia does not want to be reformed, but she is sent nonetheless.

Fortunately for Sophronia (and unknown to her mother or to headmistress Mademoiselle Geraldine), this finishing school is highly unusual. Most noticeable is that it floats far above the ground in a fantastical dirigible. Second, it recruits students from the most evil families in the country (though Sophronia is a covert recruit). Most important is that while the ladies of Mademoiselle Geraldine’s are being properly and traditionally finished, they are also learning to finish others. To this aim, they are being trained in espionage, weaponry, technology, intelligence gathering, deceit, seduction, poisoning, and defense against werewolves and vampires. These girls are being prepared to catch a husband or assassinate an enemy; many of the same skills are required for both, after all.

Sophronia’s first clue that something is strange about her new school occurs when she and another new girl named Dimity are being transported by carriage to the place where they’ll meet the dirigible. On the way, some flyway-men attack and try to steal “the prototype” from Sophronia’s escort. From then on, Sophronia and Dimity are determined to discover what and where the prototype is and to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. They’ll get some help from the “sooties” in the boiler room, the boys from the evil genius school, and a mechanical pet dog.

Etiquette & Espionage is the first book in Gail Carriger’s FINISHING SCHOOL series which takes place in her PARASOL PROTECTORATE world (but you don’t need to be familiar with PARASOL PROTECTORATE). It’s a steampunk/paranormal blend that’s targeted to young adults but will be enjoyed by adults as well, especially since (even though it’s about boarding school) it lacks those overused YA paranormal clichés that make that genre so painful for some of us old folks to read. Instead of love triangles and mean-girl-cliques we have lessons in proper fainting, eye lash fluttering, and knife skills. The steampunk elements — dirigibles, automatons, goggles, levers and gears — are all familiar, but Carriger has fun with these, too, making them impossibly fantastical. Her villains are purposely recognizable and delightfully over-the-top. You can imagine her winking at her readers when she has the flyway-men demand “the prototype.”

I knew I was going to love Etiquette & Espionage from the very first paragraph in which Sophronia is shown to be curious, intelligent, resourceful and mischievous. She and Dimity make wonderfully spunky little heroines. I adored them and can’t wait to read more of their adventures in the next book, Curtsies & Conspiracies, which has just been released.

I listened to the audio version of Etiquette & Espionage which was produced by Hachette Audio and read by Moira Quirk who was so absolutely brilliantly perfect in every way that I looked her up at Audible so I could put her other books in my wishlist. Moira Quirk’s entertaining narration added to the value of this story and now I wouldn’t think of reading it in any other format.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
primavera
Gail Carriger (Author) and Moira Quirk (Narrator) are a fantastic team! Carriger writes this amazing world, great characters and interesting story and Quirk brings the characters to life! I've taken to listening to books on Overdrive when I'm traveling and, since I've long planned to read Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, I jumped at the chance to listen to this YA version of her world. Personally, I didn't find it too young or girly for my nearly 40, male self. I like humorous, well scripted stories and this book has both, along with interesting, quirky characters. Speaking of quirky . . .Moira Quirk gives each character a distinct voice and cadence that fits the personality Mrs Carriger gave them perfectly! I've already listened the the second book (just as good) and look forward to finishing the series!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
christine gardener
I love Steampunk, especially when it comes to the addition of fantastic creatures and a killer plotline. This book delivers on all fronts.

For those like me, don't be put off by the title or its cover. This is a masterfully complete adventure filled with daring and a ton of mischief. Vamp and Wolf fans will find satisfaction in the pages as well as those like who love the steam powered full of mechs and technology. 

Great characters abound with Sophronia, the 14 year girl trying hard to be a lady for her mother when in reality, she is an adventurer. She befriends Soap, the sootie, Vieve, the machine guru, and a host of others as the world of London gets turned on its head. A wonderful alternate reality and I look forward to continuing the adventure.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
eva b m
I started with the Parasol Protectorate series and had grown very attached to the characters and their adventures so I was a bit cautious when it came to "Etiquette & Espionage". There was this sort of stubbornness where a part of me wanted more of the other characters, not be introduced to a whole mostly new set, not to mention I felt that the cover model was ill-suited for representing a young girl about 14-15 just starting to bud, and after the description of the character given it really seems a poor choice, lovely yes, but a bad choice.

Also for me there was that underlining fear that the things that made the other books so great would be heavily diluted and we'd be treated with the kid gloves. But with audible credits building up and a seven hour long road trip ahead of me I figured I might as well give it a try.

The book doesn't start off dully, there's actually hardly any real dull moments as we're thrown into the action of the story from the start. We are a bit as clueless about everything that is going on with the school as the main character and we are nicely introduced to it along with her without it being told to us as if we were children. I am not seasoned in the world of YA novels, what few I've read contained too much teenage angst and others a bit too childish, I've heard people call it middle grade or something of the sort but really other than a lack of adult actions I don't really seem how different it is from the PP series other than this seem to have more steampunk elements to it.

The characters are very interesting, roomates who longs for the domestic type of life, another who plans on becoming a black widow sort, one sweet and shy but likable, and a young Sidheag Maccon. I hope that I am not posting any spoilers by saying this but one thing I absolutely love is Carriger's treatment of Sophronia's character (granted all of the characters are great even those who are the antagonist towards the main character, and it's a pleasure to read about the past of some of the characters we've met in the other stories).

Usually when we read these sort of dated stories we always get that female character who goes against the norm with no one really frowning upon their actions and they are unwavering with it, with Sophronia her lack of etiquette is frowned upon and pointed out and in time thanks to her teaching her character is polished up in a pleasant sort of subtle way that we are eased into it to the point that we do not notice as it doesn't really change the Sophronia that we were introduced to.

The only draw back is that there is a lot going on from the classes, to the socializing/making friends/enemies, and trying to figure out what this prototype is and more mysteries things tend to get a bit convoluted. You can lose track of important factors easily as we jump from one thing to another. Some things are unsolved and for good reason once you realize that this will be an on going series. This is especially true of the second book but I still found it enjoyable.

I can see the direction in which this series is trying to go and I actually want to be along for the ride every step of the way until all of the girls 'Finish'. I also get a feeling that Alexia's dear friend Ivy might have been a student, or was taught by another who once learned there. If we are lucky if we are treated to another PP book we'll see some of the Finishing School characters there just as we've seen PP characters introduced.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
aditya adeeb
"Etiquette and Espionage" is an adventurous romp set in 1851 and begins when Sophronia Angelina Temminnick, a rambunctious teen from a well-to-do family is sent to a Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. While her mother thinks she is learning proper deportment and etiquette, Sophronia has been enlisted as a covert recruit, learning espionage skills and protocol. Unmindful of her safety or lack of propriety she quickly learns to scramble between the dirigibles that comprise the school, meets a gang of sooties working in the steam room, and quickly makes friends with a quirky nine year old Vieve Lefoux, and the locking picking sooty Phineas B Crow (Soap).

Things take a dangerous and mysterious turn when a prototype - a communication device - is stolen and the school is threatened by the Skywaymen who are after it. Suspecting that an older student, Monique de Pelouse has hidden the sought after device, Sophronia and her friends begin putting themselves in danger by unravelling clues to its whereabouts.

The story which is a mixture of Victorian English Steampunk, and paranormal fantasy, is slow at first as Sophronia is inducted into her new school and begins training. It gathers steam only when she begins hunting for clues to the missing device with her friends. The dialogue at times is disconcerting. It seems stilted in places, probably due to the writer's attempt to differentiate between the speech patterns of the upper and lower classes. But the plot does reverberate with humour and wacky silliness as Sophronia and her schoolmates begin to combine social etiquette with the criminal arts. In this school the unusual is the norm with its dirigibles, Skywaymen, werewolves and vampiric teachers and captures the readers imagination from the first page to the last.

The core characters are realistic with all their strengths and weaknesses. Sophronia is a curious, resourceful, observant and blunt fourteen year old with a scientific predilection while her friend Dimity Ann Plumleigh Teignmott is a gently bred, amiable prattler with a weakness for fainting at the sight of blood. Sidheag Maccon, Scottish Lady Kingair is eccentric, boyish and gawky but a skilled fighter. The rapscallion Vieve Lefroux is bright, arrogant, and highly intelligent like Dimity's brother Pillover. The beautiful and spoiled Monique de Pelouse is cunning, sharp-tonqued and mean when cornered. I liked the teachers especially the wildly mysterious Captain Niall, the perceptive intellectual Lady Linette and Professor Braithwaite with his acute hearing and vampiric teeth. All these delightful characters and many more add dynamic energy to a charming and amusing story.

This young adult novel is an entertaining adventure and I expect the sequel will hold even more intriguing surprises.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
patty goldman
The first book in the Finishing School series does not disappoint. It's everything you would think it would be by the cover, title, description, and first line. The steampunk/supernatural world is a very light and enjoyable read which I really enjoy. I especially like coming across words or terms I am not familiar with and looking them up. Learning is fun! I think I am actually preferring the Finishing School series more than the The Parasol Protectorate series!

Sophronia is an enjoyable protagonist without being over the top, too simpering, too flamboyant, too much of a troublemaker, or even worse, too boring. Carriger managed to create an appealing lead character and a cast of others that made for a believable and fun romp through this curious environment. The story is fun, the ideas are cool, and reaching the ending of the story didn't leave me frustrated, bored, or annoyed, just ready to read the next one, which I am doing now!

Definitely check it out if you enjoy any of the following: YA fiction, steampunk, supernatural, over-the-top genteelness, polite greetings, handkerchief folding, eyelash fluttering decorum, and the proper way to murder your first husband.

Also, it apparently leaves one with the urge to use a lot of commas, as I did in my review!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kathryn redmond
I originally read this in April of 2013. I finally got my hands on the sequel, Curtsies & Conspiracies, and decided I should do a re-read of the first to refresh my memory. The first time I read this, I rated it 5 stars. This time around, I did not fall in love with it as much as the first time around. That said, I did enjoy this tremendously and can't wait to read the second-good thing it's up next!

Sophronia is a handful so she gets sent/recruited to attend Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. Here she begins to learn things outside the normal scope of curtsies, dance, and manners, but how to poison people and gather information. I love the idea of a school like this. It's definitely similar to the Gallagher Girls series, but this has a steampunk/paranormal aspect in it. Sophronia definitely likes to get into things she probably shouldn't. She is definitely a headstrong girl.

The other girls in the finishing school were all different. There was Monique who was the typical popular, snooty, know it all who only looked out for herself. She was the main cause of everything major that happened, but Sophronia was able to clean up the messes and fix things herself. While Monique wasn't exactly likable, she isn't one that is easy to hate. Dimity was cute. She becomes Sophronia's best friend and doesn't handle the chaos as well. Regardless, she did add a fun element to the group. The other girls were also unique, but didn't entirely stand out on their own (yet).

I've seen some reviews/comments about Soap being Sophronia's love interest. To be honest, thus far in the story, they're only really good friends. There hasn't been that much romance happening (that I've seen), but that may change in the next. The werewolf, Captain Niall, was pretty interesting as well. We don't really hear anything after the incident the night of the play. I wonder what'll happen in the next one... I also can't help but wonder about the headmistress. Her situation is an odd one, and I can't help but think she's going to figure it out at some point.

Overall this was a quick and enjoyable read. When I first read it, I had stated that I never have read anything like this-which is still true. I feel like there could have been more when I read it the second time. I do have high hopes for the sequel-which I'll be starting really soon! I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a little bit of steampunk, intrigue, and paranormal aspects.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mrinal
Sophronia's knack for mechanics and a tendency toward mischief are hardly desirable qualities for a Victorian lady, but they do make her an ideal recruit for Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

When the 14-year-old girl arrives, she quickly discovers her school is unlike any other. Classes taught by werewolves and vampires are merely the beginning. Along with music and dance, Sophronia is schooled in the arts of espionage and intrigue - hardly subjects her mother would approve of, but ones she takes to with passion!
However, Sophronia quickly discovers school isn't all fun and games and soon finds herself immersed in a mystery whilst pursued by flywaymen and shady characters intent on attacking the Academy. Armed with her mechanimal, Bumbersnoot, and a group of steadfast friends, Sophronia sets out to uncover the truth and, hopefully, put a little polish on her finish before returning home for the holidays!

Etiquette & Espionage is a delightful story, and Gail Carriger does a terrific job with her young adult debut. Filled with humor and witty dialogue, the story easily entertains and keeps the reader turning the page. Carriger's penchant for creative character names is in full force with offerings such as Temminick, Mrs. Barnaclegoose and Dimity Ann Plumleigh-Teignmott, and she delightfully weaves in a few familiar faces (albeit younger!) from her wildly popular Parasol Protectorate series.

If you're a fan of Carriger's earlier books, you won't want to miss the newest addition to her colorful universe. And if, somehow, you've never heard of steampunk's comedic genius, this book is a great introduction to a world turned topsy-turvy by treacle tarts, flamboyant vampires, empowered women and flying dirigibles!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
balbesia
Sophronia isn't a typical girl, at least not the typical girl her mother would like her to be. She's always climbing things and getting into mischief. When her mother receives word that Sophronia is accepted to a finishing school, she ships her off with barely a second look. Sophronia has very little interest in becoming a proper lady, but on the way to the school she starts to realize that something is amiss. This isn't your typical finishing school at all. Dancing is taught and death, Etiquette and Espionage. Sophronia may not mind becoming this kind of proper lady, it might suit her just fine.

I nearly put this book down in the first few chapters. It seemed a bit too silly for my tastes. The characters names were a bit out there (I mean, Barnclegoose, really?). I'm glad I kept with it though because there was plenty of excitement and enjoyment to be had. I think this may be my first Steampunk novel too, which is odd because it has always fascinated me... I could be wrong about this assumption, but as I am writing this I can not think of a Steampunk novel that I have read prior to this one.

Sophronia was at least the kind of girl I could get on with. Plenty of spunk and that one. She was a very courageous character and I liked that. Sneaky around and avoiding getting caught are things I would do if sent to a finishing school. There was certainly never a dull moment throughout this novel. Plenty of action and excitement and quite a few mysteries sprinkled about too.

This is a delightful read if you're looking for something fast paced and a bit odd. I'm hoping the next book really sucks me into this series so that I can fall in love with it like so many others have.

First Line:
"Sophronia intended to pull the dumbwaiter up from the kitchen to outside the front parlor on the ground floor, where Mrs. Barnaclegoose was taking tea."

Favorite Line:
"Her eyes glazed over slightly as she contemplated sparkles."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
emhoggard
I have heard great things about Gail Carriger's adult series, Soulless, and those same readers told me they were disappointed in E&E when they read it. So when I decided to tackle this world, I decided to start here with E&E before reading Soulless.

Etiquette and Espionage is marketed as a YA book, but has a very MG story-telling quality. The main character is at that tricky-to-categorize age of 14, but since the series goes on, I assume she ages in the books and that that is the reason it was decided the series would be marketed as YA. However, after the first chapter and a half, I threw out my YA expectations and enjoyed the book as the MG story it truly is.

Sophronia (who has a very unfortunate name, IMO) is a fun tomboy who is enrolled at a finishing school that is focused on finishing the girls and teaching them to finish others in a different way. They learn to curtsy and dress properly and how to pass messages while dancing and employ conversation in a way that gives away just exactly what they need to give away. They also learn hand-to-hand combat, the art of deception, how to deal with vampires, etc. The juxtaposition of the two is quite fun. For example the girls might give answers as to how to deal with flywaymen that put equal weight on when and how to engage as how to make sure their appearance is ladylike at all time.

The cast of characters is diverse and fun. Sophronia's best friend is Dimitry, a villain's daughter who doesn't know how to be bad and is much better at the ladylike stuff than Sophronia but faints at the sight of blood. Soap is a sootie, working the coal to keep the finishing school afloat. He's lots of fun, and I'm hoping we see a lot more of him in the future books. Vieve (possibly a character from Soulless) is one of the teacher's nieces, and runs around dressed as a boy and creating electronics. Sideagh (another character from Soulless, perhaps) was raised by werewolves and lets it show in her combat skills, but has difficulty becoming a lady. Bumbersnoot is a mechanical dog, and is as cute as such a thing always is. Monique is a haughty 18-year-old who is demoted to return to first year when she refuses to give up the "prototype" that she was sent to collect.

The plot revolves around Sophronia improving in the school while trying to find out where Monique has hidden the prototype. It was a perfectly appropriate plot for an MG book, although I do not know how it compares to those of the Soulless series.

This is a rare steampunk that kept my interest throughout. The world was sufficiently built, yet I didn't feel bogged down in the massive amounts of description that usually accompany steampunk novels. I greatly appreciated that.

Recommended for fans of: steampunk, YAs that are really MG, boarding school stories, Victorian etiquette mixed with adventure, vampires and werewolves, historically cross-dressing girls, and steampunk dogs
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
grandin donovan
Set in the Victorian Steampunk world, Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger is the first book of an excellent new series in our Young Adult collection. Filled with everything from the fine art of dance, to how to deal out death, diversion and of course espionage this fast paced book is an excellent read.

Our main character is Sophronia Temminnick, also referred to as Miss Temminnick throughout the book. She is an adventurous 14 year old girl, who is credited with being the sole reason for all of her Mother’s distress. Preferring to climb trees and play with gears and gadgets rather than learning manners and proper etiquette Sophronia’s Mother finally decides the only solution to the problem of Sophronia’s behavior is to send her to finishing school. There surely she will learn how to be a proper lady, as all of her sisters are. Therefore, Miss Temminnick is sent to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

Known as the best of the best, simply the finest finishing school in all of England, Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality is a little more than it seems. Mrs. Temminnick would be quiet surprised to discover all that her risk-taking daughter is learning aboard the floating dirigible moored off the coast of Devon. Of course Sophronia and her friends are taught the traditional finishing school arts of dancing, dressing, flirting and proper etiquette; part of their education is truthfully to turn them into proper young ladies, but they is also taught how to deal out death, diversion and most especially espionage.

If you enjoy Etiquette & Espionage: Finishing School, Book the First check out the second book in the series Curtsies & Conspiracies: Finishing School, Book the Second.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
emmab
I really enjoyed Soulless so when I found out Gail Carriger was writing a YA series set in the same world I couldn't wait to read it, add in the fact that the Etiquette and Espionage is set in a finishing school that teaches students the art of spying along with how to pull off the perfect curtsy and I was sold. Reading this actually reminded me how much I loved Soulless and made me realise I need to finish reading the Parasol Protectorate series as soon as possible. Gail Carriger creates stories that are full of humour, have fabulous settings (just wait until you arrive at the Finishing School!) and wonderful characters and Etiquette and Espionage has all that and more.

Sophronia is horrified when she finds out that her mother is sending her away to a finishing school, she is expecting to hate every minute of it and is utterly convinced she'll never be able to fit in but she quickly finds out that things at the school aren't what she was led to believe. While she is taught about manners, the right clothes and how she should act she is also learning how to be the perfect spy and that is a lot more fun than her dance classes. I love how strong willed Sophronia is, she doesn't want to conform to the expectations of how a lady should behave and would much rather be investigating a crime than sitting quietly doing embroidery. She is smart, intelligent and determined which are all useful traits for a spy to have but her sense of curiosity has a tendency of getting her into trouble because she finds it impossible to mind her own business. She is also a loyal friend who looks out for those she cares about and stands up for what she believes in.

We are introduced to a great selection of side characters in the form of Sophronia's classmates and she has a habit of collecting friends in unusual places which keeps things interesting. Although a lot of the story is focused on building the world and introducing our main characters there is also an interesting mystery surrounding a strange missing prototype that Sophronia takes it upon herself to find. One of the highlights for me was Sophronia's pet, Bumbersnoot, who was constantly making me smile. I love the creativity of the story, everything from the finishing school and Sophronia's crazy antics to the amusing chapter headings (little gems like "Never hurl garlic mash at a man with a crossbow") has been well thought through and just adds to the atmosphere. This is a series I can't wait to continue and I definitely feel a Parasol Protectorate reading binge coming on!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
leigh statham
Sophronia Temminnick lives in steam-punky Victorian-ish England and despite dubious claim to the title of a "young lady of quality" she is nevertheless recruited by an elite finishing school. Sophronia is a bit of a tomboy, with a smart and kind head on her shoulders and she gets up to all sorts of first rate mischief, as well as accounting well for herself whether battling flywaymen or consorting with "sooties" in the below decks on the huge, floating school. I loved every minute of this contrived and delightful adventure. The cover made me think "9th grade" but the best audience for this book will be 6th to 8th grade girls who think they are 9th graders. Or readers or any age looking for lighthearted and diversionary fun.

A special doff of my cap (or bonnet) to Moira Quirk who does a masterful job narrating the audiobook. She switches between voices, accents and inflection to add a subtle layer of depth to this confection of a story. Totally loved the audiobook!

Readers looking for a similar story line minus the steampunk/fantasy aspect might try Y.S. Lee's THE AGENCY series (A SPY IN THE HOUSE; A BODY IN THE TOWER; The TRAITOR IN THE TUNNEL), starring Mary Quinn, a student at Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls. Another good book to try, if you liked ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE: Kenneth Oppel's AIRBORN series, starring Matt Cruse, with more emphasis on action but the same adventurous spirit.

About me: I'm a middle school/high school librarian
How I got this book: Purchased book for library. Borrowed audiobook from the public library.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kittykate
Steampunk books are pretty hit or miss with me, there's no point denying it. So I was a little nervous about giving Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carringer a go.

I didn't know quite what to expect. We had the boarding school of spies thing going on, so I thought that maybe it would be sort of a Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter THANG.

Only, y'know... with... steam.

It wasn't quite Gallagher Girls, but that's nothing against it. I'm just throwing that statement out there because based on what I've seen on Twitter, Goodreads, etc, I believe that I was not alone in that preconception. So I just wanted to clear that up. Etiquette & Espionage ≠ Gallagher Girls. Moving on.

Etiquette & Espionage read more like MG to me than YA, but that makes sense since the main character, Sophronia, was fourteen, an age that kind of straddles that line between the two. Sophronia is a girl who's been sent to finishing school- she thinks because she's so far from her mother's idea of a proper lady, but NOT QUITE SO. At least, that isn't the only reason. She's been recruited to this finishing school to learn espionage. Sophronia is an interesting character. She's not willfully disobedient, but she seems to have a streak of curiosity that leads to a lot of rule-breaking.

The focus of the novel seemed to be on Sophronia's escapades outside of class. For on the way to school, an incident occurs that she spends the majority of her time preoccupied with. Her mild adventures were made somewhat more interesting by this Victorian steampunk world, which has bonus factors of werewolves and vampires.

My favorite part of this book, hands down was how FUNNY it was. I was cracking up and highlighting on my kindle like a madwoman, cackling all the while. EXAMPLE:

"You must watch your figures. Watch them!"

Sophronia, uncertain how she might do such a thing, ate bites between staring down at her own chest.

To sum up: If you're a steampunk fan and you don't mind a voice that's younger than your average YA, you will laugh your butt off with Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carringer.

- See more at: [...]

-Disclosure: I received an eARC in exchange for an honest review
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
laura barcella
Etiquette & Espionage was an excellent read. I was quickly drawn in to the world of steam-punk and the mid 1800’s. Imaginations run wild in this highly anticipated first book to the Finishing School series.

Sophronia is an outcast of her family. Her mother would love nothing more than to be rid of her problems with this youngest sibling. When Sophronia is cast away to a finishing school, she is mortified. But she soon realizes that this particular finishing school may be exactly what she needed, even wanted. She soon makes friends, and enemies, and is learning her way around this most impressive school.

The characters of this book simply stood out. From Sophronia, to Dimity, to Monique and even all the peculiar teachers. Sophronia seemed to be the trouble maker, but not intentionally. She was always in mischief and exploring. A very determined individual. Dimity was her exact opposite, but made for quite a great friend. The two of them decided to take matters into their own hands when it came to certain aspects of this story.

I really enjoyed this story. It was unlike anything that I have read. I think that I’m a new found reader of steam-punk after this great book. I enjoyed reading about the airship that was their school and right down to the mechanicals they had scooting around. I can’t wait to read the second book to this great series!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kabir
I liked it but the reason why it doesn't get 5 stars is because I love the Parasol Protectorate series so much and I think it being an adult series and this being a YA series I just miss the depth. That's not always the case for me. It's still a great book and very entertaining.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
elizabeth clemens
Originally posted for my review blog, Zach's YA Reviews (zachsyareviews.com)

Review:

Protagonist: Sophronia is not you typical Victorian young lady, she likes to climb things and eavesdrop on people, which young ladies of that time just don't do. Because of this, her mother does whatever she can to get her into Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality, a very secretive finishing school with a renowned reputation. One of the things I loved about this book was that it was fairly easy to see Sephronia's character develop due to the fact that she was aware of it herself. It made the book seem a bit more realistic, though it did at times make me feel as though I was being spoon fed certain details.

Romance: There was little to no romance in this book. Luckily there was enough that I can still write a section on it. When I first this cover, I prematurely judged it as a very chick-lit type of book, so naturally I assumed there would be a surplus of romance, and for a little bit there I thought there might be. I was extremely wrong however. While there are not-so-subtle hints at a developing romance between Sophronia a boy she meets at her finishing school, it never actually develops far enough for admission of feelings on either side.

World-Building: Going in I knew this book took place in the Victorian era, so at the very most I had thought that maybe it would be slightly steampunk. Not only is it steampunk, but I was shocked to discover that it had paranormal aspects as well. Sophronia has two supernatural teachers, a werewolf and a vampire, two species that are both commonplace in this world. I have to say it was a wonderful surprise. There were also aspects of the plot that were hard to swallow it didn't have so much to do with the world-building as much as the progression of the of the plot and a few plot points that seemed more convenient than realistic.

Predictability: This book was very hard to predict, this is due to the fact that the foreshadowing is extremely subtle and it's hard to predict the larger things before everything is already in motion. I found that while sometimes enjoyable, this also made the book less compelling at times. I would have loved to be able to guess some larger twists before they happened, but unfortunately it was rather hard to pick up on any of the clues.

Ending: This book didn't have a particularly strong ending and it ended sooner than I had thought it would. I wish that there would have been another chapter or so, not necessarily to wrap things up more, but mainly because I felt like it ended too soon. I can't for the life of me remember why, all I remember is being surprised that it ended so soon. I think that that added chapter would have alleviated my confusion.

Rating:

While this book was all sorts of amazing, it did have a few elements that would have made it so much better. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good spy novel, steampunk, or books with a low emphasis on the supernatural aspects.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ginny min
Gail Carriger has found a way to combine the proper etiquette expected of a lady in old England with the deadly art of espionage to create a novel full of fun and intrigue. Oh, and werewolves and vampires and the most adorable mechanical dog named Bumbersnoot. Speaking of which, Carriger's humor shines through in many ways, but her awesome ability to come up with the most ridiculous names is simply great. Bumbersnoot, Mrs. Barnaclegoose, Lord Dingleproops...need I say more?

Despite that, I must admit that Sophronia's name is quite the mouthful! With that being said, she's also an amazing character. She's determined and driven, totally unique among the dainty women of old England. She's tough, strong, one of the boys in a ladylike way. I never thought such a feat could be achieved before reading this book! And she's accepting of everyone and everything, even at the tender age of fourteen. This shines through when she befriends Soap, a colored poor sootie that works the boiler rooms on Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. Despite his colored skin and the belief at the time that white individuals, especially ladies, should not fraternize with colored people, she befriended him and proved him to be a valuable asset. I loved watching their relationship grow and I can't wait to see more of them in book two.

I also loved her great trio of friends. Dimity, Agatha, and Lady Sidheag--the Scottish girl raised by werewolves. Though all are incredibly different, they come together to create a group of determined girls learning the proper art of finishing...everything. And while they unravel mysteries with the help of Vieve, a girl who just wants to be considered one of the boys, they're faced with the most evil nemesis of the elder Monique. Cunning and truly evil, she can only be described as a well-educated spoiled brat who will do anything to get her way. And that type of person is truly the most vile of creatures in the eyes of little thirteen and fourteen year old girls. It was all very adorable.

But what I really enjoyed was the world-building. This is an old England with vampires and werewolves. It presents unique supernatural lore that doesn't overshadow the overall espionage plots of the novel. However, it is a nice side-plot that I hope will continue in the future books considering that both a male werewolf and a male vampire are important authoritative figures at the finishing school. I also liked the amazing steampunk inventions produced by Vieve that also gave way to the creation of airdinghies which I can describe as several hot air balloons attached to a single basket. And in these baskets are flywaymen. You heard me right! Evil robbers that patrol the skies, swoop down, and rob the rich. It was such a cute touch and while they were evil and did horrible things like hurling garlic mash--garlic!--at vampires, they're creation was truly fascinating.

All in all, I would say this was a very great book. Though it is the first Carriger book I have ever read, I am eagerly awaiting the opportunity to read more! I have to admit that, at times, this novel dragged for me because the beginning of the novel required so much explanation. Though we as readers knew what finishing at the academy meant, Sophronia was blind to its true intent for the first third of the book. I believe more information for the main character and less secrets in the beginning would have made for a faster beginning and quicker procession of reading the book with ease. Once Sophronia learned everything, I was able to read quickly because the overall plot was engrossing. The slow beginning is really the only fault I can find with this one. And that is the reason that I recommend this book to any historical fiction lovers as well as those looking for a cute novel about spies. Fans of Ally Carter will be presently surprised by the witty remarks, antics, and female jokes littered throughout Carriger's foray into the young adult genre.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jessica rhein
Fourteen year old Sophronia was driving her mother crazy as `mumsy' continued to try to tame Sophronia's adventuresome spirit long enough to teach her a proper curtsey. When the opportunity arrives for Sophronia's acceptance to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality, `mumsy' is thrilled and ships Sophronia off with no qualms whatsoever. However, Sophronia has some nagging suspecions, and even more so as they set off on a journey when she decides that her fellow travelers not at all as they seem and that the school itself - floating in the air is not at all what she expected.

*** In my first venture of reading a Young Adult (YA) book I've discovered, `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! And the reason I picked up ETIQUETTE AND ESPIONAGE was based solely upon the preceding `undeniable hook-you-in sentence'. What a hook! After reading quite a bit of suspense and thrillers lately - I was more than ready for something light and fun and this was just what I needed.

Sophronia was fun! She was smart, observant, and extremely inventive! I'd like to think she was like me in my younger days, but that would be too much of a stretch - although it would have been nice! Mostly, I think I would have liked to have switched places with her.

Ms. Carriger came up with a really creative and totally imaginative read. I confess to being a bit out of touch at first with the mechanicals (maids, butlers, and even animals) but it didn't take me too long to let my imagination loose and go along with the fantasy Regency type world Carriger came up with. Not only were the mechanicals a totally new thought process for me to digest, but werewolves who didn't want to lose their hats, floating ships, and unusual vampires as well. I found myself laughing out loud many times while listening to this unabridged audio.

The performance by Moira Quick, absolutely added to the overall enjoyment with her wonderful English and Scottish accents for the numerous secondary characters contained in ETIQUETTE AND ESPIONAGE. Overall, I thought the story, plot, and presentation were spot on! For anyone with a young adult who is somewhat enamored with reading, ETIQUETTE AND ESPIONAGE would be a perfect book to introduce them to what appears to be a wonderful, new and fun series!

BOTTOM LINE: TOTALLY CHARMING AND MUCH RECOMMENDED!

Marilyn Rondeau, for www.ck2skwipsandkritiques.com
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rachel kooistra
After the nun assassins in Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, I was hungry for some more kick ass girl power. When Etiquette and Espionage caught my attention after being listed on Audible’s Best Teen Listens of 2013, a finishing school for “a different kind of finishing” sounded like the next best entrée.

And it was unexpectedly satisfying—a bit like how oatmeal chocolate chip cookies can be as delicious as the classic. I have not read Gail Carriger before, so I didn’t have the expectations that more critical reviews have claimed. Even so, I would advise everyone to be open-minded (as you should be for all books!). To my surprise, Etiquette & Espionage seemed more like juvenile fiction than young adult to me. However, it’s still a worthy read of older audiences, as the writing is reminiscent of Jane Austen’s satiric, elevated language and the academy faintly resembles everyone’s favorite Hogwarts.

Much like a happy childhood filled with juvenile fiction, this book was a simple pleasure to read. The writing was polished and flowed well, the setting and the characters were strongly developed, and the story became wholly alive with Moira Quirk’s performance (the narrator of the audio book). The reader settles into the story as much as Sophronia settles into the school. It’s not the white-water rafting thrill ride of a typical YA novel, but rather a fresh canoe trip of a light, enjoyable juvenile plot. I recommend it to those who are open to an unexpected adventure. In truth, I'd rate it more of a 3.5 (think 7 out of 10), but I liked it enough to round up.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
piglet
I am not a big steam punk fan, I tend to find them a tad slow and boring. I'm also taking a break in general from YA books because I find myself being really picky because what's new and novel for a teen is old hat for this oldish broad. I gave this series (I've also read the second book in this series and would give it 4 stars as well) a chance because I enjoy Carriger's adult series, The Parasol Protectorate.

I really enjoyed Sophronia's adventures and the world building that Carriger has done. The boarding school in a steam ship is really interesting and we get lots of details about the ship and the classes Sophronia takes. The classes are less than conventional as Sophronia and the rest are being trained to be spies/assassins. Classism/racism/sexism is also lightly touched on.

The major weakness I see in the series and Carriger's writing in general is that we don't really get to know the characters. They're all superficially written which kind of goes with the breezy, snickery tone, but leaves us readers a bit distanced.

I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jack elder
Not all finishing schools release their graduates merely to ornate London society. Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality (wow, what a mouthful!) also teaches them how to gather intelligence and assinate someone should they choose. Enter Sopronia's covert recruitment into the academy, and she is drawn into a world of deceit and finery where she must learn how to conduct operations while practicing good etiquette at the same time, and so begin her misadventures.

The narrative style was rather youthful, younger than I expected given the cover and the age of the narrator. Given that Sophronia is fourteen years old and living in a historical world, I expected her to be more mature. In ways, she is. She uses large words and is very observant of the world. However, her way of talking and behavior reminds me of those of characters in middle-grade books that I've read. It was surprising, but I did grow to love Sophronia's youthful mannerisms as much as I love her as a person. Sophronia is a delight, and she's constantly getting into mishaps. She almost reminds of a young Anne of Green Gables, except that Sophronia often breaks the rules intentionally while Anne doesn't mean to do wrong.

I like how the world building is done so in such a matter of fact manner. Vampires, werewolves, and flywaymen are brought up like you would in passing conversation. They're just there, a part of life. And while some may not be fond of them, they aren't the persecuted minority either. They're treated like real people. In fact, the finishing school has a vampire and a werewolf teaching.

The humor also has to be mentioned. It's what pulls everything together. Combined with the youthful voice and matter of fact way of telling the story, it makes this book what it is. It also lets some of the characters get away with being the cliched, vapid people that they are. (Though there are the exceptions, like Soap and Vieve, two side characters that I really like and expect to see more of in book two.)

On the whole, this is a a quick, enjoyable read that I recommend to those looking for a humorous summer read with some action and adventure.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sanil mahia
Source: Won from saz101-she hosted a giveaway, ordered the book the day I responded, and it arrived a mere two days later; it's only now that I've had a chance to add it to my schedule. Thank you so much :)

While I liked Soulless, the first book in Carriger's beloved Parasol Protectorate series, I had even higher expectations of this YA novel set in the same universe simply because YA is my category. And though I did like my venture into this universe a lot (especially because it's set at a finishing school or in other words, a boarding school), I found it a bit on the young side. I guess I'm just a bit picky!

Sophronia always seems to be getting into trouble, exasperating her mother to no end and leading to her enrollment in finishing school. But this is no ordinary finishing school; rather it is training its students to not only be ladies but to also be assassins and spies. Sophronia seems to have found her perfect home if only it wasn't for pesky older student Monique and her secrets that Sophronia is determined to unravel.

Honestly I don't think the plot is that important for this book. What is important is the general tone and spirit of this book which is lighthearted and just plain fun. It reminded me a bit of Ally Carter's Heist Society and Robin Benway's Also Known As except with a historical and paranormal setting. Sophronia is a positive heroine-although she is upper-class, she notices and befriends those who would be considered beneath her. Although she has her scrabbles with Monique, she is mostly friendly and tries hard. I'd be fine having her for a younger sister (I think).

Another great bonus is the setting. The finishing school is not content to remain on the ground but instead floats above and is capable of traveling around England, allowing Sophronia to get up to some hilarious hijinks (including a great scene in the school for boys). The stage is set for many more adventures and I look forward to reading them as well.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jdk1962
This is the start of a new series which takes place in the same universe as the The Parasol Protectorate Series, but this series is different in that it's a YA series. The main character, Sophronia, is fourteen years old and quite the challenge for her mother. She does such scandalous things as wonder how automatons work and gets things dirty. Needless to say Sophronia's mother cannot help but jump at the opportunity to send Sophronia to a finishing school. Especially since it's not just any finishing school that has come calling, it's Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality! That school has quite the reputation for being a school that accepts only the best of the best. Sophronia is not thrilled -- until, wait... On the trip to the school it becomes clear that something is a little off and upon arriving it really really becomes clear - this school is not just a finishing school but a finishing school *wink wink nod nod* Okay, so Sophronia still has to figure out exactly what is going on, but she'll have some help as she made a friend on her trip to the school and she'll acquire one or two at the school itself.

Not that I want to spoil anything for you, but truth is there is not much to spoil here, even if I did want to. The book feels awfully short on "stuff happening". I'm not sure if that's because the couple of actual action scenes were too drawn out so the rest of the book ends up feeling too short or what but somehow I don't feel like our characters did much. In certain types of stories that works, in this it's weird. Classroom scenes and the like should be, at least in the start of the series, some of the series. I know we're getting the hands on action stuff, but it feels like these girls are just thrown into it and with only a few action scenes, they're just magically know-it-alls, especially with as much sneaking around, skipping / disrupting classes they're doing. An opportunity to really have fun with the classes seems to have been messed here.

Still, there is somehow a lot of character development. I do feel like I know all of our main characters and many of the minor ones well enough to know if I like them or don't, I have a feel for who they are, I know if I want to see more of them or not.

There is a bit of world development missing. As a stand-alone YA novel, I am not sure that it totally works -- yet. There is really only one vampire character, one werewolf, we really only get to know one mechanical being... The fact that all of this is just sort of how this world is, isn't really quite put together 100% here for younger readers who might not have read the adult series. It's still a really good start with as much potential as The Parasol Protectorate Series (which I am still reading). Generally I would prefer a YA series for something like this but in this case I'd probably go with The Parasol Protectorate Series over Etiquette & Espionage, only because it's established and more developed. If you have a younger reader though, or have already read all of those, this is a charming start of a series, it just feels like we'll need to read on for it to really get going.

Overall, despite some issues, I did like it -- a lot. I'm curious about where it goes - it has potential to go really right or really wrong, we shall see.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
carolyn good
Sophronia isn't the proper, dignified young lady her mother wants her to be. Instead, the fourteen-year-old is happiest taking things apart, climbing things, or otherwise making a mess of her -- or someone else's -- person. That's not even mentioning her dreadful curtsy.

When the opportunity comes to enroll her daughter in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality, Sophronia's mother seizes it. Only the school isn't like any Finishing School Sophonia's ever heard of -- and she's sure it isn't what her mother thought she was going to.

Along with the quadrille and to always, always have a handkerchief, they also learn about diversion and finishing much more than just school.

Etiquette and Espionage is wildly imaginative and draws readers in from the very beginning. Sophronia is a fun character, one you know right away is not the typical Victorian teenage girl. She's a great lead character as she's daring, inquisitive and not one for the conventions of the period.

The secondary characters, some whom I won't name as it might be spoilery, and the girls at school have nicely varied personalities. The way they interact with each other and deal with the school is interesting to see.

Despite my feeling that the characters seemed a bit older than their stated ages (Sophronia was fourteen and some were younger than her), Etiquette and Espionage should appeal to Middle Grade readers. There's nothing I can recall in the content that would make it inappropriate for those younger readers. I think it would also be very appealing to adult readers, at least those who will read YA.

There may be a few readers in the group between those two ages who want some more drama or something more salacious than what they'll find here. The characters do feel more high school aged, but the content stays pretty PG/PG-13. Not to its hindrance.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
joe lin
This was a fun little read! One thing I didn’t realize going into this one was that it’s actually a steampunk novel with some supernatural thrown in. So it was something new for me, but I really enjoyed it. Apparently this world has already been used in Gail Carriger’s “Parasol Protectorate” adult series that I’m going to have to check out.

The book is full of silly fun and adventure in a floating finishing school as Sophronia enters a strange new world as the “covert recruit”, but she quickly takes a liking to the “espionage” side of the school.

The main plot of the device that Sophornia finds herself investigating is a little loose, but still fun nonetheless. While I think this is marketed as young adult, it’s easily a middle grade read as well as it’s very light and easy. It’s a fun little romp if you’re looking for something quick and easy to read.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

See more book reviews at my blog: http://www.samanthafabris.com/
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
shashank tiwari
Gail Carriger, per chi non se lo ricordasse, è l'autrice di un'altra famosa (e particolarmente discussa qui da noi a causa della cattiva traduzione subita per mano della casa editrice italiana che l'ha pubblicata) serie -quella di Alexia Tarabotti e del Protettorato del Parasole- che ha sfornato questa nuova serie a febbraio di quest'anno.

Se la prima serie era rivolta però ad un pubblico adulto, questa è dedicata a "giovani adulti" ma vi assicuro che è pienamente godibile anche da parte di lettori maturi in cerca di novità e che amano il fantasy steampunk, l'avventura e l'intrigo. Perchè questo romanzo li contiene tutti. I principali motivi per cui l'ho trovato una piacevole novità? Eccoli:

1- la protagonista ha solo 14 anni, anche se alle volte sembra più grande...ma solo per l'inventiva che dimostra (anche se sicuramente certe quattordicenni "vere" possono stare alla sua pari)...ed è una vera fonte di guai inerba
2- non c'è il solito triangolo amoroso; magari è presto data l'età dei personaggi, ma comunque si può tirare un respiro di sollievo
3- non annoia neanche un momento, tra scene d'azione su dirigibili o carrozze in corsa, attaccati da "banditi volanti" o licantropi fuori controllo, arrampicati su sartie o nascosti lungo corridoi pattugliati da automi camerieri pronti a farti passare un brutto quarto d'ora
4- intrighi e misteri per giovani spie in allenamento
5- bassotti meccanici multiuso
6- una scuola femminile di "rifinitura", che scuola normale non è certamente, e una controparte maschile ugualmente unica
...e ultimo ma non ultimo
7- la bravura di Gail Carriger nel portare avanti storie sempre interessanti

Come dicevo, benchè la protagonista sia una ragazzina, il piacere di leggere questo romanzo non diminuisce per nulla. I personaggi sono ben caratterizzati, unici e interessanti ognuno a suo modo. Più di una volta mi sono colta a ridere, come una scema, di scene descritte. Forse la "rarità" dei romanzi steampunk in Italia (e anche per me che comunque non ne ho letti molti neanche in lingua), con l'immgine di questi strami strumenti fuori epoca, aiuta a far piacere la lettura. Ma è vero che il ritmo incalzante, i personaggi simpatici e un mistero ben gestito sono solo capacità dell'autrice di saper scrivere e farlo bene.
Lettura consigliata, anche se non a chi è alle prime armi nella lettura in inglese (è infatti un romanzo un pò difficile).

Alcune "scene" dal romanzo:

- "So?" said Sophronia. "Resources. What do you two have?" Pillover emptied the pockets of his oversized greatcoat: some pine-sap gum, a monocle on a stick--the Depraved Lens of Crispy Magnification, perhaps?--and a long piece of ribbon that probably started life in his sister's hair. Dimity produced a box of sandwiches, a wooden spoon, and a knitted stuffed octopus out of the small covered basket at her feet. All Sophronia had was the piece of sponge she'd swiped at tea and stashed in her apron, now sadly crushed. She split it into three and they ate the cake and thought hard. -

- They pushed aside two massive brass doors emblazoned with images of fire and all sorts of symbols of danger. Sophronia squinted. One of the symbols looked to be a badger with his tail in flames. Another was a skull like that on a pirate's flag, but with its mouth open and long vampire fangs. If that's a vampire, perhaps the badger on fire is meant to be a werewolf? Another, Sophronia could swear, was a robin in a bowler. What, she wondered, is dangerous about a robin in a bowler? -
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tim s
I have to admit i had check this out from the library about a month ago and was on the verge of returning it unread. I picked it up out of boredom and started reading it. And read almost a 100 pages in my first shot. After that i couldn't go to bed at night before i had read at least two chapters. I finished it last night. Late. Even though i knew i had to get up early to go to work the next day. Merely because i had to see how it ended.
Now i'm admittedly not that familiar with the whole "Steam Punk" genre of things. Therefore it took me a little while to take what i know about the real historical Victorian era with the Steam Punk one. Once i did i was hooked. Gail Carriger brings to life a witty girl that at times i forgot was only thirteen years old. Sophronia Temminnick is a heroine that all young girls should look up to. She's smart,resourceful, brave, and loyal. She's not above being girly and even finds that she starts to enjoy the more feminine side of life. She is not about to become some simpering miss whose only goal in life is to marry and procreate. She is going to make something of herself and you find yourself believing it.
The side characters in the story also makes for an interesting combination. You have Dimity who is very feminine and then you have Vive who is a complete tomboy. Along with a host of extras you find yourself intrigued and captivated by their characterizations as well.
Plot wise, i'll give Gail a break. This is her first foray into the YA genre after writing solely adult books. The plot when too fast and sometimes too slow. There really never were an in between. It was like she had trouble deciding how to venture from one thing to the next. There's editing and then there is too much editing at times. I have to wonder if there was more too the book than what was published Hopefully the next novel in the series will fix this issue and will be more fleshed out.

Overall i fairly enjoyed the book and plan on procuring a copy of my own. It also mad me want to try her adult series again. I had tried to read the first book once years ago, but never got through it. I'm going to have to find a copy and try again.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
librarygurl
There are some books that just fit the word "romp" all over. This is one of them. In addition to making me feel like I need to carry a handkerchief and some sewing scissors about my person at all times, this book was just so much fun. And the voice of Sophronia is the main reason for this. Sophronia is practical and forthright and clashes with her conventional, proper family. She is proud of the scrapes she gets into and her inquisitiveness means she fits into the unconventional finishing school she is sent to. The quirky steampunk world the author has created fits in well with Sophronia's wayward nature and is just as fun to explore as a reader as it must be for Sophronia.

The cast of characters at the school are varied and all sparkling with idiosyncrasies and quirks. They are all just so much fun to read about! The fact that supernatural creatures are also included in this world makes it that much more interesting and varied. I liked the new twist the author put on vampires and werewolves. And I haven't come across a book with so many characters that I want to hang out with in such a long time. The intrigue surrounding the finishing school felt secondary to the fun of Sophronia's adventures and her explorations of the school to me. But the mystery does give Sophronia the opportunity to show off her ingenuity with a strong suspense-filled resolution that felt very satisfying. And the burgeoning romance was nicely placed, as it was incidental to the narrative and appropriate for Sophronia's personality. But I hope to read more develop between the couple!

The writing is lively and humorous, and the author has created a great collection of characters at this school. With such a fiesty and admirable main character, this is definitely a great book to read as a treat to yourself.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kamran motamedi
I really adored this book. I knew it was a Victorian setting, and that it involved an assassin finishing school, but I was wholly unprepared, and delighted by, the steampunk and supernatural aspects. It sounds like rather a lot, but it all worked together beautifully to create a very interesting world. I'm definitely excited to learn more about this world through the rest of the series.

I thought the characters were brilliant, and I loved the focus on female friendships, as well as showcasing very different kinds of females, and really just making them very well-rounded and real people. Sophronia was a wonderful heroine, and I really just had a blast reading this one.

I listened to this on audiobook, and I would HIGHLY recommend. The narrator was amazing! :D
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
shimaa samir
Reading that blurb, this sounds like such a fun novel. While it was fun and I definitely enjoyed it, it wasn't everything that I had hoped it would be. I am a big fan of the teens-as-spies stories. They are so often exciting and fast-paced, and maybe I just always dreamed of training as a spy myself (not that I would ever make it). Since I love the idea so much (plus, combined with some steampunk-y aspects, hello), going into this I thought "where could it possibly go wrong?"

I think it went wrong in a couple areas. First off, I am only 18, so I'm still a teen and a "young adult" but even so, I often felt too old for this novel. Yes, the main character Sophronia is only 14, but in many YA novels it isn't hard to just mentally "age up" the characters a few years if you're outside the "intended audience." With this one though, I often felt like the characters and the scenarios felt very young. Too young for me to be able to age anyone up. Now, for some people this may not be a problem whatsoever. To me though, it just felt immature. Unfortunately, this also made the language seem off at times. I really enjoyed the language used, because it was elevated and smart, but with immature characters it felt out of place.

Unfortunately, I also found the plot fairly slow. There was heightened energy at times, and there were exciting things that happened from the beginning which did keep me entertained; however, I was constantly waiting for the climax of the novel. I was tapping my fingers waiting for the big, exciting pivotal moment which only came at the very end. I understand that yes, there is another book coming, so it's okay to not have resolution and closing at the end of the first book, but I missed it. I felt like I waited so long for the big moment and it finally happened and then the book just ends. Kind of disappointing.

That being said, I did still enjoy the novel. Sophronia was an interesting character. Very full of life, and a little sassy. She is bold and forward and not at all ashamed of herself. She knows she's not the perfect daughter, hence the finishing school, but she is proud of being curious and a little mischievous. I also enjoyed the language used in the novel. As I mentioned before, it was smart, and it was also very good at enhancing the setting. Finally, I really enjoyed the mystery as well. It was fun trying to solve the little pieces along with Sophronia, but I do wish there had been more information at the end to help wrap it up. Maybe we'll know more come the sequel?

Overall, a fun novel with an enjoyable main character and an interesting mystery, but fell flat in a few areas for me. I'll still read the sequel because something like pacing and exciting events is very easily changed in a follow up. I definitely want to know more concerning the mystery and I'd like to see more of the finishing school training as well in the next one.
3 stars.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tinabot
First in the Finishing School steampunk series for young adults set in 1851 England. The story revolves around the unconventional Sophronia, who simply does not fit as her mother would prefer.

My Take
It had a wobbly start, but it got going once Sophronia started her lessons. I do adore Carriger's twist on attacking a vampire, LOL. Then there's the abstemious breakfast...sigh...what a dream. And there are all the other twists on what we expect of a finishing school and proper young ladies. Too funny

Oh, man, I love it---the salacious purple flannel nightgown! I wonder, is it the purple that makes it so naughty??

Interesting use of "slur".

Sophronia [and we] learn very quickly to dissemble and snoop as well as learning such lifesaving techniques as the "fan and sprinkle" maneuver, useful fainting techniques, manipulating with clothing...

I love it! It's only one semester in and already Sophronia is quite pleased with their assortment of weapons when the young ladies are threatened yet again while traveling. After all, there is so much one can do with handkerchiefs, fans, hats, and gloves, etc.

It's an interesting cast with the usual schoolgirl cliques and infighting as well as the inappropriate friendships---which we'll probably discover is a requirement of graduation! However, Carriger's twists and turns make this too fascinating, and I can't wait until Curtsies & Conspiracies comes out in the fall!

I'm suspecting this series predates the Parasol Protectorate, and I'll be curious if the end of this series slides right into it.

The Story
It's on the way to finishing school that Sophronia's new life as a covert recruit quickly imposes with an attack by flywaymen.

Nor is it the last attack, for skullduggery is afoot aboard the finishing school, and Sophronia is eager to investigate.

The Characters
Fourteen-year-old Sophronia Temminnick is the very nosy, resourceful daughter being sent off to finishing school. Bumbersnoot is the mechanimal shot aboard the school by the threatening flywaymen. He certainly is a little sweetie! Petunia is her older, sixteen-year-old sister. Roger is the stable lad who has has taught Sophronia some very naughty things; Eliza is the long-suffering maid; and, Frowbitcher is the family butler.

The instructors at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality include:
Mademoiselle Geraldine is the headmistress, who hasn't a clue, but does teach dance and dress. Captain Niall is the gorgeous werewolf who teaches self-defense. Professor Beatrice Lefoux teaches modern languages, modern weaponry, and technological advancements as well as being an honorary member of the Order of the Brass Octopus. Lady Linette de Limmone teaches music and the finer creative arts, you know, like intelligence gathering, principles of deceit, fundamental espionage, and rudimentary seduction. Sister Mattie Herschel-Teape teaches household management including medicinal cures and poisoning. Professor Braithwope is a vampire who teaches history, deportment, manners, etiquette, and genteel dress as well as vampire lore and defense.

Fellow students include:
Dimity Ann Plumbleigh-Teignmott is also a new student---she faints at the sight of blood. Miss Monique de Pelouse is a bad egg. Sidheag Maccon, Lady Kingair of a werewolf clan, hates being here. Preshea Buss is mean and smart, but her father dabbles in trade. Agatha Woosmoss is the shy daughter of a railroad baron.

Genevieve is Professor Lefoux's niece.

Sooties include:
Pips; Phineas B. Crow, a.k.a., Soap; and, Greaser are some of the boys who shovel coal into the boiler. Old Smalls is the Junior Sixth Assistant Engineer.

Vieve has the run of the entire dirigible school and is quite clever with the mechanics of things.

Bunson and Lacroix's Boys' Polytechnique, the boys' school
Pillover Plumbleigh-Teignmott is Dimity's little brother with a tremendous handicap. The Pistons are a group of students who think they're all that---there's a rumor that some of 'em are sons of Picklemen! Young Lord Dingleproops is one of them.

Mrs. Barnaclegoose is a friend of Sophronia's mother.

The Cover
I do love Sophronia's pose in profile on the cover! Against a fuchsia brocade background, casting a shadow, a black-gowned Sophronia holds fast with ornate scissors in her net-gloved hand, just waiting to strike!

The title introduces us to a most unusual finishing school which emphasizes Etiquette and Espionage.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
karen yeo
I <3 Gail Carriger. And yes, I did just do the <3. Hey, everyone's doing it! (I did it right, right?) No, but for serious, she really creates a great mix of mystery and humor to go along with her fantastic (and very funny) characters.

To anyone who has read Gail Carriger before and is familiar with the characters, I can tell you that these ones are just as great! Actually they are very similar in personality, just younger. And in addition there are crossover characters! This takes place before the Parasol Protectorate series (about 25 years, I think) so they are a bit different, but still there!

This book was full of hilarious moments. I read this while my daughter was sick, so I'd burst out laughing while cuddling her and every time she said "What mom? Read it to me." Here's one favorite bit of mine. This is when Sophronia and Dimity are discussing practicing their eyelash flutter on the boys at the evil genius school.

"Well, is that wise? Having a mess of seedling evil geniuses falling in love with you willy-nilly? What if they feel spurned?"
"Ah, but in the interim, think of the lovely gifts they can make you. Monique bragged that one of her boys made her silver and wood hair sticks as anti-supernatural weapons. With amethyst inlay. And another made her an exploding wicker chicken."
"Goodness, what's that for?"
Dimity pursed her lips. "Who doesn't want an exploding wicker chicken?"
Page 163

Part of the humor is that it's just so matter of fact. Sophronia just takes everything in stride and is really rarely ever shocked. She arrives at her new 'finishing' school and barely bats an an eye when she discovers that there's a werewolf AND a vampire employed and the truth behind this school. But while maybe it's a bit silly, it's silly in a good way and it utterly hilarious.

There's a bit of mystery in the book but it really felt back burner until the end when it was what played out the very action'y conclusion to the book. Mostly this was Sophronia's adventures (or shall we say mis- adventures?) at finishing school. And Sophronia is not satisfied just sitting around learning stuff, oh no, she wants to know all the secrets and find out more about everything. While on her little late night adventures she makes friends with the 'sooties' and learns how to get around the mechanicals that patrol the halls. This school is actually not at all a normal sort of school. Rather than giving it away I will just tell you that this sort of school does not just sit in one place.

This definitely is a Steampunk book but while it felt very steampunk there wasn't any sort of crazy contraptions or anything that was overly difficult to understand. I think that it was all done very well to keep it YA and appealing to even those who may not be big fans of steampunk.

There's no romance, but there's something hinted at that may occur in future books. There's definitely a few 'moments' between these two characters and I really like how it's playing out so far.

I really recommend you check this book out! It's one of the funniest I have read this year but still has more 'serious' moments. And there's no bad language or sexual situations so it's recommended for all YA readers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kassia
What an outrageously ridiculous, hilarious, and sweet read! I loved it! I didn't realize, for some reason, that this was a steampunk novel. Even more so, I didn't realize it was also paranormal. What a pleasant surprise! I've only read a few of those so I can't say how this rates as far as in that genre. However, I can say that this is one of the funnest books I've read in a while. Even the more serious parts, weren't really serious. I mean how could they be when the characters were making hilarious assumptions or were in hilarious fixes (i.e. a young man stuck half under a sticky net and half under Sophronia's petticoat - what? Exactly!)? Half the characters names alone made me laugh.

Let me share one insightful moment from Miss Sophronia: "Monique, instead of striking out in the manner of Sidheag, stepped in toward the werewolf. She commented on the pleasantness of the night and the beauty of the countryside. She fluttered her eyelashes in a way Sophronia had come to recognize as very advanced. I should never have thought there would be a time when I would envy another girl's eyelash manipulation." You see they are being taught to properly eyelash fluttering as only you would learn in a finishing school and the girls are half in love with the werewolf, thus the envy that tom-boyish Sophronia experiences. :)

I absolutely loved Sophronia's character! I loved how she thought; stating things in such a matter-of-fact way and how she made connections from observation. Quite an intriguing mind. She also comes across as straight forward, even though some underestimate her.

I do wish I would have gotten just a little bit more information on the story-book world. I wasn't completely sure exactly why things were as they were with the whole aether and such. However, this wasn't a huge influence on the story, so it still worked.

I will definitely be recommending this to my teenage niece and to anyone else who enjoys an intelligent MC and witty dialogue or is a fan of Ally Carter. The characters are in their early teens, but I'm guessing they'll grow up a little as the series progresses, which I will definitely be following!

Content: Clean
Source: Library
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
heather laslie
Etiquette & Espionage was one of those titles that I've seen all over the internet as a can't miss read for 2013. I read the premise of the novel a few months back and found myself totally interested and wanting to find out what happens to main character Sophronia Temminnick. The hype that has been raised for Etiquette & Espionage is definitely spot on, not only did I have fun while reading the novel but I also found myself laughing at the comical scenes that took place in the novel while also remaining thrilled by all the things that Sophronia experienced at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

Etiquette & Espionage is told in the third person and focuses on Sophronia Temminnick as she attends finishing school. However, what Sophronia's mother didn't know when sending her daughter to Mademoiselle Geraldine's was that the finishing school wasn't just a place for Sophronia to learn how to be a lady, but also a place to learn how to become an intelligencer. Sophronia faces conflict when a group of flywaymen attack her carriage on the way to finishing school, after that Sophronia learns of a stolen prototype that everybody at finishing school wants more than anything. While Sophronia is taught the valuable skills required to become an intelligencer (from flirting to how to properly attack a werewolf) she also finds herself get caught up in the mystery of what the prototype is and how to obtain it from where her classmate, and antagonist of the novel, Monique hid it.

There's one genre that I rarely get to read and that would be steampunk novels and when I do read them I get a bit nervous. However it didn't take long for me to figure out that there was nothing to be nervous about with this novel. After a while, I started to forget that it was a steampunk and found myself growing intrigued with the plot more than anything. A big portion of why I enjoyed the novel so much is the way the plot and situations were written by the author. Carriger introduces readers to situations that, if written too seriously, would make readers fear for the main characters life. Instead she puts her characters in these dangerous situations and uses comedy and a humorous writing style as a way to make the novel feel light and playful which I loved.

Sophronia is a character who I am closer in age to than most of the characters in YA that I've read about and I actually found her quite realistic for a fourteen year old girl. I personally think that Sophronia is the type of character that many girls in their early teens will be able to relate to. Sophronia does have to deal with making friends in a new place, having to deal with the awkwardness of dealing with a friend you've upset and also feeling out of place in a place that is foreign to you. Definitely something that younger teens have to deal with more than the romance that most YA novels focus on.

The cast of characters in the novel are ones that I loved, especially the ones of the supernatural variety. At Mademoiselle Geraldine's (which I have decided is a steampunk Hogwarts that is for lady spies instead of wizards) the staff are different and memorable. I enjoyed that there was a vampire professor who wasn't the clichéd vampire and revealed some hilarious things that can defeat a vampire in one of his lessons. Have I mentioned that there's also a werewolf? In the Etiquette & Espionage universe not only are there robots that can do way cooler things than my laptop, but there are also vampires and werewolves that are (not really) embraced by society.

I'd recommend Etiquette & Espionage to readers who are fans of steampunk novels and novels like The Friday Society. Readers who want a novel that is exciting and lighthearted will also fall hard for Etiquette & Espionage.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
siunie sutjahjo
Some people see a dumbwaiter - Sophronia Temminnick sees a means to spy on her mother and the mystery lady called Mademoiselle Geraldine whom she's taking tea with. And in the course of her spying, Sophronia learns that the entire Temminnick has had its fill of her wild ways and tomboyish tomfoolery - now they are desperate for her to go away to a finishing school. And there is no finer school than Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is being carted away to become a lady - a thought she finds absolutely abhorrent. But from the moment she climbs into a beautiful carriage, she begins to suspect that she's going to get a very different education to the one she, and her mother, initially thought. . .

She is introduced to fellow schoolmate, the dainty Dimity Ann Pllumleigh-Teignmott who has a family legacy at the Academy. Along for the carriage ride to school is Dimity's younger brother, Pillover - who attends a Boys' Polytechnique where he's training to be an evil genius. And then there are the unplanned travel companions - the Flywaymen who attack from above. They demand something called "the prototype", and in the course of a quite vexing combat, Mademoiselle Geraldine is revealed to be not the actual Mademoiselle Geraldine but an Academy student sent on assignment called Miss Monique de Pelouse.
With the help of three novice students, and thanks to Sophronia's ingenious, the Flywaymen are fought off and the foursome continues on to school . . . but the damnable Flywaymen are not forgotten, nor is this `prototype' they were willing to die for.

When Sophronia gets to the Finishing Academy, she finds it is in fact a floating dirigible - constantly moving and requiring the help of a leaping werewolf (also a teacher at the school) called Captain Niall to board.

Now begins the real adventure - for this finishing school is unlike any other. Sophronia meets her roommates - Sidheag and Agatha, and unfortunately the senior student Monique de Pelouse who takes it upon herself to become Sophronia's nemesis. Academy teachers include werewolves and vampires. And lessons include; History of social discourse, dancing, drawing, music, dress and modern languages, Fine Arts of Death, Diversion and the Modern Weaponries, the proper way to flutter eyelashes and the art of fainting.

When Sophronia manages to sneak her (steam-powered) mechanimal pet, Bumbersnoot, onboard the floating school, his dietary requirement of coal has Sophronia venturing into the belly of the dirigible and meeting the `sooties' - including one handsome boy called Soap and his little friend, Vieve (short for Genevieve Lefoux!) who is mechanical-obsessed.

It's a good thing Sophronia is learning a lot at this Finishing Academy (like a proper curtsey and how to fall into a pretend dead-faint) because the Flywaymen are back, and when Sophronia and her friends find out exactly what the `prototype' is . . . she realizes they really will do whatever it takes to find it.

`Etiquette & Espionage' is the first book in Gail Carriger's new young adult steampunk series, `Finishing School', which is a spin-off and set in the same universe as her adult `Parasol Protectorate' series (and includes a few lovely cameos for real crossover-power!).

I was a couple of pages into `Etiquette & Espionage' when it hit me that this book reads exactly like Carriger's adult series . . . and how absolutely wonderful that is! I think it's the highest compliment to pay an adult fiction writer who crosses-over to the young adult readership, that their books lose nothing of the flavour and sass of their adult series - it's a sign that they've dumbed nothing down, have retained their distinct voice and proven the versatility of their universe. Of course, I can imagine younger reader having to look up words like `dirigible' and `prevarication' - but, in all honesty, when I first started reading the `Parasol Protectorate' series I had to get used to the steampunk-lingo and look words up too! The highfalutin language is intricate to Carriger's steampunk world of Victorian England, and if kids have to look up words in a dictionary - that's a good thing, not a hindrance!

Carriger's language and narrative voice is as scrumptious as ever in this new series. She'll throw out passages that are just melt-in-your-mouth perfection, like describing someone's moustache thus; "...perched atop his upper lip cautiously, as though it were slightly embarrassed to be there and would like to slide away and become a sideburn or something more fashionable." That level of characterisation and description is perfect in a young adult series, and it really brings this world to life. Everything from the floating dirigible school to mechanimal Bumbersnoot is intricate and fabulous - setting up a fascinating stage.

Sophronia is one of the best new female protagonists on the young adult scene - hands down. She's rough and tumble, loyal and inquisitive - and has so much room to grow as a fourteen-year-old sleuth-in-training. Although `sleuth' isn't quite right - in fact, the girls training at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality can be anything they want, so well-rounded is their training.

The book-cover quote is from Marie Lu, who calls it "the perfect steampunk version of Harry Potter" - which irks me a tiny little bit. I know people have just replaced `magic' with `steampunk' and said it's Hermione instead of Harry - but Gail Carriger has such a unique voice (and is a steampunk predecessor!) it's just sort of insulting to reduce her to a JK Rowling writealike.

This is a refreshing new series with a female protagonist young readers can cheer on and look up to - she comes with a cast of fascinating friends who will no doubt keep this universe extremely colourful and interesting. `Finishing School' is set 25-years before Carriger's original adult `Parasol Protectorate' series, but both new and old fans will want to leap onboard this new thrill-ride!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
david glidden
Sophronia likes to take things apart to study them. She does not like to take tea with nosy neighbors or wear fashionable clothes. Consequently, her mother sends her to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality, but this is no ordinary etiquette school. Sophronia will have to master spy skills in addition to society skills and quickly, as she is embroiled in intrigue even before she arrives --- for one, the school is an airship, and a werewolf has to jump the students aboard in this fun steampunk world! Readers new to the historical yet techy world will enjoy this as much as steampunk aficionados when details of setting, plot and character all combine to create a highly entertaining adventure and promising start to a new series.

Flywaymen attack Sophronia's coach as she, the "headmistress," another new student named Dimity and Dimity's brother Pillover are traveling to the school. The bad guys insist that the headmistress, who turns out to be Monique, another student posing for an assignment, has a secret item. She falls into hysterics and Sophronia, with help from Pillover, rescue her and get the coach flying to safety.

When they arrive at the floating school, Sophronia is surprised to be carried up to it by a werewolf, but she learns to expect the unexpected in a ship full of robot domestics, students, weapons and secrets. She finds a robot dog, or mechanimal, and adopts it, only to realize that she has to feed it with coal. She is forced to find the engines of the ship, and there encounters the "sooties," or young boys who shovel the coal and help keep the ship running. There, she meets the charming "Soap," or Phineas B. Crow, a smart ally who helps her keep her secret pet fed and find her way around the ship.

On two trips to the engines, she finds herself in the middle of an air war and finds faculty, including a vampire, trying to protect the ships from picklemen, who want the mysterious item Monique supposedly had. Sophronia is caught by another student exploring after hours and is forced to stay in when the other girls go to the local boys' school for a play. By the time the evening arrives, she knows she has to sneak over to the school to learn more about the secret item. Soap helps her go to the school where they find Pillover and more information amidst danger and hilarious near misses that cost her some petticoats.

Back on the ship, Sophronia realizes that Monique hid the item at her own home when she came to get Sophronia to take her to the school. She, Monique, Dimity and Pillover are all planning to go to Sophronia's home for the holidays and her sister's coming out ball. She determines to get the item before Monique, as the older girl has murky motives and may not turn it over to the good guys. Everything comes to a head at the ball amid fashion, gadgets, danger and plans in an exciting conclusion.

As with any fantasy world, the scene has to be set before readers are drawn fully into the action, though things move fairly quickly here. The steampunk setting and funny details about the ship, fashions and robots will appeal and add depth to the building suspense. This title and series will no doubt make new steampunk fans, while also delighting readers who already enjoy the sky-history-technology mix. Fans of Ally Carter and Anna Godbersen will enjoy this as well.

Reviewed by Amy Alessio
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
diesel pfingsten
Sophronia Temminnick is a middle child, with lots of older and younger siblings, and kind of a disappointment to her mother. She loves to find out how mechanicals work, to climb trees and other stuff, and doesn’t care one whit about fashion and clothes. So when she is shipped of to a Finishing School, she is not happy. But from the moment she sets foot in the carriage with the Headmistress and two other children, she finds out there is more afoot with this finishing school. It is not only about learning manners, and curtseys and the ladylike arts. This is a school that teaches its pupils to finish everything, to be a spy and an assassin and whatever else is needed. Sophronia doesn’t know if she is cut out to be an assassin, but she sure is a good spy. She loves discovering things, and doesn’t care much for the rules.

On the way to the school, they are ambushed by flywaymen, demanding the headmistress gives them a certain prototype. The headmistress, who is not really that, but an older student on a mission to get her finishing degree, is of no use, so it is up to Sophronia to save them. Of course, Monique tells her own story once they make it to the school safe, but she refuses to give the teachers the prototype. Sophronia witnesses more than she should have, which makes her only more curious, and determined to find the prototype Monique has hidden somewhere. She learns that one of her teachers is a werewolf, and another a vampire, and her teachers are not the ladies they appear to be.
The school itself is not a building, but a couple of enormous dirigibles tied together.
The classes not only teach the pupils how to run a household, the language of fans and lashes fluttering and flirting, but also how to make poisons, how to carry concealed weapons, how to spy. To her own surprise, Sophronia becomes interested in fashion, and somewhat ashamed over her own hand-me-down clothes. She has a great friend in Dimity and her brother Pillover (who is attending the school for evil geniuses).

Sophronia also gets an unexpected pet in a Mechanimal she picks up after the first attack, and as she has to feed it, decides to visit the steam room to fetch some coal. There she makes some good friends with the sooties, which also comes in handy from time to time. But whatever she does, she is still a lady.

I hope I did not spoil anything, I really loved this book, and am looking forward to the next instalment in this series. Gail Carriger has a very engaging writing style, she uses lots of new words, without explaining them very much, which I like. Sophronia and her friends are fun to get to know and I am very curious about what else they will learn.
I do think if you read the Parasol Protectorate books first, you have a big advantage of already knowing the strange (steampunk)words and some of the characters in this book.

9 stars.

© 2013 Reviews by Aurian </p>

Full review on my blog, [...]
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
hana schuck
If you're a fan of Carriger's Parasol Protectorate, you'll want to read her new young adult series, which begins with Etiquette and Espionage. It's set in the same paranormal steampunk world, so there are plenty of fun mechanical devices and vampires/werewolves and Victorian sensibilities. And the action now takes place primarily at a boarding school, which is generally my favourite setting ever. I was reminded a bit of Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series, because Mademoiselle Geraldine's isn't just any finishing school: in addition to creating polished young ladies, the goal is to train them in certain other skills like espionage and deceit. This creates plenty of opportunities for ridiculous hijinks of various sorts, and I really loved the heroine, Sophronia, who was specially selected to attend this school because of her natural talent for crazy schemes.

Basically, this is a fun and fluffy read that should appeal even to readers who aren't familiar with Carriger's other work. My only hesitation in recommending it wholeheartedly is that I sometimes found it a bit too fluffy. The world-building didn't strike me as particularly impressive (especially when it came to continuity with the already-established world of the Parasol Protectorate: why does this earlier version of that world seem to have a lot more mechanical servants than the later one, for example?), the plot wasn't very deep or compelling (it centres around an attempt to retrieve a valuable prototype that various villains are also seeking, but the villains never seemed particularly dangeous and I just didn't care that much about the prototype), and the finishing school curriculum didn't seem as fully thought-out or elaborated as I would have liked. As always, I think Carriger's strength is in her characters and their individual exploits. I found myself enjoying the reading experience, smiling and sometimes even laughing out loud, without necessarily feeling an urge to rush on and find out what was going to happen.

So, this is not a perfect book, but it's a very fun read and I can say without hesitation that I'll be reading the sequel as soon as it comes out. I think anyone who's looking for a bit of entertaining silliness can find something to appeal here. If you've read Carriger's other books, you'll particularly enjoy meeting younger versions of some familiar characters (notably Mme Lefoux and Sidheag), but Etiquette and Espionage can be read just as well on its own. Don't come here looking for something deep, but if you want light entertainment, you're likely to find it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
deris
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Adventure and proper manners filled with endless possibilities for this great read.

Opening Sentence: Sophronia intended to pull the dumbwaiter up from the kitchen to outside the front parlor on the ground floor, where Mrs. Barnaclegoose was taking tea.

The Review:

Gail Carriger's Etiquette & Espionage is her debut into the Young Adult world. Set in the same world as her Parasol Protectorate series, Etiquette & Espionage is a steampunk paranormal, filled with historical elements and delicious paranormal guests. From the first few pages, I was hooked. Now please let me gush a little more so I can get you to be hooked as well.

Sophronia Teminnick is a free spirit who has caused her mother many headaches. For the youngest in her family, and in the 1800s, she is expected to be prim and proper. But that is not the case for Sophronia. To correct Sophronia's ways, she has been sent to Madame Geraldine's School for Ladies of Quality, a finishing school. But little does Mrs. Teminnick know that behind the facade of a finishing school, Madame Geraldine's is actually a training school for espionage and other spy activities.

I loved Sophronia. I would have wanted to be her at her age. She is smart and witty, funny and fun. Carriger made her into an engaging character filled with confidence, great common sense, and enough modesty to be one of my favorite characters. Carriger voiced her really well, creating this fantastic heroine to follow around. It doesn't matter that Sophronia wasn't considered to be lady-like, nor does it matter that she wasn't as prim and proper as the others, I loved her for who she was.

Etiquette & Espionage has some fantastic characters, with personalities on each side of the spectrum. Adding a paranormal quality adds to the dimensions of each character, allowing for the pages to be filled with more personality than I ever expected. From the eccentric teachers who teach the students about stealth and proper sword fighting, to the students themselves, who all make for a merry bunch of misfits.

Most of Carriger's world derive from an already established setting, familiar to those who have read her previous books. But I will say that within Etiquette & Espionage, there are elements that are new and refreshing. Steampunk details compliment this historical era, making the visual background stimulating to my mind. I loved the clothing, adding to the many vivid images in my mind.

Etiquette & Espionage is written in third person, but there is something so personal about the way Carriger does it. I still felt close to Sophronia and knew her thoughts. Carriger filled the pages with realistic cultural references, from the words used in dialogue or mannerisms describing the characters. I understood where Carriger was coming from, as well as her characters. Not once did I take a moment to pause and second guess what I was reading. The words flowed well and the story moved perfectly.

I highly urge you to read Etiquette & Espionage. The characters and the world was engaging and enjoyable. The dialogue was humorous and witty and I enjoyed it every page of the way.

Finishing School Series:

1. Etiquette & Espionage

2. Curtsies & Conspiracies (November 2013)

FTC Advisory: Little, Brown & Company/Hachette Book Group provided me with a copy of Etiquette & Espionage. No goody bags, sponsorships, "material connections," or bribes were exchanged for my review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
melissa parks
Sophronia has no desire to go to finishing school where she imagines she will have to learn to act like a lady instead of running around during the day following her curiosity. But her mother says she must go so she is soon on her way to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

It isn't long before Sophronia discovers that Mademoiselle Geraldine's is like no other finishing academy she's heard of. First, she and other students are attacked by flywaymen on the way to the school. Then they are greeted by a werewolf who helps them get on board the school, which consists of several dirigibles tied together and floating above the moors in the English countryside.

In addition to lessons on curtseying and batting her eyelashes, Sophronia also gets lessons on how to poison dinner guests, and creating a discreet diversion to steal a desired object. Never one to follow the rules, Sophronia is soon discovering the places on board where students aren't allowed to go and getting drawn into the mystery of a missing prototype.

Etiquette and Espionage (Finishing Academy) by Gail Carriger feels like a cross between the magical, inventive worlds of Harry Potter and the Golden Compass. Mechanical maids and butlers cater to the privileged families in society and there are distinct social positions between those who run the ship and those who attend school and teach there.

Sophronia is fascinated by how things work, and there are several mechanical contraptions for her to figure out, including a Dachshund-like "mechanimal" that eats coal to operate, and a filing system on tracks along the ceiling. It's fun for the reader to discover the curiosities of this world along with Sophronia, who isn't familiar with much of it because she grew up in the country.

There's a lighthearted tone to the story, with Sophronia solving mysteries, making friends, getting into and out of trouble and learning new skills that will come in handy I imagine as the series continues. Sophronia and the story of her world are off to a promising start, and I recommend it for readers aged 12 and up.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion in this review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
madeleine
Etiquette & Espionage, Gail Carriger's first book for teens, is a fun-filled ride from the very start. The world of the Parasol Protectorate series tranfers seamlessly for the young adult genre and fans won't be able to get enough.

The cast of characters is completely wild and crazy. Sophronia is far from a lady which is why she is sent to finishing school. However, what she doesn't know is that it's a very different kind of finishing they have in mind. With her quirky ways, crazy climbing abilities, and knack for finding things out, she fits right in. Her best friend at the school, Dimity, is just as quirky as Sophronia but in very different ways. Dimity is obsessed with fashion, faints at the sight of blood, and has a tendency to blabber on. These might seem to be bad qualities in a spy but Dimity makes them work for her. Then ther are Sidheag and Agatha. They are both rather shy for most of the book so readers don't get to see their greatness until closer to the end but they certainly are great. By far though my favorite characters were Vieve and Soap. These two are quite the individuals. Vieve was so cute and funny. Soap was sweet, kind of awkward, and super helpful. These two might not have been in training to be spies like the girls were but they certainly had their ways.

The world was fascinating. I have not read the Parasol Protectorate series so this was my first encounter with this world. It was a great mix of the paranormal, steampunk, and historical. There were werewolves, vampires, ghosts, and more. On top of that there were fantastical mechanical creatures such as Bumbersnoot, a mechanimal dog that Sophronia adopted rather early in the book. And yes, I did say mechanimal. The technologies were wonderful and let me just tell you, you won't be able to read this book and not want a Bumbersnoot of your own. I thought all of these things were a fun mix with the hint of historical thrown in.

The plot is just kind of fun. It's not really that serious (not life or death) but it's enough to keep readers hooked from the very beginning. With the characters, the world, and the wonderful writing, readers don't really need a super fast-paced plot to enjoy this one. There is a bit of a mystery and while most of it is tied up neatly at the end of the book, there are some questions that I assume will be answered in the following books in the series. There's just enough left hanging to leave readers wanting more.

Overall, Etiquette & Espionage has made me eager to read Gail Carriger's adult book. The writing, the characters, the story, and the world all add together to make one completely fabulous read for all ages. I highly recommend picking this one up as soon as you can!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
bina
This book was humorously charming and cute. I thought the steampunk theme especially the fact that the school flies was awesome. Well it is on a dirigible. There is a robot dog, robot maids and butlers also vampires, werewolves, and evil geniuses. This book has everything.

Plot: This book is about a girl named Sophronia Temminnick. She is a bit of a handful. Loves taking things apart, climbing, eavesdropping, and being an overall nuisance to her mother. Her mother finally fed up with it sends her to a school that makes ladies. Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality is not your everyday garden variety finishing school, no it is a school that teaches young ladies how to curtsy, dress, talk, spy, climb, hide, and assassinate. It teaches you how to be an 'intelligencer'. While there Sophronia meets friends, allies, enemies, vampires, and werewolves. She breaks the rules, and she saves the school. I loved the plot. I loved how werewolves wore top hats and vampires greatest weakness was his clothes. I loved Bumbersnoot the mechanical dog turned purse and the steam punk theme of the story. There were places in it that were random but they didn't really detract from the story.

I loved the characters. Sophronia is a handful. She is spirited, speaks her mind, and is very clever. Most of the snooping and things that get her and her friends in trouble are her idea and she always manages to do it without getting in trouble. I love her band of friends Dimity is the snobby high-class daughter of evil genius parents who want her to learn to kill. Only problem is she faints at the sight of blood. Agatha is the overly shy and kind of dumb but cute sidekick of the group. Siedheag is the manly fighter who wouldn't know what being a lady is if it bit her in the ass. I can't stand Monique she is the I'm-better-than-everyone type. She back stabs, lies, and is just a plain b****. The teachers were all quirky and all had there own little eccentricities. Actually all the characters had something that made them unique and fun to read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
thompson seiwell
It was a little confusing from the start and in some parts in the middle I wasn't quite sure what was going on, but I caught on and really liked this story in the end. It's different from most I've read. The main characters are young. There's not much romance. There are vampires and werewolves which always make me wary (not an auto-dislike, just wary). Although I wouldn't classify it as a vampire/werewolf book. It's more steampunk. It's a start to a series, but it had a good ending. I liked the characters a lot. There is something so appealing about a group of misfits and this books is loaded with them. Sophronia is the main character and she is sent by her mother to finishing school. She finds out pretty quickly that it isn't your run of the mill finishing school. We find out all the quirks along with her. They are trained in death and espionage. She finds that she fits in quite well, but there are a lot of challenges to overcome and a mystery to solve, with a little help from new friends. There is a good story throughout, but you get the sense this is an introduction. There is more to come and this is the teaser story. I'm excited to see where this story goes from here.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
philitsa
Sophronia has no interest in becoming a lady—she's far too fascinated by how machinery works to worry about perfect curtsies. Being sent to finishing school seems like a prison sentence, but Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality is not your typical finishing school. Weapons’ training is taught alongside dancing, and the young ladies are just as adept at poisons as they are at creating perfect place settings. Sophronia is the first cover recruit in years and she has a lot to learn: how to curtsy properly for one, and how to sneak about without getting caught by the mechanicals for another, but most importantly…why does the finishing school seem to be a target for the infamous flywaymen? It is going to be a busy year.

Gail Carriger's YA debut has all of the same energetic, quirky, and imaginative humor and action of her Parasol Protectorate series, set in another facet of her steampunk world. The finishing school setting isn’t at all what readers will expect, and Carriger pulls it off cleverly and confidently. Sophronia is a delightfully spunky, kindhearted, and unassuming protagonist, and she has little interest for what’s considered proper. She makes friends easily, and even though her curious nature often gets her into trouble, her resourcefulness and her connections get her out rather easily. Carriger slyly sneaks in a few favorite characters from her previous books into this novel, but the majority of the faces are new in this book, with their own secrets and motivations to make Sophronia’s first few months quite interesting. The action never stops between the late-night adventures, little tricks and heists, and abounding mysteries, and readers will eagerly devour book the first. New readers and long-time Carriger fans will take to Sophronia instantly.

Cover Comments: I love the deep purple and the gears in the background! Although the girl on the cover looks older than Sophronia, this is a lovely cover and a fairly accurate representation of the book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ian truman
Etiquette and Espionage is a fun read but I think the best audience for this story are those teens and adults who are already fans of the Parasol Protectorate books. The content of this book is definitely appropriate for younger teens compared to Soulless but I think that the Parasol Protectorate series does a better job of introducing readers to the Victorian steampunk world. That said, it does not mean that newcomers will not like this book. The author does use Sophronia's lack of experience with supernaturals to inform the reader too.

What I like about Carriger's writing is the dry wit as well as the more approachable version of steampunk. I never felt overwhelmed with the details and could imagine what she describes. I thought with this book in particular that she vividly portrays the setting of the school and its mechanics as Sophronia goes exploring on her adventures. I especially loved Bumbersnoot and want my own mechanimal pet!

I liked Sophronia as a character. She is smart (like Alexia Tarabotti), adventurous, and a good friend though she sometimes makes mistakes. I also liked Sophronia's new best friend Dimity as well as Sidheag and Vieve (who are characters from the Parasol Protectorate series). The other characters were not quite as well drawn but I look forward to getting to know them better as the series goes along.

There is a mystery introduced towards the beginning of the book that kept the narrative going but I thought it was resolved kind of quickly in the end (and not entirely to my satisfaction). Hopefully things will be explained more in the sequel.

All in all, I was pleased with this first book in the Finishing School series. It was nice to be back in the world of the Parasol Protectorate, albeit 20-some years earlier. I hope that teens will enjoy this book though the writing style may appeal more to adults. Fans of Kady Cross's steampunk books might be interested in this one though there is not much in the way of romance on offer (yet anyway). The spunky teen heroine should be a draw and teen readers who appreciate British humor may enjoy it too.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tolga aksoy
This was a super fun read. Previously I had read Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series and really enjoyed it. So, I was very excited to see that Carriger was starting a young adult series set in the same world. The second book in this series, Curtsies and Conspiracies, is scheduled to publish in November 2013.

This story is about a girl named Sophronia Temminnick who is sent to boarding school for being an unmanageable young woman. When she gets there she finds that the boarding school isn't teaching exactly what she expected.

This book is fast-paced and well written. It is a bit of a mystery in a Victorian setting and has steampunk elements throughout.

Sophronia is an interesting heroine. There's nothing extraordinary about her except for the fact that she sees opportunities where others don't and she's practically fearless. I really enjoyed her pluckiness and her willingness to have fun and try new things.

The girls go to finishing school basically in a floating dirigible, this is super creative and interesting and provides a wonderful setting for the story.

There really isn't any romance in this book, but Sophronia does make friends with many of the other girls. All of the girls are interesting characters and add a lot to the story. There is a lot about friendship and loyalty addressed throughout the book.

Along the way Sophronia meets a young girl named Genevieve who likes to dress as a boy and invent things...this is a character that we meet as an adult in the Parasol Protectorate series. It was kind of fun, having read the Parasol Protectorate series, to try and guess who was related to who from that series.

The book moves at a fast paced and is a super fun read. The story is well written and the plot keeps you guessing. I found the characters to be engaging and easy to relate to.

Overall this book was a great, light-hearted read and a wonderful beginning to new steampunk series. Sophronia goes on a number of wild capers and is just pure fun to read about. There is a lot of humor in this book but it never goes over the top. Highly recommended to steampunk fans.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
florian
Okay, I expected a lot from this book. Which isn't always good for me, because when I expect A LOT from a book like I did from Etiquette and Espionage, I'm usually, unfortunately, disappointed when I finish reading it. Luckily for me in this case, E&E ended up going above and beyond my wildest expectations.

The genre is steampunk fantasy set in 1851, a time where young girls would normally wear fancy dresses and many petticoats, as well as attend finishing school where they would be trained to execute a proper curtsy and learn etiquette. However, the protagonist of the story is fourteen-year-old Sophronia Angelina Temminnick, an extremely unladylike young girl that frequently gets on her mother's nerves. In a desperate attempt to convert her tomboyish embarrassment of a daughter into a suitable young lady presentable to the public, she sends Sophronia to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. Unbeknownst to Mrs. Temminnick, however, is that Mademoiselle Geraldine's prestigious school not only teaches a girl how to curtsy, dance, and dress, it also teaches a girl how to keep a knife with her at all times, poison an unsuspecting villain, and of course, attack with the politest way possible.

First of all, I love stories about weird schools. (For example: Harry Potter's Hogwarts.) I admire the originality and creativity of the authors who can create a whole new world where schools do not require regular curriculum like English-language-arts, math, science, etc. Mademoiselle Geraldine's finishing school is no different, with interesting subjects such as court etiquette, poisoning techniques, and ladylike deception.

Best parts: Ms. Carriger manages to place the story's setting in an "old-fashioned" Victorian era, yet provides exciting twists and surprises that keeps you hooked on the book. Also, even though the school's teachers include vampires and werewolves, they're not included in enough context to confuse the plot and are just meant for some interesting additions to the school's uniqueness. Another thing I liked was that the author didn't completely change Sophronia and left some of her "tomboy-ism" there, later putting it to good use.

Not-so-good parts: The aim of the teachers at the academy can get a bit confusing. Also, some people may be easily overwhelmed by the number of characters and their weird names. ;)

Overall, though, a really, REALLY great read. I enjoyed the diverse range of characters, from lower-class to upper-class and all the different personalities that made my favorite character not Sophronia, but actually one of the supporting characters. Etiquette and Espionage is a mix of sophistication and complexity, making it a must-read for teens.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
unascertained
Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate series, Gail Carriger brings us her first Young Adult Steampunk novel, the first in her Finishing School series. Fourteen year old Sophronia is not the sophisticated, polite young lady that her sisters are. Instead she's constantly getting into trouble and being a constant trial to her mother. So her mother decides to send her to finishing school, hoping that this may make a lady out of Sophronia. However, the finishing school isn't what her mother had planned, and Sophronia finds herself neck deep in finishing school AND espionage school.

While trying to get used to vampire teachers, a werewolf guard and the ins and outs of espionage, Sophronia and her friends also try to recover the "protype", which everyone seems to want to get their hands on as well.

LOVE! Seriously, LOVE! Etiquette & Espionage is all about steampunk and espionage school. It's the perfect blend of the pair, and it reminded me a little of Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls, but with supernaturals and steampunk.

I highly recommend the audiobook. Moira Quirk's narration of the story is perfect. I particularly loved her voice for Sophronia. She reminds me a lot of Clara (from Doctor Who - yes I have to add that reference), and all her trouble-making ways definitely come across in the audiobook.

If you're looking for a YA book that is a little different I highly recommend this book. It's spies and espionage, and STEAMPUNK and one of the best YA books I've listened to this year.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
benji
It is thrilling to return to the same steampunk and paranormal alternate Victorian England that made The Parasol Protectorate series so brilliant. In ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE, the first in the four book Finishing School series, set 25 years before Alexia's series, we meet a young girl named Sophronia. In classic Carriger fashion, Sophronia is the embodiment of cleverness, bravery, and falls woefully short of the societal definition of a lady. In other words, she's fantastically entertaining, just like this book.

Once again, the writing is spot on. Very proper, when propriety demands it, and then irreverent and wacky when, for example, garlic mash potatoes are hurled at a vampire. And the characters are delicious, especially Sophronia. My only minor criticism had to do with the plot. It was very simple and perhaps not robust enough for a full length book. The middle felt just a little slow as a result. Sophronia was delightful throughout and I very much enjoyed her Harry Potter-like introduction to her mysterious floating school, unusual professors with names like Professor Braithwope, the group of other students, and the secrets surround all of them. In fact, the whole book has a very Harry Potter feel to it, if the series had focused on Hermione instead of Harry and revolved around steampunk instead of magic.

Peppered with fun Easter eggs for those who have read The Parasol Protectorate series (like the fact that Sophronia is the little sister of a main character), fairly bursting with dirigibles, mechancles, and all manner of steampunk gadgets, along with a thorough appreciation for a proper cup of tea. ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE is just as charming, just as witty, and just as delightful as the other books set in this world. I'm froth with anticipation waiting for next book in the Finishing School series, CURTSIES & CONSPIRACIES, which will be published in November 2013.

Sexual Content:
N/A
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
heather s
When I saw this book come through the Library, I wasn't sure whether or not I would enjoy it as some of them are great but Steampunk novels don't seem to be one of my favourite genres to read, this could be stemmed from as a friend pointed it out that I am not keen on historical programmes etc as I tend to find things from the past boring which I do- I'm more of a Cyberpunk girl rather than Steampunk. However what made Gail Carriger's book interesting and enjoyable is that it combined two of my interests together - books about Finishing schools and Etiquette as I find that fascinating and would have loved to gone to a school which taught women how to become ladies and spy boarding school novels which I enjoy as being a spy sounds awesome- something stemmed from the days of a 9yr old me loving Harriet the Spy. Etiquette and Espionage brings us the introduction of Sophronia whom is a fourteen year old girl who loves adventure and getting into mischief. Her mother wishes she would become more of a lady, so when the chance to go to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality -her mother signs her up immediately. The school on the other hand isn't just a finishing academy but a school for students to learn how to be spies and to master the art of Espionage along with supernatural teachers like Werewolves and Vampires. A fun novel that I think all should read and I am now looking forward to Book #2 which is released in November - Curtsies and Conspiracies.

#This was a library book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alessandra
I am a long time fan of Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series and was crushed when the series ended. Etiquette & Espionage takes place in the same universe, but is set a generation earlier and I was delighted to meet some characters from the original series when they were much younger.

This new series, Finishing School, is written for the Young Adult market and I was concerned with how that would be handled. A number of authors who normally write for adults have started writing for teens and it is not always a success. Gail Carriger, however, managed it beautifully.

The characters fit well into the steampunk world developed in the original series and their personalities and style of speech are consistent with what I have learned to love and expect from Carriger.

She shows that girls are girls, whether they live in our boring, mundane world or a world consisting of dirigibles, vampires and werewolves. Some of them have strong, confident personalities whereas others are more concerned with their looks and prestige than they are with their character.

One of the things I liked about this book is that it is not a romance. I am a high school librarian and most of the books written with female leads revolve around a romantic relationship. Etiquette & Espionage focused on friendships, patriotism, and derring-do. Boys are discussed (these are teen girls after all), but there is not a focus on any one person.

Book two, Curtsies & Conspiracies is due out in November. I wonder if Sophronia will finally learn to curtsy. After all, in Victorian England that is just as important as sword fighting.

(This book was supplied to me as an ARC by the publisher.)
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
joseph
After getting into the book I thought it must have been written for children. I haven't bothered to finish it - I'm too old to read a bad book. I didn't rate I Hate It but probably should have. A complete waste of time and money.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
aislinn
This was the first ever steam punk book I've read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.From the introduction of Sophronia and her misadventure with the dumbwaiter I was hooked. A tom boy still perfectly at home in fancy dress, Sophronia is a covert recruit for a different kind of finishing school.

I was immediately drawn into the world of mechanicals, werewolves, vampires, and a school with classes on poison along with poise. Sophronia's hodge podge of friends, and a few enemies, in her class are a delightful mix of personalities. As they learn to navigate the school together adventure and espionage are not far behind. Can't wait to pick up the next in the series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lehia johnston
Lady Geraldine's Finishing School is not your usual cup of Earl Grey. First of all, it floats above the moors, has a werewolf as the doorman, and is likely to teach you about poisons as it is how to curtsey.

Into this world is thrust Sophronia, a girl whose parents are sending her there for a bit of polish, but aren't aware of the kind of finishing that goes on at the school.

Sophronia makes all kinds of intereseting friends, sooties, evil genious (oh, sorry, discourteous genius), mechanimal dogs, and scottish ladies brought up by werewolf soldiers. As she is learning to blush prettily and sneak silently, Sophronia is caught up in with the school in a desperate search for a communications prototype that can change political history...if only she can stand the teasing of the girl who stole it.

If you like Gail Carriger's adult series, this one is tip-top fun picking out all the characters (as their younger selves) who might have popped up in the Parasol Protectorate, as well as enjoying the earlier version of that world.

However, for me, despite the silliness and wisecracks and tongue-in-cheek descriptions of her mechanical dog's excretions, this one spent just a bit too much detailing all the clothing and etiquette and not quite enough on the developing of the friendships for me.

It's a lovely start to the series, but not one I'll race out and get the next one for.

This Book's Snack Rating: Air-popped salt-and-pepper chips for the light and airy deliciousness of frippery and frolics with a dash of espionage.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
emily
This book reminds me a lot of Harry potter the younger years, little bit of a Flavia de Luce Novel and a big chunk of Leviathan all rolled up into one. So, if you like anyone of those books you will probably like this one.

This book is about a 14 year old Sophronia Temminnick, who is constantly getting into trouble. So much so that her mother has decided to send her to a finishing school to learn some proper manners. But, what her and her mother doesn't know is that this finishing school is not only about etiquette but espionage as well! To top it off, Sophronia is the only covert recruit. Meaning everyone else that goes to this school families have been going for ages and knows exactly what the school is about. Sophronia comes into it clueless and learns alot about the world that she thought was only of myth.

I haven't read any of the authors other books, but now that I have read this one I really want to read her other series in the same world. I love how she writes. It is so witty the way she plays with words. I don't normally laugh when I read books but this one got me a couple times.

I really love this book, it was a great young adult book. And, I can't wait for the next one to come out to read more about Sophronia's adventures.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
maura wenger
Imagine that you're a 14-year-old girl with an adventurous streak who has been shipped off to finishing school, only to find that said establishment is actually a giant dirigible school for training young ladies in the art of espionage. Oh yes, and it's Victorian England and there are werewolves and vampires running around (the real things, no disco ball Edwards!) - they're even some of the teachers! And then of course there are the sky pirates searching for a mysteriously missing 'prototype' that another student might be hiding...

This is the premise behind Gail Carriger's latest novel, "Etiquette and Espionage." Although I've greatly enjoyed her adult series, (The Parasol Protectorate), I've been reluctant to review them here as they are definitely adult and contain some sex scenes and quite a bit of innuendo. "Etiquette and Espionage," however, is YA fiction and I feel is appropriate for the 10 and up crowd. That doesn't mean, however, that older readers won't also enjoy it! And there are crossover characters between the two series, so that adult readers will have a reason to pick this one up as well (and younger ones will have treats waiting in store sometime in the future).

Carriger describes her brand of steampunk as "teapunk" which is a clever way of saying she uses the settings and tropes of steampunk, but the writing style and satire of the comedy of manners writers such as P.G. Wodehouse, Jane Austen, and Oscar Wilde. Although her humor is somewhat more evident in "The Parasol Protectorate", it nonetheless appears here as well, making "Etiquette and Espionage" a fun read. And though it features a female heroine, there are a couple of young lads along for the adventure that should make this book enjoyable for both genders to read.

Not to mention that fans of traditional vampire and werewolf lore will appreciate Carriger's traditional interpretation of these supernatural curses, although she isn't afraid to illustrate that sometimes these creatures take themselves a little too seriously! There are also plenty of clockwork apparatuses scattered throughout, both in machines and automatons, not to mention one adorable little steampowered messenger puppy!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nastaran bisheban
Bought 3 out of the 4 in physical copy, really pretty good. I didn't realize it was steampunk until the second book. I liked the main protagonist at the start, when she didn't really care of others opinions and ridiculous social expectations, but my opinion quickly plummeted to neutral disappointment as she began to trip over herself for those ridiculous opinions and expectations. My everlasting gripe, as it's quiet obviously unavoidable, were the majority of the names. I could never take certain characters seriously and was continuously taken out of the plot's immersion. I had been referring to many characters by altered names as I continued reading, such as Pillover as Phillip. I felt the names brought down the level of maturity that these books were intended for. Would have been a perfect five stars if it wasn't for those names. (Ex. Dingleproops, Picklemen, Barnaclegoose, Thrushbotham pip-monger, oddgod. I don't understand how the characters in this world can take such ridiculously immature names seriously.)
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
cke387
Having really enjoyed Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, I really hated that I didn't love this book equally well. It's entirely possible that my perceptions are affected by the fact that I am generally not a reader of YA (though that may soon start to change as my 15 year old daughter is now expressing interests in books that I feel I should screen first). I really don't believe that my inexperience with the YA genre is the problem here, however, because the main issue I had with this book is that it doesn't seem to go anywhere plotwise. I'm not even sure it had a plot or, if there was one, it was the barest hint of one. There were moments of charm and humor and the fourteen year old protagonist, in addition to having a great name, was certainly likeable but...it was just missing that one big SOMETHING to tie it all together and give it substance. This may just be first book syndrome and there were enough enjoyable elements here to make checking out the second book worth it, but overall this one missed the mark. Here's to hoping that book two can finish. ;)
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
chase parnell
What happens when your mom sends you off to a finishing school with a bit of a twist? Etiquette and espionage, that's what. Sophronia's mother thinks she's off to become a lady, which she is, but she's also off to retrieve a mysterious prototype. Hmm.

I found the characters in the book to be enjoyable. While there's not a lot of "action" there is a lot of thrill. How could there not be with a vampire professor, a floating school, and a bunch of steampunk items!

The Finishing School has appeal for young adults and older adults equally. I'm excited to see what Sophronia is up to in the next book!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
mario rui
This was a very fun steampunk take on the strangest finishing school you have ever encountered. I struggled a bit as the book started, but quickly found myself enjoying the tale. I struggled with the fact that at the beginning Sophronia was so incredibly naive, but she quickly showed her natural intelligence and talents. I'm glad that this wasn't my first foray into steampunk, but it definitely showed that it is a genre I enjoy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
eric gambill
I can’t rave enough about this book. I’d heard about it, and it blew my expectations out of the water. From the beginning (the trifle incident) to the very end, I was hooked. This is a wonderful introduction to steampunk for younger readers, and Sophronia and her schoolmates (and other friends who aren’t her classmates) make a great team that I think young adults of all ages can get attached to. Just the concept of fine young ladies learning to become spies along with learning manners and fashion is spectacular. Add in the boys’ school (for evil geniuses) and you’ve got a subculture for a world that is already interesting. This is a brilliant combination of history and near-irreverence. Even the humor fits in with the period, but it tickled me in some of the most wonderful ways. This whole work was masterfully done. It is a whole.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
blueeyes 397
This is the first book in a series set about 25 years prior to the Parasol Protectorate series.

This book has much of the same tone, voice and sense of humor as the Parasol Protectorate books. It's entertaining to read the adventures of Sophronia, who finds herself unexpectedly in a Finishing school that teaches "the fine art of finishing others". Sophronia is a kindred spirit to Alexia - a strong minded young lady with a lot of curiosity and the gumption to go looking for answers.

The book dragged a little in the middle for me, which is why it's only getting 4 stars instead of 5. However, by the end it picked up again, and concluded with a wonderful scene during a ball.

Overall a highly entertaining book. I look forward to reading the next one.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tori
I rarely read steampunk novels anymore. They interest me, but Gail Carriger seems to have ruined all others for me since I read her utterly brilliant Parasol Protectorate series--now no one else can compare. Etiquette & Espionage is no different. Carriger's writing is absolutely addictive. There's no other way to describe it. She has a way with words that has transcended from PP to this spin-off and hopefully beyond. She should never stop writing about this world because it's perfection.

I was a bit worried when I started it. I wanted to love the book, but I wasn't sure where Carriger was going to take the story. I shouldn't have worried. I had so much fun reading this book. It's imaginative, fun and so hard to put down. The characters are charming in their own ways, and so sweet that you'll want to put them in your pocket. Plus the PP cameos made me so happy! The plot moved slowly, but steadily and it never missed its mark for me.

I cannot wait for book two (and the rest of the series!) and I sincerely recommend this book to everyone. It's light-hearted and sure to entertain, even after you've finished.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chris gilmore
I was very excited to read this book. The synopsis just sounded so fun and interesting, I was curious to see what kind of direction the author was going to take this book in. I also want to add in the note that I typically don't read books where the protagonist is this young (14). On that front, this was new to me, and I wasn't sure if I would like the younger age.

When Sophronia gets sent off to an exclusive finishing school, she gets taught the arts of espionage and assassination. You would think reading about this school, it would be strict, hard, painful. However, the entire setting of the school is really fun to read about. Everything is new and exciting, and it's like you're there for the journey as well.

All of the characters are developed enough that I can get a good enough idea of who I like and who I don't really care about. As for Sophronia, she's a good character that you can get behind. I like her, I understand her, I care about her.

The use of steampunk in the novel is also interesting to see. In the way of novels, steampunk is a fairly new thing. Every author likes to use it in their own way, and Carriger does a good job of making it fun and interesting.

Really good book, I would definitely recommend this book to friends and readers like like this genre.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
weng tink
I listened to this book in almost one sitting, while on a long car ride. I was almost disappointed when I got there because I had two chapters left and I wanted to know what happened!

E&E was a very cute and clever story. It had everything: awesome characters, a villain you love to hate, mystery, adventure, surprises, romance, humor, and wonderful descriptions. Also, Werewolves and vampires. But not the sparkly modern-day super-sexy kind... the kind that will kill you. Oh yeah, also, they're the professors.

And the students of the school Sophronia goes to?... they live in the sky. How cool is that? I loved Sophronia so much, and she reminded me of myself when I was nine (though she was like fourteen or something)

Suffice to say, I wanted to transfer to that finishing school instead of my boring old university.

Content/Recommendation: Clean! Recommend to ages 13+ (keep in mind, I'm 21 and I loved it).

Audio: The reader, Moira Quirk, was excellent! Wonderful use of accent and inflection, and very talented. Looking forward to hearing more of her voice acting.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
s marie
WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

“Etiquette & Espionage” by Gail Carriger is the first installment in the young adult fiction series Finishing School. To everyone’s disappointment, fourteen-year-old Sophronia Angelina Temminnick is everything but a lady: she climbs trees, dismantles machines, eavesdrops on guests and constantly gets into trouble. Since it’s 1851, her mother comes up with a period-appropriate solution and sends Sophronia to Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. Although reluctant at first, Sophronia soon discovers that this finishing school is probably not what her mother had in mind. Here, in a giant floating dirigible, young ladies are taught not only to curtsy, dance and dress properly but also to finish everything and everyone that needs to be finished, and do it in style.

THUMBS UP:

1) Steampunk.
I was never a fan of books or movies set in the Victorian Era (all those 19th-century ladies and gentlemen in their ridiculous outfits are not really my thing). That being said, I feel less disconcerted by the fact that I have never ever heard about such thing as steampunk. Too bad I haven’t though, because steampunk, which is a science fiction sub-genre featuring Victorian-era steam-powered machinery, is actually quite awesome. I absolutely LOVED mechanical servants and mechanimals!

2) Hilarious sophistication.
Carriger’s writing is both super stylish and hysterically funny. Therefore, the whole book is a delightful mix of whimsy and Victorian-era sophistication, both of which are partially reinforced by advanced vocabulary and creative descriptions.

3) Ridiculously creative yet surprisingly realistic.
I was wowed by Carriger’s creativity. Everything from the atypical finishing school lessons to the characters and even their names is unique, witty and charming. Despite the fact that everything is taking place in a fantasy world where anything is possible, the characters as well as the plot and its twists seem very realistic and well-thought-out, leaving no room for cheesiness.

4) Lovable characters.
It’s hard not to fall in love with such multidimensional, highly relatable and utterly adorable characters. In Carriger’s fantasy world, even such hackneyed supernatural creatures as werewolves and vampires are awesome. It’s also very hard to believe that such an action-packed story has no hard-core villains. Instead, all the characters have some enviable qualities as well as a few flaws. And of course, everyone, without exception, has style.

VERDICT: 3.5 out of 5

Since I am not a fan of Victorian-era stuff, have never heard about steampunk and, quite frankly, long ago grew tired of supernatural creatures, I technically have all the reasons to dislike “Etiquette & Espionage.” Yet it’s hard to resist something so witty, so creative and so remarkably stylish :)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kristin perry
Faceless Mechanicals, valves that help travel the aether, dubious finishing schools, vampires and werewolves are all part of this Victorian steam punk spy-in-training romp. Sophronia has been sent to finishing school to try to cure her bad habits including climbing and taking things apart to see how they work. Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality is somewhat more than she expected and certainly her "to be" decorous education takes unexpected twists and turns.
A sometimes farcical caper that introduces some excellent characters and exciting possibilities. There is of course the 'mean girl' and a host of others. The sense of mystery is heightened by the fact that the school is a dirigible or several dirigibles, always moving. Entrancing! "What Ho and away!"

A NetGalley ARC
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
margaret
Gail Carriger’s novel “Etiquette & Espionage,” the first title in a new YA series, is off to a rollicking good start. If you’ve read her Parasol Protectorate series, then you know you’re in for a rare treat. All of the madcap adventure you’ve come to love in that series, along with the humor, fits very nicely in a YA setting. Especially a steampunk YA setting. Right from the start, I fell in love with Sophronia. She’s such a character and put me in immediate mind of Pippi Longstocking. Although the stories have nothing in common, their intrepid heroines are very similar in their philosophy, mannerisms, high jinks and resourcefulness. I had great fun and enjoyment with this novel and am looking forward to the other entries in the series. I can’t wait to go on more adventures with this merry band of characters.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
april kelley
Having read Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate books, I decided to give this a try. It's what you'd expect if Alexis Tarabotti went to a finishing school for spies. (But seems to have done quite well on her own)

A couple of characters may be familiar, at a younger age.

I think this is a little like the previous series combined with a rote YA academy book. Hijinks and hilarity ensue.

It's a bit like cotton candy wrapped in steampunk. Sweet, not much substance, dissolves on the tongue. Perhaps leaves you feeling a bit guilty and ashamed of yourself.

I will read the next book in the series, though. I'd actually gotten annoyed by the last two or three Parasol books, so I'm not sure why I came back to this series. Different take, I suppose. I hope I'll have better sense and quit when I'm no longer enjoying myself.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rosalee
This book actually serves as a kind of prequel to the Parasol protectorate series. There are a handful of characters from those books here... only younger. It's in no way required reading for the adult series but it is fun to see the characters before they were grown. I loved this book because it reminded me of all the things that I love about Gail Carriger's writing. The books have this tone that is so prim and serious but so ridiculous at the same time. It's amazing. I love Sophoronia as a character as well. She is not a typical girl of her time period. She likes reading, science and engineering. She wants to solve problems and find out how things work. She's a lovely character. The other girls that she spends time with at the school are also great because they are each so different and unique. I liked the idea of the boys version of the school as well. A school for evil geniuses is pretty great. I can't wait to see what other shenanigans the Pistons get up to. All in all, I adored this book.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
paula mcallister
No, I haven't read the Parasol Protectorate series. I understand the comparisons made between this new prequel series and the PP books but dear reviewers, remember that the audience is quite different. I appreciate reading about a strong-willed protagonist whose main focus is not on hooking up with her brother's best friend or the bad boy at school because many of my middle school students aren't interested in that plot line. Yes, the book reads younger than many YA novels but is that a bad thing? I think not.

Sophronia, 14, doesn't realize that the finishing school she has been sent to attend includes teachers who are vampires and werewolves. One of her classmates is clearly a liar and not a nice person who has a secret which she refuses to reveal. Sophronia enlists her friends, both classmates and "sooties," to find that which has been hidden and to save her school from the evil flywaymen. This fun romp will appeal to fans of the Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter and the Airborn series by Kenneth Oppel.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
bookbimbo
I love this author. Since I adore her adult series, I knew without a doubt that this book must be read!

First off, her writing it about the same as her adult series expect for teens. Talk over tea, handsome gentlemen and of course a secret society under the guise of a school. I love it. Every plot twist and new exploration of the world the author created only lead me deeper into the story. It flowed nicely, never wavering or leaving the reader behind. I really enjoyed the main character Sophronia. Her spunky attitude and quick remarks always had me laughing or snickering.

There's not really a love interest yet still, I'm anxious to see what will happen ext. Sophronia made both friends and enemies quick. She is a fast learner who will have her work cut out for her.

This is a great steampunk story. With amazing world-building and great adventure, I'm glad that I took this journey. A pleasant and sophisticated adventure, Etiquette & Espionage is quite the story!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
joelene
Absolutely delightful! This book was a hoot. I found myself chuckling many times at the absurdities. Gail Carriger is a wonderfully unique writer. I adored her Parasol Protectorate series and she has carried much of the charm from that series over into this one. You do not have to read the previous series to enjoy and appreciate this one. While this is definitely young adult (Sophronia is only 14, after all), it doesn't feel like it was written for teens. In that regard, it reminded me of the Harry Potter series-- written about teens but written for all audiences. I listened to the audiobook and absolutely adored the reader Moira Quirk. I did, however, get a print copy from the library just so I could see how some of the names were spelled as many in the cast of characters have unique names. I highly recommend listening to this book if you enjoy audiobooks but it would still be a fun book to read in print. This is a fun new series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
candy o
I am a big fan of Gail Carriger and quite enjoy her stories and writing style. This novel is no exception. The idea of what amounts to a private girls' school for spies and assassins in Victorian England (along with the counterpart boys' school for evil geniuses) is fantastic. The characters are reasonably well-developed, the plot is believable (considering the universe it's in) and steampunk is integral to the setting and not just some afterthought. It's not necessary to have read the Parasol Protectorate novels before delving into this YA prequel-ish series, but recognizing familiar characters and references when they show up was fun. My only disappointment (and it's minor considering how good the novel is overall), is that there's not as much humor and verbal sparring as in the Parasol Protectorate books. Admittedly, it's likely in part because this is YA but a little more humor would have been appreciated. Overall though, a great read for fans of the author and the genre.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
anup chandran
Up first, Book 1 in the New Finishing School series by Gail Carriger! I LOVED this book for many reasons: 1) It's in the Victorian age, 2) The protagonist, Sophronia, doesn't seem to fit in, 3) there's all sorts of cool steampunk things going on (technology mixed with the supernatural)! Sophronia's mother is at her wit's end with this daughter who seems to attract all sorts of mayhem and can't execute a decent curtsey to save her life. The solution seems to be to send her to a finishing school as advised by her neighbor and friend Mrs. Barnaclegoose.

But, this school is very, very different. Beside all of the requisite courses of study (etiquette, dancing, art and languages) there are "specials" like deception, weapons training (with a werewolf for a teacher), poisons and the like. Sophronia finds that although she is a "covert recruit," she finds herself at home at the school.

To say that Sophronia is plucky and "born to this" is an understatement. She is amazing and I couldn't help but want her to do well. She finds that her nemesis Monique (older, wealthier, meaner) has a prototype to a communications device which she refuses to hand over to her teachers. It seems that she is basically trying to make a deal that will suit her. It is up to Sophronia and her gang of misfits (Dimity and her brother Pillover (from a criminal family), Sidhag (from a family of werewolves), Vieve (mechanical genius, tomboy), Soap (coal boy or sootie and black) and her mechanimal dog Bumbersnoot to save the day.

The author creates a wonderful kalidescope of a world with automatons, flying dirigibles, vampire teachers, and googles, as well as tea sets, balls, and carriages! I could not put this book down and read it in one day! I can't wait for the sequel Curtsies and Conspiracies, to come out soon! I am definitely a steampunk girl!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
alita avila
*Published on Page Turners Blog on 2/20/13*

Rating: 2.5 stars

Gail's <i>Parasol Protectorate</i> books have been recommended to me over and over again, but somehow I have never quite picked them up. So I was excited about her YA book,<i> Etiquette & Espionage</i>, because well, spies and a boarding school? I am so there.

The whimsical style of writing (very tongue-in-cheeky) was refreshing at first, but I have to admit that after a while it became a little overwhelming. I tried to pinpoint where the book lost me and ultimately for me, the stakes were not high enough.

I liked Sophronia as a character because she challenged the ordinary and the expected. She went where she wasn't supposed to go and cleverly got herself out of some awkward and dangerous situations. I liked the setting of a floating espionage-finishing school. I even liked some of the secondary characters (Dimity always made me smile), but in the end, I didn't feel that heart-thumping feeling that left me wondering what-will-happen-here. And I want that feeling in a spy plot.

What I did get was solid world-building, some genuinely sweet moments between characters and a smart, curious main character. I recommend this book to Gail's fans and to people who are patient with a story that sets up a new fantasy world. Will I read the sequel? Yes! I feel very invested in the world after finishing this book. But I hope it will have much higher stakes and a little less whimsy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
julie souza
Another solid effort from Gail Carriger with her trademark cleverness, humor, and whimsical style. She's in a class and level of her own. Manners, intrigue, steampunk, shenanigans, and even the flinging of a cheese pie are incorporated into the finishing school tale of a tomboy named Sophronia.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
michelle villanueva
If we stick with the rule that a YA protagonist is supposed to be about 2 years older than the reading audience for whom the book is intended, then E&E doesn't quite work, for Sophronia is 14, but the book uses a vocabulary far too complex for most 7th graders. However, I think this book will have a lot of appeal for high school and older. (Yes, I am putting on the reading lists for my advanced 7th graders, though; it's just right for them.)
We have lots and lots of steampunk in this book: quirky inventions that pop up everywhere. For those that complained that Carriger was dropping the cogs at the end of the Alexia Tarrabotti series, there is now a new series FILLED with steam-powered mechanimals and airdingheys -- and sooties shoveling coal to produce all that steam.
We also have a young Madame LeFoux and a teenage Lady Maccon in her pre-werewolf state, plus a vampire and a werewolf.
Overall, it's great fun.
Well done, Carriger.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sjmakes
Looking for a refreshing, humorous and thoroughly brilliant read? If so, and really if you have a pulse and enjoy a good laugh now and again, then pick up Gail Carriger's debut YA novel, Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1). One of Goodreads YA Novels of 2013, Etiquette & Espionage proved to be engaging, unique and hilarious through and through! Carringer builds a distinctive set of lovely characters in a beautifully created world!

Carriger's Victorian paranormal steampunk style will keep you engaged and loving each and every page. I mean really, who doesn't crave a strong and intelligent female lead, friends from unexpected places, a bit of paranormal, poofy dresses, an adventure, an adorable pet and of course a light sprinkling of infatuation (but not overly done)? One of my favorite reads of 2013! You will most likely love this book, but don't take my word for it, try it yourself.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sls schnur
I have to say, I was equal parts excited and trepidatious* when my fave awesome person at Little, Brown asked me if I wanted to be part of the blog tour for this. I loved Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, but was concerned about how she would make the transition to YA, especially after my friend Elizabeth's reaction... That gave me pause. FORTUNATELY, I have to (politely, maybe) disagree with E. on this one. Yes, it was a little heavy handed at first, and was missing some of the magic that came with Alexia's narration and her fabulous personality - but it worked, and in the end I quite liked it.

I'm a pretty firm believer that you don't have to change your style/writing much (if at all) when you change age levels - there's no need to "write down" to kids (especially in this case, as the Parasol Protectorate series was a highly popular cross-over - Pretty much remove the steamy Victorian sexytimes and you're good to go). But the beginning of the book seemed like Carriger was going to write down to her audience and point things out in a really obtrusive way (as if they couldn't possibly put things together all on their own...), and that has got to be my number one I-will-throw-you-against-the-wall-you-just-see-if-I-don't pet peeve. Even as a kid, I found it highly insulting; you've got to have faith in your audience, and faith in yourself as a storyteller that you're doing fine - you don't have to handhold, and if you do feel the need to, you're not telling it right. But either the handholding was just a brief blip, or I got used to it, because the rest of the book slipped into the quirky, upper-crusty, hilariously Missish storytelling I'd grown to love in the Parasol Protectorate.

Etiquette & Espionage - much like the PP series, or Sorcery & Cecelia , and others of its kind - thrusts readers into a strange** world, very like ours and yet decidedly not, and then relies on an irrepressible but pragmatic narrator to guide the ship*** and draw readers along on a whisper of curiosity and charm. After Elizabeth's unfavorable reaction, I did something I generally don't do, which is look into reviews of a book right before I'm set to read it. (I don't want to be biased, so I typically avoid them - but I had to know if it was going to be a dud! I needed to brace myself if that was the case...) One of the complaints I saw most about this book was about the characters, actually - a lack of connection to them, a dislike for them, etc. And though I can see a tendency toward stockness about them, I didn't ever find myself disliking them - especially Sophronia and some of her more unlikely companions. I loved her fearlessness-bordering-on-recklessness quite a bit, and her intelligence and composure, and I think she'd keep me entertained over the course of a series by dint of that alone. But beyond that, I found that the characters manage to be both well-suited to their AU Victorian England and to a modern audience looking for characters a little less demure and a little more spirited, and that's really all I could ask of them. I was curious, and I was charmed.

Etiquette & Espionage turned out to be a very fun, very YA-appropriate expansion of Carriger's world. Set earlier than PP, there are all sorts of little easter eggs for readers already familiar with the world (traditions, characters at a younger age, or before big events, etc.), which made it fun on a level that works without being obtrusive - readers who aren't familiar with the world won't feel confused or like they're missing anything, but will have bits of handy background should they choose to move on to the other series. The world of Carriger's steampunky England is expanded in some ways by this spin-off, though I think for the most part, as it largely takes place in such a very insular location (a boarding school on a dirigible, for realsies), some readers may feel the lack of variation and be disappointed. Personally, I liked being able to explore a more confined world in depth, and on the few instances when they went offship, plenty of hijinks ensued to balance it out. Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality was a good starting point, not overwhelming the reader with the alternate universe, but providing a good foundation for it. And while I'm not panting for the next books, as I was with the first few of the Protectorate, I look forward to seeing where the world expands from Mlle. Geraldine's over the course of the series.

* Spellcheck needs to stop telling me "trepidatious" isn't a word. If the OED says it is, then it is.
**Both from a historical and a contemporary point of view
***I'mma just go ahead and mix all the metaphors I can, mmmkay?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sadye chester
This review will be quick. I really adored this book. It would probably be classified as middle grade more than YA, but it was a fun read. I liked that there wasn't really anything heavy in the book. It is a light fun read/listen.
The narrator did a fantastic job switching between characters and staying consistent. I especially loved when she did an French accent to the extreme for one of the characters. It was pretty funny.
Sophronia is a great character. She likes to tinker with things. Instead of just doing as she's told she wants to know why and how things work. She questions everything. She tends to find herself in the middle of situations that will likely get her in trouble.
I love the innocence of most of the characters. I also couldn't stop laughing through parts of it. It's funny, and will have you cheering for Sophronia and her friends the whole time.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
pedro carreira
A young adult adventure novel featuring a wild teenage girl being sent to finishing school in an alternate Victorian-steampunk-era (with vampires and werewolves). The 'finishing school' is more a spy-agent-in-training academy, and the protagonist finds friends for the first time in her life. Plenty of intrigue and shenanigans.

What made this novel stand out are the well prepared descriptions from Sophronia's perspective. Carriger's prose oozes genre-appropriate style, and her take on the confused English gentleman vampire is hilarious. Hits the target audience well, and not a bad YA experience for an adult who likes steampunk. Will likely check out the 'Parasol Protectorate' series now, which I'd avoided in the past because I thought the name was too much. It turns out its not so much 'silly' as 'English Gentry', which was a pleasant surprise.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
pam mastin
Girls are trained to be secret intelligence agents and the boys are trained to be evil-geniuses??? Umm, yes, please!

I absolutely adore Ms. Carriger's Parasol and Protectorate series, however, I wasn't really excited when I learned that she was going to write a series about a girl's finishing school. Instead, I just wanted her to skip to Prudence's series ASAP. So I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed E&E. It was just as witty and clever as the P&P series, but written for a more younger audience. I loved the entire idea of a secret finishing school that encourages their students to be devious. I also really loved Sophronia. She was the definition of a strong and resourceful heroine.

The only thing that kept E&E from receiving 5 stars was the pacing. The descriptions of the scenery and some of the information gathering scenes did tend to drag at times. Especially in comparison to the exciting espionage scenes.

Favorite quote:
"Very well, Miss Temminnick. Tell me a little about yourself. Are you well-educated?"
Sophronia considered this question seriously. "I don't believe so."
"Excellent. Ignorance is most undervalued in a student. And have you killed anyone recently?"
Sophronia blinked. "Pardon?"
"Oh, you know, a knife to the neck, or perhaps a cleverly tied noosed cravat?"
Sophronia said only, "Not my preferred diversion."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
vicki cohen
I am a HUGE fan of the Parasol Protectorate series and I was delighted when I found that she had started a new series. I just finished this book and I absolutely love it. The main character is both relatable in that she isn't a great beauty of very rich but is intelligent and resourceful but still manages to get in a fair amount of trouble. Her best friend and her brother are wonderfully funny and there are nods to the Parasol Protectorate with some of the other characters. (I will try not to give it away but my guess is that this book is set roughly 25-30 years before the Parasol Protectorate series and it definitely exists in the same world.) I don't consider myself a fan of Steampunk or fantasy but I love the sense of humor in these books and they're just so much fun. Also I am well beyond the age of being a "young adult" but I still loved this young adult novel.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
denise flutie
I'm afraid I haven't read Mrs. Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, but by Jove! I feel I must now that the author has enchanted me with the world of Finishing School.

The characters are all flavoursome and different, and I loved them all.
Mrs. Carriger has done a marvellous job of translating her style of writing from adult to YA, and has done an OK job of explaining her already built world. Yes, I would have preferred if there was a little more introduction and explain to the vampire and werewolf societies, but I guess what's done is done. The plot is a little weak with too much milk, Sophronia's adventures through Finishing School is still great fun.

Despite these small faults, the author still manages to capture my attention with her cleverness, humour and charm. I will be eagerly waiting to read the second instalment in the series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
liane l
First, I want to remind you that this is a YA series. That means that this book has a totally different feel than the Parasol Protectorate series. This book lacks Alexia's acerbic wit (I'm sure Sophronia will develop hers in time) and the more adult themes of love/sex/marriage (at least for now). Most YA series focus on the problems of becoming an adult, and Finishing School is no different. The only difference is, Sophronia will become an adult knowing how to curtsy properly, sneak appropriately, and how to poison one person specifically at a dinner party for fifty.

I also love the name Sophronia. Probably because it's like Sephrenia (See: The Diamond Throne) and when someone asks me what my middle initial stands for, I tell them Sephrenia. (I like to be mysterious.)

It is a genuine pleasure to, in this book, see some familiar characters at younger stages in their life. You may recognize such people as Sidheag Maccon, Niall the werewolf, and Genevieve "Vivi" Lefoux. I'm still trying to figure out if we've seen Sophronia anywhere in the Parasol Protectorate series and we just don't know it (or maybe I don't remember it), but if so she wasn't ever mentioned by her first name.

I didn't fall in love with Sophronia the way I did with Alexia. Sophronia is missing an element of snark that I love a lot. I assume, however, that since she's young she'll grow into it. (I imagine that quite a lot of Victorian ladies dealt with their world with snark. I know I would.) So this book doesn't quite rate as highly as it's predecessor series. However, if you'd enjoy seeing a Victorian Hogwarts with steam and gears instead of magic (and on a dirigible!) then I'm sure you'll enjoy this.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
stephanie phillips
I cannot even begin to explain how much I loved Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger. It is definitely one of my top favorites now and one that I will reread again. The main character, Sophronia is witty, hilarious and skilled. I loved her character so much that I was head-over-heels for the book in the opening scene. Sophronia is trying to ease drop and hides in the dumb waiter. She is trying to get it to go to the proper floor, so she takes off India rubber and instead it careens down to the bottom floor, she tumbles out violently and there ends up being dessert everywhere. As Gail wrote, “The bowl landed, in glorious perfection, atop the head of Mrs Barnaclegoose, who was not the kind of woman to appreciate the finer points of being crowned by a trifle.”

I was laughing out loud so many times during this book.

The book is set in a very steampunk era where the girls wear petticoats and large fluffy dresses, manner and finishing school are proper. But this finishing school isn’t just training them to be ladies, it is training them to be assassins. Sophronia meets some very colorful people in her pursuit to school and even gets involved in a high stakes pursuit. I loved Dimity, her little brother Pillover and Soap so much! The villain Monica was completely awful, which is perfect because I cannot stand villains that you don’t detest.

There were vampires and werewolves, but not “Twilight” style or anything like that, they were fairly normal folk with mystical tendencies. The book was just so downright funny and so witty. Gail did an amazing job and I cannot wait to read the rest of the series. The audiobook was amazing, the reader did such an excellent job that I am hoping I can find the second book at the library soon!

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“Nothing is more distressing to a vampire than a stain. Be certain there is no damage to his clothing or personal toilette.”

“I don’t think I’m quite ready for boys yet. My eyelash fluttering is subpar.”

“It’s no good choosing your first husband from a school for evil geniuses. Much too difficult to kill.”

“Isn’t Bunson’s training evil geniuses?”
“Yes, mostly.”
“Well, is that wise? Having a mess of seedling evil geniuses failing in love with you willy-nilly? What if they feel spurned?”
“Ah, but in the interim, think of the lovely gifts the can make you. Monique bragged that one boy made her silver and wood hair sticks as anti-supernatural weapons. With amethyst inlay. And another made her an exploding wicker chicken.”
“Goodness, what’s that for?”
Dimity pursed her lips. “Who doesn’t want an exploding wicker chicken?”

Missie - A Flurry of Ponderings
For more reviews visist: [...]
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
avinash
I got into Gail Carriger's books through the manga that is based on her Parasol Protectorate series and absolutely loved her! Her main character in it is different from the one in her Finishing School series and still just as wonderful. Sophronia is able to think quickly on her feet whenever a new situation arises. She's very likable and makes quite a mark at her school. It's also good to see a couple of characters I recognized from the Protectorate series and find out some of their backstory in this series. I have recommended this author to others and gotten them just as addicted as I am, and am very proud of that.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
erikka
Names that can't be read aloud, not much interesting happening, we rarely give up on books, but my 3 daughters and I couldn't get through this one.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
michael wilson
Originally reviewed at: http://www.shaelit.com/2013/11/review-etiquette-espionage-by-gail-carriger/

E&E starts out promisingly. Sophronia is indeed a great trial with her slinking, snooping, and irresponsible dismantling of dumbwaiters. She straps indian rubber to her shoes so she can climb in a very unladylike fashion and accidentally pelts her mother’s guest, Mrs. Barnaclegoose, with food. Her mother and far more sedate older sisters are at their collective wits end! What can be done with Sophronia?

Why, ship her to an exclusive finishing school, of course! However, they have no way of knowing that the finishing school in question are provided with a very… unusual education. Ladies in question must learn all the usual requirements, such as table manners, curstying, dancing, fashion, and the like. They must also learn poisons, pickpocketing, the fine art of handkerchiefs, fainting, sneaking, the proper way to ride a werewolf, and how to disarm a vampire.

I giggled. I guffawed. For the first chapter or two. At first, I found the world Ms. Carriger created charming. I loved the strange names and odd customs of Sophronia’s steampunk Victorian world. I wanted to know more about the finishing school that floated above the moore and how paranormal creatures fit into everything.

Sadly, the situation quickly devolved into a farce. I couldn’t decide whether I was reading a poorly constructed satire or a flat, shallow trifle of a middle grade book. The world-building seemed sloppy and ill-conceived, the students were stereotypical, the conflict was mild at best, and the teachers were flat-out silly. Sophronia, who is supposed to be clever and inquisitive, does very little questioning in her strange school beyond her first day. Indeed, the news that her best friend Dimity is raised by evil geniuses is accepted with nary a shrug.

Perhaps I would have been more at ease in the E&E world had I read Ms. Carriger’s adult series, The Parasol Protectorate. Perhaps all the rules and structures are explained there, for they certainly weren’t in E&E. Vampires and werewolves, it seems, are fringe members of society, beings to be feared and admired from afar, but we’re told little else. Are there other supernatural beings? Where do they come from? What do they contribute to society? There’s an entire school for evil geniuses? And no one questions this? At the finishing school, girls are trained for espionage, but for whom? For the government? For some mysterious entity? For themselves? Are they pro-monarchy or anti-monarchy?

It felt as if Ms. Carriger had gathered up all the raw ingredients for a proper Victorian steampunk – spunky heroine, obliging and eccentric friends, mysterious teachers, supernatural beings, mechanical gadgets – tossed them all into a heap, and expected them to animate themselves.

Worse, I felt as if I had been misled. The cover of E&E features a dashing young woman with a mysterious air. This is, after all, a YA novel, though the heroine is all of 14. However, the novel had such a heavy MG feel that I felt myself dragging. It was all too simplistic, too paint-by-numbers. I was bored.

About halfway through, my reading funk snapped clean away. Perhaps I had finally sufficiently rearranged my expectations, for I found myself enjoying the book. Sophronia was less inscrutable, Dimity less daft, the teachers less idiotic (though I still couldn’t keep any of the human ones separate in my head.) I abandoned my hope of more schooling and instead allowed the adventure to take over.

For me, this book was won by the secondary characters. Sophronia was fine enough, and her best mate Dimity grew to be charming in her own way, but the other characters had my heart. Really, the entire book turned 180 degrees when the rascal Vieve appeared on the page. Only nine years old, Vieve is the mechanically inclined genius, the one with the clever gadgets that let the others get along in their adventures. J’adore. Vieve’s coal buddy Soap was another favorite. Working in the bowels of the ship, he’s well-liked by his greaser bosses and a true gentleman. There were several points where his behavior made me coo with pleasure.

For the Scot-lovers out there is Sophronia’s friend, Sidheag. Described as tall, gangly, and decidedly unladylike, Sidheag has the distinct advantage among the girls of being an honest-to-goodness titled lady. Unfortunately, she’s also woefully disadvantaged in every subject taught at the school other than fighting. I rooted for her and giggled every time she sparred with the roguish werewolf Captain Niall. Sidheag can come across as sullen and disinterested, but she truly shines when she wishes to. Add to the mix Pillover, Dimity’s evil-genius-in-training younger brother, and Bumbersnoot the mechanimal dog, and you have a bewitching and energetic supporting cast.

When I finished this book and set it aside, I wrote one final note in my notes: LOVE! I loved this book. Again, I don’t know if my issues with the first half were real or merely a product of skewed perception, but they were thoroughly vanquished by my delight over the second half. My only complaint for the latter half would be that the situation with the “villain” character had been resolved in a less than believable manner.

I suggest that future readers go in expecting a somewhat silly YA with an MG feel. Expect to be put out in the beginning and but giggling by the end. Also, be prepared to fight an uncontrollable urge to Google for your own pet Bumbersnoot. He’s just that adorable.

Points Added For: Vieve, Soap, and Bumbersnoot, who save the book.

Points Subtracted For: Low stakes, silly adults, shoddy world-building, and a truly ridiculous villain.

Good For Fans Of: Gail Carriger’s adult books (so I’ve been told), MG lit, silly steampunk.

Notes For Parents: Light language (only one word that I can recall).
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
amanda wise
*I received a free copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions voiced here are my own and are unaffected by any outside influence.*

Really cute book. Middle grades appropriate, despite some of the difficulty that may be caused by the occasionally archaic words added to the story for authenticity. A nice introduction to the steampunk genre for younger readers.

Great character development and illustration of "proper" society during the chosen time setting, outside of the steampunk elements, of course...Overall, I liked it quite a bit.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
ben murphy
I read this book on the recommendation of a friend. She liked it well enough to read the second in the series, and is getting the third from her local library. I barely finished this one.

The characters are not only two-dimensional, they're poorly drawn. There are no individual voices and nothing other than a superficial characteristic to distinguish one from the other. We are told Sophronia's age, but she doesn't present as that age -- she could be twenty-four as easily as fourteen, and in fact she sounds like someone much older. Compare the Pevensie children in the Narnia books, Valentine and the other kids in Suzy McKee Charnas' "Sorcery Hall" series, and the boys on Roke in LeGuin's _A Wizard of Earthsea_, all of whom sound and "feel" the ages they are supposed to be.

The narrative voice weakens the story because it's inconsistent. The narration is from Sophronia's point of view -- except when it's not. The "not" is when the author wants to tell us something about Sophronia -- usually something to indicate how wonderful Sophronia is. This gives the impression that Sophronia is a Mary Sue that the author invented so that she (the author) could pretend she was a particularly wonderful Victorian miss at a "finishing" school.

This brings me to the problem of "Victorian". Nothing about the book is Victorian or Edwardian, or even pseudo-Victorian or -Edwardian. The outlook -- vocabulary, manners, behavior -- is very modern, and this contributes to the "Mary Sue" feeling.

And the school? From what my friend said, I expected there would be more time spent in the classroom, more details, more imagination in the invention of the school. There was so little about the school that I can't remember what any of the classes were supposed to have been about. And for "young ladies of quality", the girls were not well-bred and really did not know how to behave.

Two stars, which in this case means I wouldn't recommend the book, but it wasn't so ghastly that I couldn't finish it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
opolla
What a wonderful introductory novel to an absolutely delightful series! Carriger does an artful job introducing the reader to a Victorian supernatural, steampunk world in a way that isn't over explainatory or confusing—a challenging balance to mantain. The characters are dynamic, relatable and charging. A female protagonist that is so innately curious, rational and confident is rare and it was such a treat in this series (as well as Carriger's other novels).
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
robledo cilas
Gail Carriger has done it again! Another feather of light hearted humor in her hat. This alternate world of steam punk inventions and conventions is as pleasant a place to retire for the evening as Terry Pratchett's Disc World! Well done
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bess ie
I picked this book up after having read Gailes Carrigers Soulless series, that i loved.
This book has a younger audience in mind, and the main characters are a lot younger than Alexia. I loved the setting, when i first heard about it, that is a mix of Steampunk and Harry Potter, only the school is a flying steamship, where the goal is the teach the girls to finish "everything".
I am not, myself, a young adult, but i enjoyed the story very much, anyway. The dialog between the characters are funny, and the growth arch of the different main characters are good and plausible. All the different types you imagine will be at the school is there, the strange headmistress, the mean teacher and the nice teacher, the nasty classmates that are mean to our heroine, and the potential friends of the heroine. I did not think this was a bad thing, and i liked how Galie Carriger used some of the characters from the Soulless books, that appear in this series too. Then ending did not really surprise me, but the method it came about did, in a very pleasant (and funny!) way.
I think that this book has the same humor and the same funny dialog that i loved about the Soulless series, and i find the Steampunk-world intriguing. I would recommend this book to anyone who want a light, entertaining steampunk read, if they do not mind that the characters are children. I cant wait for the next book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jed haldeman
Despite it's early calendar debut, Gail Carriger's Finishing School Book the First was hands down my most anticipated book to be released in 2013. I was not the least disappointed. The heroine of Carriger's first young adult novel, Sophronia Temminnick, is a strong, capable, curious fourteen year-old adventuress who appreciates the practical value of information in a world that would rather keep her in properly lady-like ignorance and indifference. This appreciation is recognized and Sophronia is covertly recruited to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing School for Young Ladies of Quality. Her harried Mother is only partially right when assuming Sophronia will learn the finer arts of curtsy, tea service, and household management. She did not anticipate her daughter's introduction to deception, poison, assignation, or in an appropriate word, finishing!

I found the setting to exist in complete harmony with her adult series, The Parasol Protectorate, of which I have been a long time fan. The classes are mostly described in short exchanges to further the storyline and while this does leave me wanting more, it fits perfectly with Carriger's characteristic neat and tidy handling of plots which she executes like a perfectly practiced curtsy. This is one of the reasons why I label this book technically perfect. Other reasons include perfect attention to its target audience and genre fans.

What else can I say to sell this book? The adjoining boys school is a school for evil geniuses. There are flyway men, dirigibles, rove vampires and loner werewolves, inventors, intelligencers, and head mistresses who are entirely out of the know. There is mystery, adventure, very light romance, Steampunk, manners, and frivolity. Class barriers, conventions, rules, and promises are all broken. But luckily for hearts that break with the ends of enjoyable novels, we will only have to wait until November to receive the second installment and further details of the training of Sophronia.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
anjali s
Now this was just plain fun! I haven't read the other novels by Carriger so I had no preconceptions or notions of how this would unwind. What I found was a wildly outrageous take on the gilded age. A fun, mannerly, tongue-in-cheek spin on Edwardian England - with just the right touch of steampunk.

Werewolves and vampires have been so overdone as to be pedestrian and steampunk is still in enough of its infancy as a literary genre as to be undefined. Carriger took the overdefined and underdefined and deftly created a great romp of a novel.

I highly recommend this book and look forward to the upcoming sequels in the series. And I'm definitely going to go get the other books set in this world.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
emanuel
Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is used to her mother's disapproval and punishments. Even the idle threats of being sent to live with vampires hold little sway when Sophronia is faced with a situation in which she can attempt something daring instead of being painfully, boringly proper.

What Sophronia could not have guessed is that Mumsy would take matters further by sending Sophronia to a finishing school. Nor could she have anticipated exactly what that will mean when the initial pronouncement is handed down.

Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality is unlike any finishing school Sophronia could have imagined. While she can't be certain, Sophronia is fairly certain Mumsy didn't have this kind of finishing in mind when she sent Sophronia away.

But then who is Sophronia to argue when there are friends to be made with fledgling evil geniuses, inventors with which to collaborate and all manners of conspiracies to investigate. Manners and dress will certainly be in the curriculum. But so will diversion and deceit in Etiquette & Espionage (2013) by Gail Carringer.

Etiquette & Espionage is the first in Carringer's YA Finishing School series. It is set in the same world as her bestselling Parasol Protectorate series for adults.*

Carringer has already mastered the skills required to write a supernatural, steampunk, historical fantasy. Her alternate history with elements of steampunk and fantasy tropes blend together exceptionally well with the Austen-like tone of her narration.

The world is well-realized and fascinating although often under explained. It's impossible to say for sure but it seems likely some shorthand was used in world building (or at least world explaining) since so much groundwork has been laid in the earlier Parasol Protectorate books.

With virtually zero romantic entanglements and numerous high-action sequences Etiquette & Espionage is ideal for readers of any age. The story handles several topics (race and class divisions, friendship, wealth and status) very well adding a nice dimension to the plot. At the same time, unfortunately, the pacing often felt off with an immense amount of setup in the first half of the novel only to lead to a plot resolution that feels rushed in the final pages.

Etiquette & Espionage is a fine start to a series with a cast of characters that are appealing in every sense even if their world might take a bit too long to come fully into focus.

*Etiquette & Espionage functions as a standalone but readers of both series will likely recognize characters in both.

Possible Pairings: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter, The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani, Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist: Flight of the Phoenix by R. L. LaFevers with illustrations by Kelly Murphy, Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevemer
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
romina
I've heard so many good things about the authors adult series. I have most of them sitting on my shelf but have not got around to reading them just yet. When this one came on my radar, I never hesitated to add it to my to read list.

The idea of a spy school disguised as a finishing school was actually a really great idea. I love that they learn how to be a lady in high society and at the same time learn the art of espionage. Who better for the job than the people they least suspect? It really had to potential to be a perfect mix.

I also really liked the characters. Sophronia was humorous and I loved her sense of adventure. She never once shies away from exploring her surroundings. Her curious nature makes her a perfect person for spying in my opinion. She truly sees what is going on around her. She also knows how to manipulate her situation. I also really enjoyed her interactions with the other characters in the story.

Sadly, I think is once again a case of steam punk failing to connect with me. I'm not sure exactly what it is about it, but I'm only about 50/50 when it comes to the enjoying the genre. Mechanical dogs, floating ships, and the likes were just too front and center for me. Add in vampires and werewolves and it just felt like there was too much going on in the story.

I was a tad disappointed in this book. I'm really hoping her other series doesn't follow the same pattern. I have to admit I'm a little leery of it it now.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
polly bennett
I read both book one and two is this YA series. Set in the same world as The Parasol Protectorate series this is the story of Sophronia and friends at a finishing academy that is not what you would expect You can look for a lot action and danger. While it is the same world as The Parasol Protectorate it is set before those books. Some of the characters are the same but at an earlier time. I liked the books and am looking forward to the next one in the series. I do recommend that you read them in order. There is a lot of world and character building in book one that is not repeated in book two.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brian hagedorn
This is such an amazing book! For me it was a must-read, as well as the other books in the series. There are 4 books total, and they are all great, and the series seems to get better as it goes along! I would recommend this to the age group 10-16 years old and you should totally read it!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
anne marie g
I was a little nervous about 1) Gail Carriger's first attempt at young adult fiction, and 2) my first attempt at reading young adult fiction. As a huge fan of Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, I am delighted to say that I was not disappointed. I was laughing hysterically by page 2. I loved how Carriger included characters from the Parasol Protectorate novels. Knowledge of that series isn't necessary for understanding this one, but it was a nice nod to those readers who have familiarity with them. I just think it's a crying shame that Alexia Tarabotti didn't get to go to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
angela polidoro
If you want a fun read, with fabulous well though out characters and beautifully written descriptions then this is the book for you. If you are a fan of adventure and mixing science and victorian this is the book for you. I forgot about 10 pages in that the main character was only 14. Her ability to problem solve, speak her mind and maintain manners should be applauded. This book never had any truelly scary moments. This is a steampunk book. A light fun adventure mixing technology, culture and class. The descrition of the finishing school, Soap and Vieve are memories I will hold onto and I look forward to the next round of intrigue and adventure.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nitin jain
Etiquette & Espionage
by Gail Carriger
This Net Galley book is about a Finishing school is just what is need for this rascal of an young girl as is Sophronia... but the school her parents send her to is more than she imagined... this turn of the age Steampunk story has great characters a mystery and a tale of finding oneself all rolled into one exciting adventure. The characters are endearing, and you are routing for their endeavor. I have passed this book on to my daughter, who thinks its interesting.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amber swinford
What do you do when you miss the world of Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate? Read THIS book of course. A precocious new character and a plot teeming with intrigue. It will leave you anxious to find out what Sophronia gets herself into while learning to "Finish" whatever comes her way:)

As one would expect Carriger's writing is funny and fast paced. The detail of the world and the character is very well done and you will feel yourself drawn in and staying up late to find out what Sophronia and her friends will find out next about their wonderful "finishing" school.

I would recommend this to anyone that enjoys a strong female protagonist as well as anyone that loves humor and adventure. This series is bound to please a wide variety of readers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
phuong
Etiquette & Espionage is the first book I've read by Gail Carriger but most certainly won't be the last! Sophronia Temminnick is a bit of a tomboy who is constantly being reprimanded by her mother and older sisters for being unladylike. When a friend of Sophronia's Mumsy, Mrs. Barnaclegoose , suggests sending her to finishing school, her mother thinks it's s great idea. Luckily, for Sophronia this is no ordinary finishing school. Unbeknownst to the girls parents in addition to learning how to curtsy they are being trained to be skilled intelligencers. This book is packed full of wit and adventure. I am rating it a well deserved 4 stars!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
christian
I liked this much better than I liked the first Carriger book I read. The first book I read was her first book and authors do grow and get better with each book. This one had interesting characters and much humor. My only complaint is that the writer used the word hissed excessively. Really, you can't hiss "Look up!" This does seem to be a problem in young adult books. Everybody hisses out phrases that can't be hissed. It's distracting to see hiss, hiss, hiss on every page when the remarks are impossible to hiss.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lauryl
This book is all kinds of awesome. It reminds me very much of Susan Dennard’s Something Strange and Deadly.

Set in probably one of the coolest boarding schools of all times (only bested by Hogwarts), it is a historic fiction novel, with a tinge of steampunk and paranormal, too. As soon as I started reading, I loved Sophronia. She seems like a normal teenage girl, nothing special, which is something I love in YA novels. Too commonly you read books with characters who are perfect, or have abnormal abilities. Sophronia, though, seems to be very normal. I also loved that there was no sort of romance. Don’t get me wrong, I love myself a good love story as much as the next person. But it was incredibly refreshing to read a book where there was no romantic aspect distracting from the plot itself.

I give Etiquette and Espionage 5 out of 5 stars.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
beth howard
I came to this novel having read the Parasol Protectorate series previously. Etiquette & Espionage possesses much of the wit, charm, and creativity I expected from Gail Carriger's work, and completely delivered on fashion, fripperies, and frou frou. References to the Parasol Protectorate universe and timeline were tasteful and thrilling. I think it was a lighter book than her previous work, and I appreciated it's humor and wacky shenanigans. However, I'm not SO anxious to get the next book, and that's never a good sign. I just don't find the characters as compelling as those in Carriger's previous works. But we can't expect a lord Akeldama on EVERY street corner, can we my little tulip petal?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
david grchan
I had the best time! The whole affair was thrilling, and I am sure that everyone will agree with me. Or at least find an equally wonderful word to describe this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
babs
A highly imaginative story with fun characters, humor, and lots of action. That mechanical dog is adorable, the ending very clever. I look forward to the next in this series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
michael powers
C.S. Lewis said that, "A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest." and the same is true for YA. Gail Carriger approaches her YA as an adult book and successfully writes some compelling, interesting, and dynamic young characters. Perfectly executed.

So far I'm about halfway through and I can't wait for the next installment.

This book is light, fun, and has very strong positive female role models. The action is well-paced and the heroine is approachable and likable. I now have this book in three formats and I feel that every penny was a great investment.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mellyana
This book is like Gallagher Girls (by Allie Carter) meets steampunk and throw in some paranormals. I loved the paranormal twist to the spy school angle. Then add in the steampunk angle and this is quite an interesting book. I can't wait to read the next book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
owen jow
I absolutely love this book! I was a little bit sceptical at first, because I usually don't enjoy young adult novels (too much high school-related drama). But, I thought I'd give the book a try because it's by Gail Carriger - and I'm so glad that I did! The book is not too young. Although the characters are young, the book doesn't read like your stereotypical young adult novel. The characters were amazing. The main heroine was witty and charming. I just couldn't put this book down and I'm now excited to read the next novel!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
bill schroer
Even though I'm a grandmother, I read a lot of YA books because you get the story without so much hard core language and sex scenes. When I read the story line for this book I thought it sounded interesting but, unfortunately, the narrator for the audio book ruined it for me. If you're considering the audio book, be sure to listen to the sample they give you. The narrator trills her way through with a sing song, affected way of speaking that distracted me from what she was saying. It took real concentration to listen to the story but the writing style seemed rather mediocre. I listened to about an hour of it and gave up. Too many good books out there to waste my time on something I'm not enjoying.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rosann schwartz
Sophronia is being sent to "finishing" school because she is more interested in taking things apart and climbing trees. Not acceptable for a young ladies in the late 1800's. A fantasy setting with werewolves, vampires and lots of mechanical beings are all present at the undercover spy school. A wonderful read for boys and girls from 10 to older teen, even adults will find this school fascinating. 1st in the Finishing School Series, looking forward to book two.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kate hagerman
As a fan of the Parasol Protectorate I was extremely excited when I heard Ms. Carriger was going to do a prequel series. I was not disappointed. The young heroine has a lot of what we love in the Carriger style. She's sharp witted, rather cheeky, and outright fun. Unlike Alexia our heroine definitely has soul, but that doesn't seem to keep her out of trouble anymore than being Soulless kept Alexia out of trouble. I had definite fangirl moments when we were introduced to characters we already knew, but by the end I was fangirling just as hard over the new characters I love. Our heroine is not practical, she's curious and a quick thinker and I loved watching her think her way into, and then hastily out of, all the messes she made. Because, let's be honest, she created more than three quarters of the drama herself. But that is what makes me sit on the edge of my seat and mark the next day off on the calendar as I wait for Curtsies &Conspiracies.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
andrea rodriguez
So far I have read both "Etiquette & Espionage" AND the second book of the series "Curtsies & Conspiracies" and I love them both and can't wait till the third one comes out!

The main heroine Sophronia is a 14 year old girl who thinks she is attending finishing school so she can learn manners and be paired off to a rich husband but she soon finds out that the main purpose of the school is to teach young upper class women to be spies to a (currently unknown) patron. This is perfect for the wild-hearted Sophronia who already loves to sneak and climb and take apart machines. This book was a nice example of how heroine's in literature don't have to be weak and dependent on men. Sophronia is an independent young woman who is driven by her desire for knowledge rather then the need to win the heart of a man or get married.

I also love Gail Carriger's writing style and found that it boosted my vocabulary quite a bit! This is a story I am sure many will love and even as a 26 year old I feel I am able to relate to Sopronia and her journey of growing into a woman.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
makam
premise explained in the synopsis - tomboy explorer gets drafted to a finishing school for lady inteligencers - read spy. She gets in to mischief, and finds she has a gift for scheming and getting out of various scraped. I really enjoyed it - even more than the parasol protecterate books, Not sure if it was because I liked the character better, but I am halfway though the second book and they seem less repetitive, and just more fun! Enjoying the ride and waiting eagerly for the next installment.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
a j jr
Loved. This. Book.

I am already a bit fan of Gail Carriger's adult series, so I was really gleeful when I saw the plans for this one. And I actually am tempted to say that her whimsical style works BETTER for YA. Or at least, it certainly works very well for this book. It's clever and funny and just very charming. I'm excited to see where it goes in future books.

Also, for those who might be concerned, I don't think that any knowledge of the world from the previous series is required at all.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tara reid
"Very well, Miss Temminnick. Tell me a little about yourself. Are you well educated?"
Sophronia considered this question seriously. "I don't believe so."
"Excellent. "Ignorance is most undervalued in a student."

Sophronia (So-fro-nee-ah) is consider crash and too much to handle by her mother and is thus shipped off to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. Resigned to a life a needlepoint and curtsies, Sophronia is surprised to find that this is a finishing school like any other. They finish much more than just dances and curtsies, they deal in death and espionage.

Etiquette & Espionage is a fun, fast paced book set in the same world as Ms. Carriger's other book series, The Parasol Protectorate. You don't have to read The Protectorate series to enjoy or understand this book but those that have read The Protectorate series will enjoy the references to inventions and characters that pop up through this book.

Sophronia is a fun, somewhat naive, character. She loud and brass and I loved that about her. She always spoke her mind and I'm excited see how her story continues in Curtsies & Conspiracies.

My favorite thing about this book is the different characters. Especially seeing how different (or similar) they are to their characters in The Protectorate series. Meeting Captain Niall was really fun and seeing the interaction between him and Sidheag. Meeting Vieve was a hoot. Hearing about her running around with the sooties.

Overall, Etiquette & Espionage is a great for old and new fans alike. It captures this wonderful sense of mystery and adventure that is missing from a lot of books these days.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
banita
This review will kinda be short because I've honestly not reviewed anything before.

I was excited when I saw that Gail Carriger made this book. I was starting to explore the steampunk genre at the time and I craved to read books about steampunk so I thought I would give it a try. As I first saw this book came out, I bought it as soon as it came out.

Without giving too much spoilers, this is how I think of this book.

I honestly thought it was a good book. I loved the fact that it mixed the concept of a finishing school along with the concept of training young ladies into assassins, which is an unusual and refreshing concept from other YA books. At first when I started reading, it took me a little bit to find my place into connecting with the book but once I started getting into the book, I could not put the book down. As I was reading the book, I could feel myself visiting the floating finishing school in the air and watching Sophronia learning the ways of being an assassin while becoming a young lady. While I really like this book, I also wanted to know more about how the prototype and how it affects the rest of the characters. I think I will buy the next one after reading this because I would like to know more about Sophronia's misadventures at Madamoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Ladies of Fine Quality.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
farzana
Endearing & Exciting!
Etiquette & Espionage was everything I hoped it was going to be and more! Gail continues to write in her amazing dead-pan type of British humor that doesn't talk down to her new YA audience. Etiquette & Espionage is set a couple of decades before the Parasol Protectorate. Those who have read the adult series (like me) will have a superb time squeeing over familiar characters but younger versions of several characters. However, to all those who haven't read the Parasol Protectorate do not fret, because Gail does an amazing job of introducing everything and everyone so that you will never feel left out.

Like the Parasol Protectorate I'm very happy stating that this is also a great gateway novel into the steampunk world. It's informative enough on all the inventions and machinery to get yourselves familiar with the Steampunk world so that you could journey into other series without feeling too lost! An Example would be 'Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality' itself (IT FLOATS AROUND LONDON ON A DIRIGIBLE!!!!!!!!!!)
I seriously fell hard for this book and this is why I've delayed so long in writing the review I wanted to do it justice. I highly recommend it to everyone.
My Overall Rating: 7/7
such an amazing book I cannot wait for the next one
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
vivienne
Entertaining. I spent the beginning to middle just trying to get through, but by the end of the book I was no longer irritated by the comedic-steampunk melodrama gag and actually kind of enjoyed the characters. Will probably finish the series to find out if Sophronia (honestly!) ever gets properly finished herself.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
zachary harrison
The unique character names and style of writing make the story creative and unlike most other YA books I have read before. The Steampunk spy edge gives it a rememberable touch. I can't wait for the next three books in the series. Curtsies and Conspiracies, the sequal to Etiquette and Espionage is expected to come out in November, and Carriger is currently writing the third book, Waistcoats and Weaponry. It does take a few pages to get used to the nineteenth century slang, yet by the time the book is over, you miss it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
yuufee
Etiquette & Espionage is an excellent book for all ages, not just teen. It has adventure, suspense, humor, a hint of romance and is an all-around good story to boot. The setting is the early reign of Queen Victoria - about 30 years before the events of the author's adult series, the Parasol Protectorate, and is firmly steam-punk. For fans of Alexia and company, it is interesting seeing some characters at an earlier point in their lives, not to mention some of the underpinnings of her world. Readers who enjoy this series will be thrilled to find that there are five more books waiting for them to enjoy.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
cheryl schmidt
I do not know what to write! I am really conflicted when it comes to this book. It was good, but at the same time that I liked it, I was bored.

Oh this is so sad. But I did not connect at all with this book. I was standing on the outside looking in. It looked fun, but I was not there.

I can't say what went wrong. It was funny, well-written, but at the same time maybe it tried to be too funny. Too witty, quirky, cool. Just too much. Or maybe it was that it was YA, and I either love it or feel disappointed. Never the middle way like with so many other books.

By giving this a 2, well maybe it does not deserve it. I have given 3s to books that were not as good. But at the same time there was that not connecting thing. I just could not even if I tried.

It should have been awesome, but sometimes a book does not work. And I do not know why when it still is a good book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chander shekhar
I am a big fan of Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series and Steampunk in general. This novel is definitely written for the younger audience, but I enjoyed it regardless. I adore Sophronia and her not-in-the-least-bit-“normal” friends. Filled with Carriger’s wicked sense of humor, advanced vocabulary and plenty of action, this book doesn’t have a dull moment. For the record, I’ve decided I’d very much love a little mechanimal as a pet. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
karen j
I think it's a great start to a series and fairly age appropriate for younger readers. I don't think the vampire aspect/hierarchy of the series gets any clearer the further you get into the series but seeing as I'm in the middle of the second book I'll hold off judgement. Overall, I think it's a fun and easy read something I need in my downtime.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dawn
And it works. Amazingly. So. Much. Fun. Own the hardcover. Have listened to the audio. Must add audio to my collection one of these days. Yes. That good.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
luis betancourt
Fun, clean book that anyone could enjoy. Kept me giggling. Briefly mentions werewolves and vampires. And had elements of steampunk. Didn't think adding a few supernaturals really helped the plot, but it was still a fun book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
joyette scantlebury
I recently read Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger. To quickly summarize, without giving too much away, the story opens in supernatural Victorian England. A daring young girl named Sophronia is sent to a special finishing school, but this finishing academy is not like any other. Brave Sophronia has been accepted at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. She is then tested from all sorts of classes such as Fine Arts, Dance, and Manners. Not forgetting the all-important training in Fighting, Diversion, and Deadly Maneuvers. Surely an exciting read for all.

I found this book entertaining, delightful and exciting. I really could not put it down. And even though the target audience may be in the younger teens, I (over 18 and an experienced reader) was fully engaged and hanging on every word, intrigued to know what would happen next. Ms. Carriger has given the reader a book full of beautiful diction and lessons in use of language. This is a find if I ever saw one. I suggest everyone, young and old, find a copy and make it their own because being able to be pulled into a wondrous world within the pages of a book is one of the greatest joys a person could experience.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
llama castillo
The beginning was a little hard to get into. However the book finished so strongly I am willing to give the second book a try.
There wasn't near enough background build up on this novel however it came highly recommended by a dear friend so we shall see .
I am curious about Sophronia and Vieve. I would love it there were illustrations of all the nifty steampunk mechanicals. The book is descriptive but it lacks something. As I said I will continue with book two and see what develops.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jos branco
I enjoyed this book. It's the first in a series so the characters are still developing. But it is imaginative and funny. YA steampunk.

Our heroine has been sent to a finishing school for young ladies only to discover that it is not your standard kind of finishing school. A spunky, resourceful young lady, she fits right in. Adventures await.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rofayda khaled
I have to say the first thing that drew me in was the title and the cover of this book. Once I started reading it, I was completely hooked. Love the world and the characters so much and I will be continuing with this series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
val zotov
A comical YA debut for Gail Carriger. I knew by page 12 that this book was going on my favorites shelf. My only problem? Costing this book an entire star was the confusion I felt at the beginning of the book. After a few chapters I had everything figured out but there is a difference between creating intrigue and confusing the reader. Other than that this book was as close to perfect as I believe a book can get. 4 stars out of 5.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
stardroplet
That was a fun read; like nothing I've read before! The writing has the feel of a classic, but brings to mind images of Lemony Snicket or Nanny McPhee. Yet the relationships are genuine and not silly. I look forward to reading on in the series.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
lydia brown
A lightweight little YA steampunk fantasy novel about a finishing school for teen girl spies. A good summer read, it was fun but not particularly deep.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kat a
Would definitely recommend this book. (even to my husband). Can't wait for the next one to come out.
I am still a little confused with what the prototype actually does, but the characters make up for that.
Loved the descriptions of the different lessons, wish I was able to go to that kind of school.
Would also have liked a longer epilogue. But I think it was just that I didn't want to say goodbye to the characters.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
dynalo
I love Gail Carriger's work. I had previously read her adult series, The Parasol Protectorate, and was very excited to see she had written more in the same world. If you've read The Parasol Protectorate, you'll find this a bit of an easier read, as it is aimed at a young adult audience, however you will not be disappointed. Gail Carriger's wit and charm fills these pages just as much as her previous works, with an (almost) entirely new cast of characters. Sophronia is not your typical Victorian young lady, to her mother, this much is painfully evident. So she ships her off to a finishing school that, unbeknownst to her mother, isn't your typical finishing school! The students are certainly taught etiquette and manners, however they are exposed to a world that most people are unaware of. An underworld of sorts, filled with vampires, werewolves and marvelous machinery. In addition to the typical finishing school studies, they are also taught the fine art of espionage. It is a fun and exciting and read, and I highly recommend it to adult and YA audiences alike :)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
elisabeth middleton
Gail Carriger's Etiquette & Espionage, Finishing School the First, is a marvelous blend of Victorian age etiquette and society, and steampunk espionage. Fourteen year old Sophronia Temminnick is the heroine of the book, a girl of a well-to-do family who has absolutely no interest in the norms of her gender and class, instead preferring to spend her days gallivanting about, getting into endless trouble. Her mother is at her wits end with her, when in comes the mysterious head of a famous and exclusive boarding school, offering her a place. Against her wishes, Sophronia is whisked off to boarding school, and to a new world of steampunk Victorian age espionage and assassination.

This is a phenomenal start to what seems to be becoming a phenomenal series, focused on a girl that doesn't need to rely on anyone, fiercely independent, and absolutely hilarious. I can't wait for her next book, Gail's Finishing School series are clearly on their way to becoming a favorite among anyone who loves steampunk, strong girl heroines, espionage, or just a fantastic page turner. I can't wait for the next!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
anastasia
Gail Carriger has done it again. I admit I was expecting to see Alexia back younger, but Gail has found a whole new group of young women who are attending a "finishing" school. But not exactly what you'd expect of a finishing school in Victorian England. Again she's got me laughing out loud. You'll get caught up with Sophronia and her cronies just as easily. Sit back and enjoy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
belinda
Light and fluffy, this was an easy, yet very fun read. If you're looking for something to occupy your time, but not bog you down, this is an excellent book. A great mix of comedy, a touch of intrigue, some steampunk, and names that will make you giggle (along with a werewolf, and a non-sparkly type vampire), are all part of this fun adventure. It takes place in Ms. Carriger's world from the Parasol Proctorate series, so if you've read them, you're sure to recognize a few cameo appearances. If you haven't, no worries, this story stands on its own enough to still be enjoyed by newcomers.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
jack silbert
The adult series is much better. This book is definitely directed towards a young teen. Main characters are 14. This book will likely not hold the attention of an adult. I enjoy plenty of YA books but unfortunately this was not one of them. But I did enjoy Gail Carriger's adult series so I would recommend that to adults and older teens.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
pierce
Fun and great story, especially for young ladies. Although I'm not a young lady any longer, I thoroughly enjoyed it and the rest of the books in this series. Great for anyone who likes history, intrigue, fantastic creatures, and young ladies who don't just sit around waiting for the world to happen to them!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
delmer
I picked this book up after reading Gail's adult series, I like her writing at the story going on there so I figured this would be worth a shot. I do like to read some YA novels, but sometimes it's a little tricky when an author who typically writes adult switches to YA, however with this book it seemed to blended seamlessly with her style I am used to and I love the book, and cannot wait until I am able to get more books in the series. It has been added to my list of books I recommend to friends.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alika yarnell
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this novel from the publisher as an ARC. I have been a fan of Gail's work for quite a long time and was more than eager to dig into this YA novel. I was so not dissapointed. It had all of the elements of her earlier series (the Parasol Protectorate) save the sex. It has romance, intrigue, and paranormal characters. She has a way to keep someone engaged and loving her absolutely flawed character. They are flawed in the best of ways.
This is a novel to get for your neice of nephew, son or daughter, anyone who is needing a good introduction to the steampunk genre. It is a great whats what of the genre.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
titon
I wasn't sure I was going to finish this book when I started it. I didn't realize it was steampunk and I don't really like that subgenre, but the characters grew on me and I enjoyed the action. I may read the second book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
martha boyle
I adored this story. It has all the good stuff: humor, cleverness, great characters and an interesting plot. I loved that Sophronia was not only clever but friendly and kind and color blind. I'm very interested in what comes next!

Also, the voice actor who read this did a terrific job, she had a distinct voice and accent for each character and there was never any difficulty in knowing who was speaking.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jo gilley
I love this author. Gail Carrigan has a great blend of individual character development and strengths, along with technical (steampunk and technology) as well as paranormal details. Add strong women role models and you have a wonderful combination. This might be labeled a young adult novel, but it is trans-generational. In addition, there are subtle references to history, different lifestyle choices and even fashion..!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
priscilla
This is the first book in the Finishing School Series. It takes place in the same world but several years before the events in the Soulless Series. There are some fun overlapping characters. Imagine a girl's finishing school that is actually a school for future coverts (spies). And it's housed in a Steampunk dirigible! Does it get better than that!?! I think not!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
miguel nicol s
This book is for the young and old. It's a quick fun read but full of witty verse. I love her strong characters both female and male. Her writing really brings you into the world where women are strong, men are sweet, and werewolves wear hats. Your sex, race, and size do not matter, just your heart. :) If you've read her other series, you will want to re-read them just to find the characters that overlap in this book. :) I can't wait to read the next one. I'm so glad it's coming out soon. :) IF you read any of her books, you won't be disappointed but this one is a great starter. :)Just don't try what you read at home. :)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarani rangarajan
The fantasy and steampunk threads add a creative edge to finishing school. I plan to continue the series, as I love reading books that spark imagination.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
seema
Overall I loved this book. It was a little hard to get into at first, but after a few chapters it got really exciting.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sharon joyce
I really enjoyed this book. I found it very reminiscent of Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, with her inventive contraptions and humor, but geared towards a younger crowd, of course. There were some loose ends left at the end of the book, but being that it's the start of the series, that's to be expected. Here's hoping they're answered by the series' end!

Sophronia is an interesting character (though if I had to be in her company, I'd probably find her constant snooping and poor manners to be reprehensible), and I'm always a fan of Carriger's vampire and werewolf characters. It was a nice surprise to see a couple of characters from the Parasol Protectorate show up too, but I won't spoil anyone by saying who.

I'm looking forward to the next book in November!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
satya
Girls dressed as boys, schools training girls to be assassins, lessons in curtsying, and lots of escapades. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and am eager to snag the next book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
barbara derksen
This is my first Gail Caringer book, but I'm hooked. This young tomboyish teen is driving her mom nuts, so when her daughter is recruited to attend a finishing school her mom couldn't write a check fast enough. From there the adventure really begins. It's action packed, and you feel yourself wanting to know what happens next. Get it, you'll like it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ketaki
BRILLIANT!! I wish I had written this book…it's beyond amazing…so clever, excellent writing, perfect characters, fun story. The world is believable and super imaginative. I love our heroine and am currently in the middle of book two…WHAT a SPECTACULAR adventure!! Well done Ms. Carriger…well done you!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ekta jolly
I am a fan of Gail Carriger's Parasol Proctorate series, so I was excited to check out her first YA book. A young girl, Sophronia, is sent to a finishing school, though she quickly learns the focus is less on manners and more on becoming an intelligence agent. It's set in the same Steampunk Universe as her other novels, though a few decades earlier. I really like her approach to vampires and werewolves, which seems to have oversaturated the market in the last few years. The Supernaturals in her writing feel fresh and not cheesy stereotypes. I quite enjoyed the appearance of some familiar names from the Parasol Proctorate series, which is a nice nod for those who have read that series, but does not take away anything from readers who have only read E&E. It was a fun read and I look forward to the sequel.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
stephanie porusta
3.5 Stars.

This was a fun book, but I definitely prefer the Parasol Protectorate series. Sophronia reminded me a lot of Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce character, which wasn't bad (I adore Flavia) but did cause me to like her less than I probably would have because she wasn't as fully formed a character. I felt like the book was a bit heavy handed with some of the race and gender things (especially gender) and it got a bit annoying because there was no subtlety about it. Overall I think this would be a fun read for young teens, but I'd recommend Carriger's adult books to older teens and adults.

Received from NetGalley.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jill bolken
This one could be a classic one day. I can see it as a movie and series. The way this book is written is fun,and carefree.
I will be waiting for the next one.

The dogs steals the show. I can see each of the charitures in my mind, from Momsie, to Soap. All are well rounded, I will not tell you about the story,cause I hate to give anything away.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
gish
This was a fun read, though at times (especially in the beginning) a bit confusing as we were introduced to this world (I haven't read SOULLESS). It combines a lot of different elements (Steampunk, paranormal, alternate history, mystery) so that you never really know what you're going to get. I want a mechanimal now.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
laddie
I expect nothing but the best from Gail Carriger. After having devoured her Parasol Protectorate novels at the alarmingly fast rate (I'm an alarmingly slow reader) of 5 books in 4 days I knew I was hooked on a world. When I picked up Etiquette and Espionage (Little, Brown 2/13) I was admittedly a little leery but after having spent the last few hours unmoving from my wingback, my tea cold from lack of attention to anything but the story (Miss Carriger's work must be read in an antique chair with tea. No other drink will truly fit) I have come to find that this novel is Just as good as the others. New characters instantly find places in your heart, new mysteries quickly crop up and some old friends make surprising returns in the most unusual places. It seems the sooties are not the only ones inhabiting the boiler room. 5/5
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tryphena
Such a fun book! I loved the characters and the environment in which they exist. I love Sophronia and all her friends. I look forward to reading the other books in this series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jenetta penner
As always Gail Carriger has created a delightful female character who inadvertently subverts the standards of Victorian society. Set in a finishing school more akin to Hogwarts and 007, Sophronia is whisked off into the world of etiquette and espionage, with lots of fantastical mechanicals. Unlike other authors, Carriger actually touches on the gender, race and class issues that were very real for that era.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mark allen
The book was extremely engaging... I must say I like this better than the parasol protectorate series.

Spoilers:

I was not expecting to meet madame lefoux or vieve or the werewolf capt niall
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
megan b
Etiquette & Espionage is Gail Carriger's latest steampunk novel. Aimed at a YA audience it's packed with airships, adventure and cute guys. Sophronia Temminnick is recruited into a floating "finishing" school where learning the correct method for poisoning the unwanted dinner guest is just as important as learning to curtsy. This book will leaving you breathless and wanting much more.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alexis lloyd
I am a huge fan of this entire series. Gail Carriger is an amazing writer. I love how all of her characters are so well developed and interesting. I keep finding myself recommending these books to my friends because they are so unique and different from other series in the genre. They are a must read in my opinion. You well not be dissapointed in these clever and witty steam punk fantasies!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
joya
I absolutely LOVE Gail Carriger. I have her entire Soulless series so you can imagine how excited I was to read this book!

Gail Carriger brought you back to the world from the much loved Soulless series. Victorian steampunk Britain? It cannot get any better. The witty humor that makes Gail an amazing author is still here! The description of Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality makes me wish I was able to go to the school. Sophronia is forever getting in trouble, but makes me wish I was sneaky enough to join her in her adventures.

This book definitely hit the spot after the ending of the Soulless series. I cannot wait until the next book comes out!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
manolia
I highly enjoyed this novel which combines steampunk with espionage and intrigue. Highly recommended to anyone with a love of adventure and mischief.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
diane flynn
This was a fun book, hard to put down. It's a YA, the main character is 14 but the premise of a finishing school teaching weaponry, poison, along with how to be fashionable & a lady at all times even when killing someone is enjoyable for all ages. I'm a grandmother & I loved this book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
blake simpson
Clever conversation, fun with traditional Ettiqutte and a good mystery. Also decent world building using an alternate British Empire with vampires and werewolves.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
amy goodman
Fun and cute, but don't read this looking for depth. The story and characters are extremely simplistic. Struck me as more Middle Grade than YA. My overall favorite was character was Bumbersnoot, naturally.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
robyn en
I first listed to this as an audio download from my library and then received the e book from netgalley. I would definitely recommend it. I enjoyed the author's Parasol Protectorate series and recommend it too.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ainslee
Girls training to be spies and assassins - what's better?!

Doing it in steampunk fashions with all the ladylike rules!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
christiemanganis
Something I didn't know I was missing. A really fun story with an entertaining lead. I definitely recommend the book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
cathy tide
I wish I could write like Ms. Carriger. This was a fun and creative read with expertly inserted humor, lively dialogue and well-drawn world. I had a blast reading it and look forward to the next...and the next...and the next. Can I have a mechanimal?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mark underwood
So much fun!! Easy read but still has substance.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ben bernstein
This book is a bit like Harry Potter on an airship. Great protagonist and interesting supporting cast. All fans of steampunk or great storytelling should read it.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
zena
A fun, imaginative and exciting story that can be enjoyed by the young and young at heart, of any age
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mini saxena
I had randomly seen this book while looking for Victorian etiquette books on the store. When I saw this, I knew I had to have it, and ended up getting it as a birthday present for myself. I loved the book so much, and enjoyed reading about Sophronia and her classes. It made me want to go to finishing school and become a lady of quality myself. I believe I have the pages marked of what classes she took, and have read them more than once. All in all, this was an amazing book, and actually enjoyed the fact that Carriger stayed away from any kind of romance until the end, and only brushed on it once. Great read for any age!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
gentra aditya
This book reminds me of Dr. Who where there is the dress and setting for a historical time period, yet there are anachronistic elements.
I recommend Etiquette & Espionage to anyone who enjoys a fast-paced, enjoyable story.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
darlene comeaux
I believe that Etiquette & Espionage has one of the prettiest covers of 2013 (so far). Also, a finishing school that actually equips you to become not only a "lady" (don't get me started on how anti-feminist that is) but also an assassin or informant? Sign me up please! (the assassin part). Also, the steampunk world of Etiquette & Espionage is set in the 19th century, on a floating school. yes floating school, that has werewolf and vampire teachers, and a brother school named "The School of Evil Geniuses".... I will give you a minute to process all of this before diving into the plot and characters.
Ok, you guys ready to move on?
The main protagonist, Sophronia (that is a mouthful!) is the youngest daughter of many sisters and brothers.. she is deemed as the troublesome child in the family and one that is too interested in technology (how horrifying) and forgets that she is a lady. Her mother and sisters got fed up with Sophronia's troublemaking streak and problematic antics she gets into that they jump at the chance when the headmistress of The Finishing Academy For Young Ladies Of Quality proposes she starts attending her school. In less than half an hour they pack Sophronia's necessities and ship her off with the headmistress. Little did they know that her education will be a bit more than classes on posture, tea drinking etiquette, and the right level of curtsy.

I really really loved the premise of Etiquette & Espionage but I felt that I would have connected so much more with the main protagonist if she was older than 14. I felt this book was more middle grade thank young adult, especially with the innocent aura I got from all the characters. I mean a school that teaches you to become assassins should have been exciting and action packed but we get almost no attendance into any of the kick butt classes I was hoping to witness. I was thinking more along the lines of Tris's situations in Divergent but we mostly get to read about Sophronia's lack of a proper curtsy and a vampire that always annoyingly ends his sentences with the word "Whot!".

I liked the plot, I really did, even with all the complicated steampunk terminology, I was still able to follow the plot, something that usually doesn't happen when I read steampunks. I have to say I loved the idea of mechanimals (yes! an animal that is constructed using metals) and how Sophronia cared for one as an actual pet. However, I struggled with all the names of the characters in this story, some were impossible to pronounce. The antagonist was interesting but I honestly saw no character development in this novel. Maybe it was neglected because the focus was mainly put on the school as well as searching for the prototype that the antagonist hid.

To try and end this review at a reasonable length, where I could write for ages about this book because so much happens in it, I did enjoy Etiquette & Espionage and would have enjoyed it way more if I was maybe 5 to 7 years younger. It has a bit of a Gallagher Girl vibe but with steampunk and a younger protagonist. I recommend it to middle grade book readers as well as fans of steampunk who don't mind a protagonist that is younger than your average YA character.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
virginia pommerening
What a fun read! I'm so glad I treated myself to this - and I can fully understand now why it was recommended at my nieces' library!

Carriger does a wonderful job at world-building, and Sophronia and Dimity are such lovable characters! I simply adored this and can't wait for Book the Second to come out!

Now I need to read the Parasol Protectorate. =)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
robert fairhurst
Good book being used for Alaska Battle of the Books 2016-2017.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
josipa ozefa
I don't have enough words to say how much i adore Gail Carriger. If you are a fan of the Parasol Protectorate series, then you will love this series also. I love the blend of steam punk and Victorian England. Her female characters are always strong, yet seem to maintain the qualities of always being ladies. Please read ANYTHING she writes... you won't be sorry.
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