Recollections: Reviews by a Book Lover

Review: Etiquette and Espionage

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger


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. 

Sophronia’s mom has sent her off to finishing school.  At first Sophronia is upset at this development. Is it really so wrong to enjoy climbing trees and taking apart dumbwaiters?  Much to Sophronia’s surprise, and ultimate delight, she discovers that Mademoiselle Geraldine’s is not your normal finishing school.  Yes she will learn all about proper etiquette, but she will also learn to espionage skills, such as throwing knives and passing secret messages.

This is the first book in the series, and the main plot point of this book is Sophronia trying to find out where a fellow student has hidden a much desired prototype before it gets in the wrong hands.

What I thought:  I loved the premise of Etiquette & Espionage when I first picked up a copy.  I love steampunk, and I also love Victorian Era women doing things which they would never have been able to do in that time period.  I also liked Sophronia.  She has spunk and determination.  There are other great characters in the book too; they are unique and interesting and you want to learn more about them.  While you learn bits and pieces there is still a lot to be learned (hopefully in the next book).

You also learn a lot about the finishing school and how Sophronia was recruited, but there are a lot of holes there too, which I’m hoping will be answered later in the series.  While I enjoyed the plot of the book, it didn’t really grab me.  I wanted to keep reading, but I wasn’t up late into the night unable to put it down.  I was expecting something a little more exciting.  However, I think the framework to a good series has been laid out, and with a lot of the important background information now taken care of the other books may have a faster pace.


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