Title: Etiquette and Espionage
Author: Gail Carriger
Series: Finishing School
Who’s it for? Teens
What’s it about? Mrs Temminnick is at her wits end with her youngest daughter, Sophronia, who simply shows no interest in behaving like a proper lady. She prefers climbing to curtsying and so is enrolled in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. But Sophronia soon realises that they’re taught more than just the fine arts.
What’s good about it? There’s a great style to the writing; it makes for such a fun read! I love the alternate version of Britain it’s set in too – one where werewolves and vampires are part of common society. I loved the world building full stop, it’s rich and wonderful and steampunky.
Those who have read Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series (a series for adults following the adventures of Alexia Tarabotti – also excellent reads) will recognise the world here as it’s set twenty-five years or so before that series. It added an extra element of fun for me, especially seeing a young Genevieve and Sidheag.
The characters are awesome. Alright, so maybe they’re not all particularly deep, but there’s such a strong sense of fun in this that it’s easy to bypass that. I enjoyed the friendships that cropped up and the utter acceptance of espionage and death as fairly routine.
This is the second – possibly third – time I’ve read this now as it’s still just as entertaining as the first time I read it. There’s a few books that you can only ever really read once; this isn’t one of them.
What’s bad about it? The ending is abrupt. A little too abrupt for me
The verdict? I keep saying this but this is so much fun! The plot is engaging, the lessons oddly intriguing, and the characters delightfully quirky. It’s a great start to a new series and I seriously can’t wait for the second part to come out.
If you’re looking for an entertaining read with a dash of vampires that don’t sparkle, and surprisingly civilised werewolves, mixed in with intrigue and mystery then this is for you.