Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School Series #1)

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School Series #1)

by Gail Carriger
4.5 129

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Etiquette & Espionage 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 129 reviews.
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
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. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This books was so much fun. You will enjoy this book even if you haven't read the Parasol Protectorate series. If you have read the Parasol Protectorate you will find all sorts of little character gems in her. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun light read. Carriger has started another great series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very quick and interesting read. I couldn't put the book down and am disappointed that I will have to wait so long until the next book comes out. Maybe I'll give the adult books a try.
ElaineReads More than 1 year ago
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.
Purpleseastar More than 1 year ago
This is the start of a prequel series to the Parasol Protectorate. Really enjoyed meeting new friends and old. Carriger's typical wit and eccentricities shine through once more. Highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book at the library expecting a historical fiction. It's steam punk. Though I don't usually (aka. never) like steam punk, after the initial shock when I realised that my historical fiction was not to be, I settled into the plot and began to enjoy it. In fact, I can safely say that I will be reading the rest of this series, which is a first for me, steam punk wise. I reccomend this series for any girl who likes a little adventure, mystery, and of course etiquette in their books, whether or nor they like steam punk.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was great and was a fast read. I can’t wait until the next one comes out! From the perspective of a teenager who reads anything and everything and reviews books for my high school library, I will be reading more of Gail's books. Etiquette & Espionage was one of the best books I have read in a long time. It was classy and sophisticated and very well written. my favorite character was defiantly Soap, he’s funny and charming and very much likes Sopronia, and the fact that he risks so much for her just makes me happy. I do not like Monique, I understand that every story needs a Monique but she needs to get herself together and put on her “big spy petticoats”! I think that leaving the real Mademoiselle in the dark about the truth of the school was a great touch. The one part of the book that bugged me was the stereotypical “vampire vs. werewolf” fight it has been over used way too much even though the way it was resolved was clever. Overall this is a great read for anyone because it leaves out all of the inappropriateness of today’s era. I am also a huge fan of Ally Carter who has the "Gallagher Girls" series, this is a more modern series but great none the less and if you like this book you will like Ally's work!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Heidi_G More than 1 year ago
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.
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous 9 months ago
... or Snarky Sneak. Whichever, count me a fan. Continued good work by Gallagher!
DezzieRM More than 1 year ago
A fun and rich story which highlights the beauty of words while creating a world we all wish we could live in.
Sherri_Hunter More than 1 year ago
Sophronia Temminnick is not your average, run of the mill, fourteen-year-old girl. She has no interest in fashion or boys and could care less about balls, performing the perfect curtsy or dancing. She would much rather dismantle items and climb down dumbwaiters and give her mother as much gray hair as she possibly can. At her wit’s end, Sophronia’s mother sends her off to Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality, in the hopes that someone will be able to turn her erstwhile tomboy of a youngest daughter into a lady. Neither Sophronia or her mother realize that this finishing school will teach Sophronia to be a lady, but will also teach her espionage, weapons and how to effectively poison just about anyone. Etiquette and Espionage is the first book in the Finishing School series and introduces several unique and interesting characters. I really liked Sophronia and felt a lot of empathy for her. She has a quick wit and a strong mind and doesn’t hesitate to stretch the rules, or outright break them, to serve the greater good. Sophronia’s friends, Dimity, Vieve and Soap, were also interesting characters that hopefully will make appearances throughout the series. I also enjoyed the paranormal aspect of this story with characters Professor Braithwope, a vampire and Captain Niall, a werewolf who wears a top hat, even in wolf form. I especially liked Sophronia’s mechanical sausage dog, Bumbersnoot, who consumes coal and emits steam. My Final Verdict: I enjoyed Etiquette and Espionage for the interesting storyline and tongue in cheek humor with the historical setting and steampunk surroundings. I am curious to see how Sophronia and her friends evolve into ladies and spies.
TaleofTigress More than 1 year ago
Kristi-Reads More than 1 year ago
I've been wanting to read this book for a while, but my husband promised to stop calling my reading an addiction as long as I didn't spend ALL the rent money on books. So, I waited for a sale. Was it worth the wait? We've got a steampunk spy school in a world with vampires, werewolves, and ghosts. What can go wrong? Let's talk about Sophronia. A unique name for sure, from what I know of the word it's a type of orchid that originally bloomed in Brazil, and then grew out of control and almost took over the world! I kid. But certainly a fitting name for our heroine here. Dimity is also a lovely name - and far easier than Sophronia to read without disrupting flow - bit I feel she might have deserved a more fitting name than, essentially, curtain fabric. For the most part I read through this book without any breaks, except when something funny happens, like breaking a rule and getting punished for getting caught rather than for breaking curfew, for example. I adored the climax and ending of this book and very much look forward to the next one. Overall: buy the whole series at once.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
love it. on to #2. can't wait
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the lead character and especially the setting of the story. I cannot imagine ever going wrong with steampunk and ladies fashion! It's always lovely to see an independent lady getting the job done whether it be in style or slightly dirty. :)
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
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
Berls More than 1 year ago
Sometimes a book's description and cover really fail in preparing you for the mood of the book. That's what happened to me with Etiquette & Espionage. While the subject was exactly as described, it was far more ridiculous than I expected. Ultimately I enjoyed it, but it took me some time to adjust my expectations and embrace the ridiculous. When Etiquette & Espionage first started I really enjoyed Safronia's mishap with the dumb waiter that landed food all over a visitor and expedited her way off to finishing school. And it was a quality I continued to enjoy in Safronia the whole book. She is into mischief and struggles with being lady-like. What threw me was both the adults and the scenarios. I can't think of any better way to describe them than ridiculous. I expected a realm of believability, but you've got lessons in things like fainting and attack maneuvers involving fans and perfume to make a werewolf sneeze. Even more ridiculous was when the maneuvers worked. I think, though, that the ridiculous elements were well done and if you're the sort of person that enjoys movies like Dumb and Dumber or something equally ridiculous, you would probably get a good laugh from Etiquette & Espionage. I, as a rule, am not - so I did lots of eye rolling. But my eye rolling was tempered by some really great moments - Safronia's friends are lovable, as is her mechanical dog, Bumbersnoot (the names fit with the ridiculous). If you like steam punk for its clothing and mechanical aspects, which I guess I do, Etiquette & Espionage has loads of that to enjoy. And there's even vampires, werewolves and flyway men - although those all kind of ended up appealing more to fans of the ridiculous than the paranormal lovers, in my opinion. I do highly recommend the audio version of Etiquette & Espionage if you decide this sounds like one for you, since Moira Quirk was quite good. I enjoyed her voices and she clearly understood the ridiculous, somehow making those bits more enjoyable. I haven't decided if I'll continue with this series or not. I liked the mystery and characters, so I'm tempted to continue. I'd just have to get myself into the right mood before picking up another.
Kaylexanna More than 1 year ago
This was my first book by Gail Carriger, and it definitely won't be my last. This one was fun, humorous, and overall, really enjoyable. I really liked Sophronia, the atmosphere of the school was fantastic, and even at the times when I wasn't particularly enthralled by what was going on in the book, the pages seemed to fly by. It took me a while to get used to the voice of the book, but once that happened, it was hard to put down. My only complaint is that the central plot of this particular book didn't really draw me in, but the concept of the school Sophronia had been recruited to intrigued me enough to keep reading, and I'm glad it did. I LOVED the idea of a school training girls in both etiquette and, well, espionage. :) It took me a while to get around to reading this one, but I'm so glad I did, and the timing turned out pretty spectacular, because the other books in the series happened to go on sale while I was reading it. Looking forward to reading them when I can, and maybe catching up in time to read the fourth book later this year!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think the book is verry exciting but sometimes i find myself getting kind of lost its very hard to follow at some parts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kristen_Noel More than 1 year ago
  Etiquette & Espionage was my first foray into steampunk. It cemented my love of the genre and of Gail Carriger's writing! There were just so many cool things to discover! Airships, werewolves, mechanicals, and vampires, oh my! I still can't believe that I'd never dabbled in steampunk before.   Sophronia is my kind of girl! She was fearless when it came to asking questions and getting answers. I admired that in her so much. In the midst of her life being turned upside down, she stayed true to herself. She makes Etiquette & Espionage such a fun read with her refreshing characteristics. All of the secondary characters were wonderful, too! I was blown away with the way that Gail Carriger wrote all of them. They were all unique individuals and I loved every single one of them. (Except Monique. She's up to no good. Guarantee it.)   Gosh, can I just gush about how fun Etiquette & Espionage was? It was just a really good book. It was so easy to get lost in the world of Mademoiselle Geraldine's. It reminded me a lot of how it felt to get lost in the world of Harry Potter way back when. It required me to be present while reading, but it was just so fun. I know I need a new word, but that's really what this book was for me. It was an adventure!   With just one book, Gail Carriger has converted me. I'm already crossing my fingers that Santa fills my stocking with the rest of her books. The world of Sophronia and Mademoiselle Geraldine's is a world that I loved visiting and I can't wait to visit again! **I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.
reececo331 More than 1 year ago
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.