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23 December 2014

Etiquette & Espionage : The Verdict

I finished Gail Carriger's Etiquette & Espionage this morning and while I've already given my initial thoughts, I figured I should come back and give the final verdict!
It was a fun, easy read ... and I've already made plans to continue the series which doesn't always happen. 

Now, it IS a "young adult" book so if you go into it thinking for serious adult situations ... you aren't going to find them. The main character is, after all, fourteen years old. There's light flirtation and minor swooning but, luckily, that's about all you get on the romance end of the spectrum. I was very thankful for this as I hate seeing kids portrayed as something other than kids.  Of course, I am hoping that as the kids age there'll be more Sophronia than merely batting her eyelashes (which, as it turns out, is a key skill to have in feminine espionage).

I love her friends! With her since the very beginning of her adventures at (or to, actually) Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality, are Dimity and her brother, Pill (who attends the nearby boy's school for evil geniuses .... well, whenever the school floats by, anyway. Remember .... it flies.). While Sophronia is spitfire and tomboy, Dimity is frilly girly-girl. They complement each other well and help each other to grow. Even Pill, what little we get to see of him, shows growth over the course of the semester. It would be so easy just to write him off since he's not in the forefront but Carriger doesn't do that.

Along the way we also get to know the Mean Girl (and mean-girl-in-training, it seems), the vampire teacher, the werewolf, Mademoiselle Geraldine who thinks she's running a normal school (they think -- I'm not so sure she's as clueless as they make out), the 9-year-old niece of another teacher who's even more tomboy than Sophronia (and even more of a spitfire), the "sooties" who work in the boiler room, the young Lady who was raised by werewolves and laments that girls (apparently) can't be werewolves themselves, bad guys, good girls, bad girls, good guys .... and, of course, the mechanicals (and mechanimals).

There's intrigue, of course, though it wasn't horribly intriguing which I attribute to the whole "young adult" aspect. Still, I loved seeing how the "nonsense" of all of the etiquette lessons end up helping Sophronia and her friends save the day. (Sorry for the "spoiler," but of course they save the day. You didn't expect them not to, did you?)

As far as your "standard steam punk" goes, I couldn't tell you how this would rate as it's my first. It won't be my last, though!


  1. I need to read this!! It would be an interesting read for me!

    1. I bet you would love it! Based on your GoodReads and such, anyway :) It's a prequel series to a more adult-oriented series. There's some character overlapping so I want to read the prequels first even though they were written after the first ones .... if that makes any sense at all :)