Saturday, June 1, 2013

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger is the first book of a new series, set in the world of the Parasol Protectorate books.

Sophronia Temminnick is active, curious, and not at all interested in clothes or flirtations -- or attending finishing school. But when an offer of a place at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality comes just after an embarrassing incident involving a dumbwaiter and a flying pudding, Sophronia's mother decides that something must be done about her daughter's manners and deportment. Neither Sophronia nor her mother are aware of the exact nature of Mademoiselle Geraldine's, however -- a school where the word "finishing" has more than one meaning.

Like the Parasol Protectorate series, this book is witty and well-written, with excellent plotting and pacing, sparkling dialogue, and a feisty heroine who gets into (and out of) all sorts of predicaments. There are a few significant differences, of course -- this book is written for the young end of the YA spectrum, with hardly any romance yet. Also, though set some 20 years before the events of Soulless, there are a number of differences in the worldbuilding, particularly as relates to the numerous steampunk elements. One assumes (or at least hopes) that the author will explain, at some point during this series, what becomes of all of the mechanicals that are present in Etiquette & Espionage but absent in Soulless.

Several of the reviews I read before reading this book found more to criticize than I did. I'm not sure whether that served to lower my expectations, or whether I am just inclined to be less picky in this particular case, but I found this book quite as enjoyable as others by the author, and would certainly recommend it.

(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)


  1. I haven't read the others by that author (yet!) and I enjoyed this book a great deal.

    1. I think if you liked this one, you should definitely give the others a try!

    2. I've had them on my Kindle for, oh, I dunno... maybe a year? I somehow ended up with an ARC of E&E. It is a lot easier (for me, anyway) to get interested in a new author/series when there's a physical book to pick up and start a relationship with.

      After I finish my assigned reading, I'll see if I'm in the mood for steampunk.
      (The Mother/Daughter bookclub that I lead is reading Oggie Cooder, and then I have something that I'm reading to see if they'd like. Something about "knots". I need to figure out where I put it...)