Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Title: Etiquette and Espionage( Finishing School 1)

Author: Gail Carriger

Average Rating: 3.78

Pages: 307

Publisher : Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: 02-05-12

Synopsis: “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.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education”



Before going into this book I was skeptical because there was a lot of people marked this book as abandoned or they read through it and didn’t like it at all.  I was very skeptical about reading it, but I needed to get it out of the way because of review copies of the next two books. I enjoyed myself while reading this book and I had a lot of issues throughout the book. The biggest issue I had was expecting it to be a suspense novel with killer assassins and I didn’t get it that. The synopsis was dead on to the book, but I felt like it was a little misleading. Another of my major dislikes was that there was absolutely no descriptions at all making the story very fast pace. I didn’t really notice the plot or the climax of the story at all it wasn’t there.

Besides me not liking some of things about the book I  enjoyed the story that I was reading it was fun to dive into. My favorite part of the book was the incorporation of  steampunk into it. I do feel that they had a little bit of everything going on in the story which felt like that could have been done away with it and the focus could have been on steampunk and spies. I feel like growing up and then being sent to this school would have been really cool. You could see that character development in the main character Sophornia  throughout the story as well.  Her character and most of them are very bland and were the basic idea of a characters.

The author writing style is very different from other authors I have read and I really don’t know how to explain. I saw other people who read this book say the same thing. From what I can tell is you either like this book or don’t like it.  I do recommend this book if you enjoy something different because you will definitely be getting that in this book. I will be continuing on with the series and I hope that something happens to make it become more than this. I know there is potential in the series and the author.


Have you read this book or the series? Have you read anything else by this author if so please comment and tell me how you liked it. 🙂


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