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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Drea's Review: Etiquette & Espionage

 
Title: Etiquette & Espionage
Author: Gail Carriger
Series: Finishing School, #1
Format: e-book
Release Date: February 5th 2013
Length: Novel (307 pages)
Genre: YA Steampunk
Source: Netgalley
Buy: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Rating: 4-stars 

Drea's Review:

Dancing and frocks? Phht. Sophronia would rather be experimenting with dumbwaiter improvements and evading mechanical robots than helping her older sister with her come out ball. So when her mother sends her to a finishing school, she isn’t sure what to think. Especially since the supposed headmistress isn’t quite right. When their carriage is held up by Flyawaymen and their faux headmistress Monique proves useless, Sophronia saves the day, if not their luggage. She discovers nothing is as it seems at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. Though the girls are taught deportment, they’re also taught how to use their lashes and handkerchiefs with lethal intent. And Mademoiselle Geraldine herself has no idea what is going on beneath her very nose. Sophronia begins to care more about dancing and frocks right along with improving her reconnaissance abilities. Chief among her concerns is finding where Monique stashed the item the flyawaymen are after and helping her new friends find their places in the academy.

The title and cover sold me on this book. It’s a fluffy kind of steampunk tale for young adults. The heroine is fourteen, and I’d say this book is perfect for that range and younger. Sophronia gets into a lot of scrapes but I didn’t find myself face-desking over it. Most of what she did had a reasonable explanation (which is probably counter to what an actual fourteen year old would do).

There is considerable character development on Sophronia’s part as well as the friends she makes at the school that makes the story satisfying to read. The resolution comes on fairly quick and neat after the build up of the whole story, but I wasn’t disappointed with that. There are a few spots where we get data dumps of what had happened during several months’ time, so if you’re the kind of reader who wants to know everything that happens from one moment to the next, be aware of that.

If you’re into love stories in everything, especially your YAs, you’ll want to steer clear of this. There are boys, and perhaps small crushes, but there’s no clear love interest or love plot. Perhaps later on in the series (this is the first book of at least three).

In conclusion, this is a clever story that promises to only get more interesting as we find out exactly what sorts of things the Academy plans to have their students do with their newfound skills. I, for one, have already grabbed the second book.

10 comments:

  1. I liked this one but not as much as the adult series. I was a bit disappointed but one day I'll have to try book 2 to see how it is.

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    1. Oooh an adult series? I'm gonna have to look that up. Thanks!

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  2. This one is on my TBR :) That cover drew me in when I saw it the first time

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    1. Yeah the covers are all beautiful. I saw them at Powell's while I was reading the e-book and they're even better in person.

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  3. I grabbed it recently at the library, can't wait to read it - I heard her umbrella series is awesome :)

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    1. Hooray for library books! lol, seriously, we'd all go broke if not for freebies, Netgalley, & libraries.

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  4. Oh I love the series and you're right this one does feel a little middle grade but with each book that comes out the tone also grows up if you know what I mean.

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    1. lol, yeah. I'm 1/4 into book 2 and I can see how that is possible.

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  5. I'm not one for much YA, but I do love seeing the reviews on this series...glad you enjoyed it ;)

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    1. I've gotta lay off the sexy times now and then, but yeah, it's not my primary genre.

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