Gail Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage is Technically Perfect– at least for me!

Despite it’s early calendar debut, Gail Carriger’s Finishing School Book the First was hands down my most anticipated book to be released in 2013. I was not the least disappointed. The heroine of Carriger’s first young adult novel, Sophronia Temminnick, is a strong, capable, curious fourteen year-old adventuress who appreciates the practical value of information in a world that would rather keep her in properly lady-like ignorance and indifference. This appreciation is recognized and Sophronia is covertly recruited to Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing School for Young Ladies of Quality. Her harried Mother is only partially right when assuming Sophronia will learn the finer arts of curtsy, tea service, and household management. She did not anticipate her daughter’s introduction to deception, poison, assignation, or in an appropriate word, finishing!

I found the setting to exist in complete harmony with her adult series, The Parasol Protectorate, of which I have been a long time fan. I loved the crossover between some characters and am dying to discuss the end of E&E with someone who has read The Parasol Protectorate (Staci? D3Z? Who’s next?!). The classes are mostly described in short exchanges to further the storyline and while this does leave me wanting more, it fits perfectly with Carriger’s characteristic neat and tidy handling of plots which she executes like a perfectly practiced curtsy. This is one of the reasons why I label this book technically perfect. Other reasons include perfect attention to its target audience and genre fans.

What else can I say to sell this book? The adjoining boys school is a school for evil geniuses. There are flyway men, dirigibles, rove vampires and loner werewolves, inventors, intelligencers, and head mistresses who are entirely out of the know. There is mystery, adventure, very light romance, Steampunk, manners, and frivolity. Class barriers, conventions, rules, and promises are all broken. But luckily for hearts that break with the ends of enjoyable novels, we will only have to wait until November to receive the second installment and further details of the training of Sophronia. Check it out and let me know what you think!!!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. stacigilliam
    Mar 25, 2013 @ 22:34:01

    I realized I hadn’t told you my thoughts via blog space. I truly enjoyed the book- especially meeting characters anew. I’ve recommended this series to several kiddos and can’t wait to see what happens in book 2!


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