Friday, May 3, 2013

Etiquette & Espionage

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1)Title: Etiquette & Espionage
Author: Gail Carriger
Genre: YA, Steampunk, Paranormal, Historical Fiction
Series: Finishing School #1
Recommended for 10 and up
Rating: Zebra

This is one of those books that proves my theory that there is no such thing as bad steampunk! This book....GAHHH!! I loved it!! This book had it all! So here's my book breakdown:

THE PREMISE
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. Temminick 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.

Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate, this YA series debut is filled with all the saucy adventure and droll humor Gail Carriger's legions of fans have come to adore.
(Summary from GoodReads)
THE PROS
1.) The beginning. For me the beginning was a glimpse into the wonderful world of steampunk. Instead of wondering whether  the book I was reading was steampunk, this book immediatly came out with the fact, with an opening scene full of crashing dumbwaiters and flying trifle.
2.) The opening scene gave insight on Sophronia's character. You can quickly learn that she is going to be adventuresome, fearless, and extremely creative narrator!!
3.) I recently mentioned I absolutely adore animal sidekicks and while Sophronia's pet was slightly unconventional, who doesn't love a mechanical dog?
4.) Oh, how I loved the names! Mrs. Barnaclegoose, Frowbritcher, Lady Linette, among others. Normally I might choose to make fun of such strange names, but for this book they fit. The names seemed to add humor in a situation that otherwise would have been quite humorless.
5.) Sophronia's thoughts. Every now and again in italics Sophronia's thoughts would appear. She was so real and adventuresome. Her thoughts fit those that an adventuresome fourteen year old would have. She provided even more humor within the story for how real she acted. She was definitely a refreshing narrator!
6.) The mix of steampunk and paranormal. It is so hard to get the perfect combination of steampunk and another element. Just look at Innocent Darkness. It had such an interesting premise, but the execution was no good! Here the paranormal aspects of werewolves and vampires were perfectly mixed with the machines!
7.) The dialogue. Gail Carriger is an expert at writing. Her writing style fit perfectly with Sophronia's voice AND also was so interesting. Here's one of my favorite quotes; "It's irrelevant. Or do I mean irreverent."  At first I almost didn't catch that, but it fit so perfectly with the scene! 
8.) Vieve, Dimity, Pillover, and Soap. At first I thought there was no way I was going to like Dimity. In Sophronia's words "She seemed to be a bit of a prattler." But she just grew on me! She was so much more than the girl you first meet! Vieve, I love this character, I really do! If I was in this book I would want to act like Vieve! Soap, okay, HOW COULD YOU NOT LIKE SOAP??? He just....I LOVED HIM!!! And finally Pillover! Wanna-be evil genius.....EXECUTED TO PERFECTION.  There were so many parts with him where I just laughed! =D 
THE CONS
1.) I felt like Sophronia's name was too long. It's not that I didn't love her name, it's that it was so long and formal....I wish there had been a nickname!!
2.) I'm still confused to the exact nature of a Pickleman.
3.) Captain Niall, where did you go??? He was such an interesting character, but he just faded out! :'(
OVERALL
I enjoyed this book! It was action packed with a great mystery and amazing characters!! The premise and execution were fantastic! This was a great enjoyable read and I will be anxiously awaiting the next one!!!
WOULD I READ THIS BOOK: YES!!!!!!!
WOULD I BUY THIS BOOK: IT IS WORTH THE MONEY
WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK: TO ANY AND ALL STEAMPUNK FANS!

WILL I READ THE NEXT ONE: YEAH!!!!!
WILL I READ MORE BY THIS AUTHOR: Yes, she has an adult series, which is supposed to be good...HMMMMM....


Fav quotes:
 "Mummy and Daddy want him to be an evil genius, but he has his heart set on Latin verse. Don't you, Pill?"

 "But I have advanced eyelash fluttering to practice, and a mathematics problem concerning how to order strychnine and a lamb dinner on a limited budget, and three chapters on court etiquette to read, and my handkerchief to starch, and the quadrille to memorize!"

"I should never have thought there would be a time when I would envy another girl's eyelash manipulation."


ZEBRA=4.5 STARS

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