Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Gold Star Review: Etiquette and Espionage

Etiquette and Espionage
by Gail Carriger
Finishing School, book one
Publication date: February 5, 2013
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 the 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. (description from  
Gail Carriger is awesome. I love her blend of steampunk and the paranormal. When I found out she was coming out with a YA series, I just about blew a gasket!! Then I started to worry a little...what if it just wasn't the same as her adult Parasol Protectorate series?
I should have known better than to worry!! I LOVED this first book.  In fact, here's my tweeted reaction from about halfway in:  
The blend of proper behavior, the distinct ignoring of said proper behavior (LOL), adventure, friendships, and "mechanimals" was brilliant. There are airships, balls, poison classes, "sooties," werewolves, and of course, Bumbersnoot. Who is Bumbersnoot? Why he's the most fashionable little mechanical dachsund ever! He eats coal, produces ash, and can conceal a prototype for the proper Lady spy.

The tie-ins to Carriger's adult series had me giggling throughout.  Hints dropped here, there, and everywhere. :)  I don't want to give anything away, but if you've read her other series, you will find at least one or two familiar faces...

With wonderful witty word choices and frankly fashionable fetes, Etiquette and Espionage is a bang-up start to a new series that leaves me shouting, "HUZZAH!" I cannot wait to return to Finishing School!

A gold star book, indeed. And, just to whet the appetite, check out this awesome trailer that was created for the book! LOVE.

Full disclosure: ARC received for review from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

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