Friday, June 28, 2013

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

Sophronia is a teenage girl with a dreadful curtsy. Her main hobby is making mischief, to the horror of her mother who had hoped she would be more like her sisters. In order to refine her coarser details, Sophronia is sent away to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. Mademoiselle Geraldine's teaches refinement and manners, but also poisons and espionage. It's killing with kindness, except literally.

On the way to school, Sophronia makes friends with Dimity, whose family is a legacy at Mademoiselle Geraldine's. Unfortunately, Dimity is terrible at being villainous. She even faints at the sight of blood, which makes being an assassin somewhat tricky. Sophronia, on the other hand, is a natural. Soon enough, she is climbing across balconies to visit the ship's coal room, spying on battles with air pirates and keeping a contraband mechanical dachshund (Named Bumbersnoot, which is the cutest name ever).

The girls uncover a conspiracy and set out to save their school. It's all very exciting, and very funny. I have been meaning to read Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series for a long time. The Finishing School books seemed like a good place to start. They are set in the same universe. There are also vampires, werewolves, and steampunk. I loved Etiquette & Espionage very much, so I see no reason why I wouldn't enjoy the adult series as well.

I received a copy of Etiquette & Espionage from Edelweiss, courtesy of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. It's available for purchase now.

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