Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1)

By: Gail Carriger

Released: February 5, 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Length: 307 Pages

Rating: Four Stars

Acquired: netgalley


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.

Welcome indeed. Floating in the sky, Sophronia’s finishing school is not your ordinary school. Not even the founder is aware!! I’m more than slightly jealous of the things they get taught, get up to, and the like. It sounds like so much fun. Who knew I would like Steampunk. I avoided it. But, now, I’m in love. Maybe it’s just Carriger’s writing. Oh man, the details! The clothes. The school that flies!!! Did I mention that? And the cute werewolf, a vampire teacher, Soapies (never heard of them before. They sound so interesting). Then the secret mission. It’s all so intriguing. I couldn’t put the book down. Once I really got into it, around page thirty or so, I was hooked. I finished it in a day.

Sophronia has become perhaps one of my new favorite heroines in literature. She is spunky, cunning, sarcastic, smart, and knows how to get in and out of trouble. I want to be her best friend. Now. I loved all the characters, actually. They were written really well. Each character arc was well thought out and developed. Even the minor characters seemed well developed. I could sense their personalities immediately. Sidheag and Dimity were two of my favorites. I can’t choose who I like more. It depends on what the situation is. Both of them are really different. Sidheag is not the girly girl Dimity is by any means. I liked her roughness. Whereas with Dimity, I liked that she wasn’t this rough finisher. She was more delicate, but very truthful and direct. She makes a great companion.

I liked this novel because although it had Steampunk elements in it, it wasn’t overtly Steampunk that would steer me away from it, or overwhelm me. Especially for my first foray into the genre. It was just so good. I can’t think of many negatives this novel has. The writing was pretty spot on. The plot was solid. The characters were strong. I can’t recommend this enough. START THIS SERIES! I am already on book two although I should be reading something else for something else. I just can’t help myself.