Thank you to the Ontario Blog Squad and Little, Brown and Company for the ARC!
Sophronia is one smart girl, so it doesn’t take her long to realize that Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality is more than meets the eye. Truth is, this finishing school teaches a different kind of finishing…a deadly kind of finishing.
I tend to avoid reading the backs of books, and if I had I think I would have saved myself some disappointment. The cover of this book had me expecting an older protagonist of at least sixteen, but Sophronia is only fourteen years old. It took me awhile for my brain to switch gears, and this made the opening of the story boring and annoying (I tend to not do well with younger protagonists…)
However, once I stopped expecting the higher age level of YA, I found myself enjoying this book for what it is instead of disliking it for what it is not. What this book is is fun. Sophronia’s voice is sarcastic and witty. The world building is a little ridiculous (the bad guys are called “Pickleman”? Really?), and with characters with names like Lord Dingleproops it’s hard to take some of it seriously, but that only adds to the charm.
In addition, there’s some good underlying messages of friendship. The female empowerment aspect is a little forced at times and doesn’t always succeed in my opinion (I’m sorry, but women who marry husbands to kill them…this is one of the roots of bad female stereotypes not a sign of strength), but I do love a good spy and/or assassin school.
If you’re looking for fun, adventure, and something that you can just enjoy, Gail Calliger’s steampunk spy story Etiquette and Espionage might be just the thing for you.
Don’t just take my word for it!
“If you’re a steampunk fan and you don’t mind a voice that’s younger than your average YA, you will laugh your butt off with Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carringer.” – Jen @ Almost Grown Up
“Gail Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage is a fantastic introduction to the Finishing School series!” – Midnight Bloom
“Maybe because I had such high expectations, I was disappointed.” – Wrapped Up in Books
“This is such a fun read, though I struggled with the first couple of chapters which had some awkward turns-of-phrase that had me confused for a bit, but when in the mood for a light-hearted, silly and imaginative adventure story you can’t go wrong withEtiquette & Espionage.” – Shannon @ Giraffe Days