February 4, 2013

My Thoughts: Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

4 sweet & soft frosted sugar cookies.

Cover Love:  I do love this cover but the model looks a smidge old to be Sophronia.  I love the purple and the dress though.

Why I Wanted to Read This:
I loved the world created by Gail Carriger in the Parasol Protector series.  It is just pure genius:  steampunk, vampires, werewolves, and London society.  I love being there and wes delighted to hear she'd started a YA/MG series set in the same world.  Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
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 the bane of her mother's existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea--and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right--but it's a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine's certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.

First in a four book YA series set 25 years before the Parasol Protectorate but in the same universe.
Romance?: No, but there was a rakish young man smiling at Sophronia at the end of the book that I hope comes back in the next book.  There is also a crush on Sophronia by a sootie named Soap that might be explored in later books.

My Thoughts:
This was just a darling book.  Sophronia is a great character for readers.  She is smart, willing to try new things and push the envelope and fiercely loyal.   And the finishing school she attends is so much fun!  I want to think that most of the teachers actually knew what she was up to but were more impressed than outraged. 

This was the first book in a planned four book series, so there was a lot of setup of the school and characters.  I think the next book will move along at a much quicker pace.

There are many fun friends Sophronia meets and while they all have their strengths, I think that they will become quite the mystery solving gang as the series moves along.

Since they attend a school for girls there is little male interaction, although they do have a male vampire and werewolf for teachers.  I did like Soap (one of the sooties that Sophronia befriends) a lot, but there were actually several boys mentioned  that might be more involved as the series progresses.  There is a "brother" school to the girls' finishing school.

There were just so many things to enjoy:  mechanimals, airdinghys, dirigibles, flywaymen, Picklemen (not sure what they are exactly), flying schools, just to mention a few.  Visit this world, you will not be sorry!

To Sum Up:  I am very excited to get this one in my library and share it with kids.  There are many, many readers I think that would enjoy this book!

eGalley received from Little Brown vis Edelweiss.  Thanks!

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