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Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1)

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  17,255 ratings  ·  2,939 reviews
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 Q...more
Hardcover, 307 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Wendy Darling

Tea should be required for the reading of all Gail Carriger books, don't you think?

Really, I did not expect this to feel so young. It has such a middle grade vibe. And contains some immature characters.
The flywayman with the gun struck the headmistress across the face with his free hand.

‘‘Oh dear,’’ said Sophronia. ‘‘Violence.’’ She suppressed panic and a strange urge to giggle. She’d never before seen a grown man actually hit a woman.


Whaaat? And that would make you, Sophronia, giggle? *shakes head*

I didn’t like her as a character until maybe 75% of the story, when she seeme...more
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
2.5 stars, rounded up because I'm feeling particularly generous today.

Before any of you start plotting my painful and untimely death, I should point out that I’m a big fan of Ms. Carriger’s previous work. The Parasol Protectorate series is a favorite of mine, despite losing some steam in the later installments. However, I don’t think Etiquette and Espionage was up to her usual standards, and it makes me very sad that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped I would. It took me a while to put my t...more
Well. Well well well. I think I'll have to go back and give the adult series set in this alternate steampunk Victorian world a try.

Despite my stumbling over the affected narrative style at the outset, I ended up being entirely swayed by its charm and cleverness, and I enjoyed the book so much that I was disappointed when it was over. I wanted it to continue, perhaps indefinitely. It reminds me very much of Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching series in its lighthearted silliness and droll humor, tho...more
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Mar 28, 2014 Stacia (the 2010 club) rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of humorous Victorian-era fiction who wouldn't mind a light paranormal/steampunk bent
Recommended to Stacia (the 2010 club) by: Rated YA-MA group read for March
Super cute. Super sassy. Super witty.

Strike that. It looks like I'm trying to sell glitzy fashion to tweens.

3.25 stars. But it is super cute and fun and all that stuff. Werewolves are wearing top hats! Just the names alone are awesome, and I really hate off-the-wall names 99% of time, but how can you not love the idea of mechanical butler named Frowbritcher? I'm pretty sure that Carriger is one of the only people who can pull off all of the strange names with finesse.

And I don't even know what...more
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

2.5 stars
'"Practice your eyelash-fluttering, ladies. Six rounds of one hundred each before bed."-'

I took the big mistake when I read Marie Lu being quoted on my copy of Etiquette & Espionage. "I wish I could attend a school as fun as this finishing academy. It is the perfect steam punk version of Harry Potter." After observing this, I assumed that the book was just as good as Harry Potter. RIIIGHT?! It literally has my name written all over it.

"[Is] that wise? Having a mess of seedling evil geniuses falling in love with you willy-nilly? What if they feel spurned?"
"Ah, but in the interim, think of the lovely gifts they can make you. Monique bragged that one of her boys made her silver and wood hair sticks as anti-supernatural weapons. With amethyst inlay. And another made her an exploding wicker chicken."
"Goodness, what's that for?"
Dimity pursed her lips. "Who doesn't want an exploding wicker chicken?"

I have to say, I was equal par...more
Now I need a book about possessed unicorns, poisonous bunnies and violet bananas, because I have to read something that can get me out of this state of utter boredom.

The main fault of this book is the inexplicable absence of a plot: I kept on wishing something would happen, but nothing really did (at least not until 38% of the book, when I finally had enough). It was just a never-ending list of mechanical parts, dirigibles, bonnets and petticoats.

I had great expectations of epic escapes on dirig...more
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
I have wanted to read this series but a while now and when I received the third book for review, I figured now was as good as a time as ever to start it. Instead of reading it I decided to give audiobooks one more try, after all, why not? I could get so much more read if only I could listen to books throughout the day while also doing other things so I decided this was the place to start and hoped like heck I wouldn't regret it.

Can I just tell you that I am so glad I listened to this on audio? I...more
2.5 stars - Spoilers

I loved the Parasol Protectorate series. Naturally, when I found out Gail Carriger was writing a YA prequel spin off, I was excited. All that humour, steampunk craziness and madness in a YA book was bound to be great. Unfortunately, it wasn't.
I still liked Etiquette & Espionage but it didn't live up to my expectations. I think one of the main reasons I wasn't impressed with it was because it felt more like a Children's book rather than a YA book. If I had known that goin...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Only fourteen years old, Sophronia Temminnick is well established as the troublesome child in her family. She likes to take the mechanicals apart to see how they work, and her adventurous spirit and complete lack of interest in the latest fashions or appearances in general are a trial for her mother in particular. Desperate to get her daughter on the right track and "cure" her of her failings, her mother enrols Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

Whitley Birks
See more reviews at my blog.

This book is pure, whimsical fun. I admit, I was not in the right frame of mind to enjoy this the first time I picked it up. It’s got a very lighthearted approach to worldbuilding, and I it wasn’t until my second attempt that I actually appreciated that. But once I was in the mood for a carefree adventure, this was just the perfect fix for it.

Etiquette & Espionage had a very early-Harry-Potter feel to it, and I know it’s irritating to hear everything called the ne...more
Alt 1854, young girl is shipped off to "finishing school," where she learns important lessons in deportment, manners, and the intricacies of assassination, among other relevant topics. All in pursuit of goals never explained for political purposes never elucidated because guys, that is so not the point.

I feel like this book is almost deep. Like this twisted portrait of nineteenth-century education – the juxtaposition of fashion with poison, the way lessons in eyelash fluttering serve both social...more
I think that maybe somebody who'd read the entire Parasol Protectorate series to this point may end up enjoying Etiquette & Espionage a bit more than I did. I've only read Soulless so far, which was enough for me to notice that the Finishing School series will be set in the same universe. Fine by me, I really like Carriger's versions of vampire and werewolf societies.

And I did really enjoy this book. It's YA, which is a bit of a change for Carriger. I think she made the jump really nicely by...more
This book introduces a series that operates on two levels: one as a prequel to Gail Carriger's 'Parasol Protectorate' novels, and two as a young adult series.

Like the Parasol Protectorate books, the Finishing School books are set in a world which is a mashup of Victorian England steampunk and paranormal fantasy. Also like those books, this series is also a cheeky comedy of manners. Unlike the first series, though, this book pays less stylistic homage to the bodice ripper and more to the modern Y...more
Maria Snyder
Loved this book! It's a younger version of Gail's Parasol Protectorate series - a fun and entertaining Once again I bought the audio book. Gail's books are great when read with a British accent.
„Naprosto okouzlující, zábavné a rozpustilé… Perfektní steampunková verze Harryho Pottera,“ tvrdí na obálce Etikety Marie Lu.
A já nemůžu než souhlasit, protože tohle je prostě boží čtení. Rozpustilé je to pravé slovo, Etiketa a špionáž je mile nevinná, neobsahuje žádnou ultramilostnou zápletku, což je svým způsobem osvěžující. Sofronie je skvělá hrdinka, trošku praštěná, trošku pitomá, ale steampunková až do morku kostí. Pokud jste žádnou knížku z tohoto žánru nečetli, myslím, že tohle je ta pr...more
Lovely YA adventure in Carriger's SOULLESS world. It was fun to see some characters from her adult books as kids, and the series is off to a rollicking start. The underlying mystery of this book was a bit light, mostly so that she could introduce the finishing school and the cast of characters, and that was fine by me, because they were delightful. I'd really like to see her go a bit longer with the next one, this felt too short!

Also, I really, REALLY need a mechanical wiener dog named Bumbersn...more
What a riot this book was! So fun and lively. It's short, bright and a very fast read. After tired ending of Timeless this feels invigorating, light and humorous, and I hope Gail will continue writing in the same manner.

Etiquette and Espionage is a YA book on younger side of the genre as the main character, Saphronia, is only fourteen. That's the other thing in this book - the names are hilarious: Sophronia Temminnick, Dimity Plumleigh-Teignmott, Mrs. Barnaclegoose, Bandersnoot...

There are...more
Lois Bujold
Jul 09, 2013 Lois Bujold rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Carringer's other books
Well, that was fun. My Kindle continues to provide a comfortable if not elegant reading experience, and, of course, tremendous convenience for odd-hours shopping.

It was amusing to recognize younger versions of some of the characters met in the (written earlier, set later, adult-marketed) Parasol Protectorate series. I imagine that would also work in reverse fairly well. The downshift to the YA length and somewhat underwritten style did not affect the general goofiness of the setup, though it did...more
Sophronia would much rather take apart mechanicals and spy on guests from the dumbwaiter than be a proper lady. Despairing, her mother sends her off to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. But Mademoiselle Geraldine's is not an ordinary finishing school. Oh, there are etiquette lessons (from a vampire) but there's another sort finishing, too-- one that involves espionage. As would be expected at a school for espionage, there's more going on than meets the eye....more
Althea Ann
My fourth Gail Carriger book (after the first three of the Parasol Protectorate). This series appears to start a few years after that series. It's being marketed as YA, but the writing style is the same - it's just that the main character happens to be fourteen. I wouldn't say there's any difference at all in potential audience for the books.

I'm noticing that I'm rating this one higher than the ones I read previously. Hmm. I'm not sure it's *better* - maybe I was just in the perfect mood for it....more
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Adventure and proper manners filled with endless possibilities for this great read.

Opening Sentence: Sophronia intended to pull the dumbwaiter up from the kitchen to outside the front parlor on the ground floor, where Mrs. Barnaclegoose was taking tea.

The Review:

Gail Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage is her debut into the Young Adult world. Set in the same world as her Parasol Protectorate series, Etiquette & Espionage is a steampunk...more
colleen the contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ±
I had high expectations from this book, being such a fan of 'Parasol Protectorate' as I am, but I found this one a bit lacking. I think, mostly, it was the wry wit which seemed to just not really be around much. This book seemed much more earnest, in a sort of way. Maybe it's because of the different audience, or maybe Carriger just wanted to come at things from a slightly different angle, but, whatever it was, this felt sort of lacking.

That said, I still enjoyed the story, overall. I didn't qui...more
Summer {is puntastic}
DNF'd at page 100.

That's it. I can't read this. I am not going to force mysef through a book that is painfully boring to read. I simply could not get engaged nor feel involved in the story. It took me more than a week to get up to page 100, the same amount of time I could have used to read 2-3 books. I'm sorry, but this book wasn't for me.

I highly doubt that the book is going to get any better if I continue reading, therefore I feel the need to DNF this.
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

It is thrilling to return to the same steampunk and paranormal alternate Victorian England that made The Parasol Protectorate series so brilliant. In ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE, the first in the four book Finishing School series, set 25 years before Alexia’s series, we meet a young girl named Sophronia. In classic Carriger fashion, Sophronia is the embodiment of cleverness, bravery, and falls woefully short of the societal definition of a lady. In other...more
People are seriously going to start thinking I five-star anything with Gail Carriger's name on it, but, that risk aside...

Why couldn't my finishing school have been like this? I feel as though my own finishing was woefully neglected. I could have paid much more attention. For that matter, why couldn't school be more like this? I promise I'd have had a much easier time with algebra had tallying up how many pork chops and how much strychnine were needed for a week rather than calculating the value...more
What a fun, fast read. While the beginning took a little getting used to -- after all, I'm used to Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, which pretty much focused on Alexia Tarabotti -- but once I found my footing (and the timeline, as this is set prior to the events of the Parasol Protectorate series), I found myself having a blast reading this. For fans of Carriger, there's a lot of cameos from Parasol Protectorate to delight over, historical connections to be made. For readers not already f...more
The rather wonderfully-named Sophronia Temminnick inhabits an alternate 19th-century England where household servants are replaced by clockwork robots and a Young Ladies' Finishing School inhabits a giant dirigible complex. To said Finishing School our Sophronia is sent, to learn to behave nicely, dress elegantly, curtsy gracefully, and...finish whatever needs finishing.

Adventures start before she even gets to the school, as her carriage is attacked by flywaymen (highwaymen with dirigibles) and...more
Savannah (Books With Bite)

I love this author. Since I adore her adult series, I knew without a doubt that this book must be read!

First off, her writing it about the same as her adult series expect for teens. Talk over tea, handsome gentlemen and of course a secret society under the guise of a school. I love it. Every plot twist and new exploration of the world the author created only lead me deeper into the story. It flowed nicely, never wavering or leaving the reader behind. I really enjoyed the main character Sophronia...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
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Ms. Carriger writes steampunk urbane fantasy comedies of manners to cope with being raised in obscurity by an expatriate Brit and an incurable curmudgeon. She escaped small town life and inadvertently acquired several degrees in Higher Learning. She then traveled the historic cities of Europe, subsisting entirely on biscuits secreted in her handbag. She now resides in the Colonies, surrounded by a...more
More about Gail Carriger...
Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1) Changeless (Parasol Protectorate, #2) Blameless (Parasol Protectorate, #3) Heartless (Parasol Protectorate, #4) Timeless (Parasol Protectorate, #5)

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“It's no good choosing your first husband from a school for evil geniuses. Much too difficult to kill.” 76 likes
“He...boasted an unassuming mustache, which was perched atop his upper lip cautiously, as though it were slightly embarrassed to be there and would like to slide away and become a sideburn or something more fashionable.” 45 likes
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