Steampunk books are pretty hit or miss with me, there’s no point denying it. So I was a little nervous about giving EtiquettPosted to Almost Grown-up:
Steampunk books are pretty hit or miss with me, there’s no point denying it. So I was a little nervous about giving Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carringer a go.
I didn’t know quite what to expect. We had the boarding school of spies thing going on, so I thought that maybe it would be sort of a Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter THANG.
Only, y’know… with… steam.
It wasn’t quite Gallagher Girls, but that’s nothing against it. I’m just throwing that statement out there because based on what I’ve seen on Twitter, Goodreads, etc, I believe that I was not alone in that preconception. So I just wanted to clear that up. Etiquette & Espionage ≠ Gallagher Girls. Moving on.
Etiquette & Espionage read more like MG to me than YA, but that makes sense since the main character, Sophronia, was fourteen, an age that kind of straddles that line between the two. Sophronia is a girl who’s been sent to finishing school– she thinks because she’s so far from her mother’s idea of a proper lady, but NOT QUITE SO. At least, that isn’t the only reason. She’s been recruited to this finishing school to learn espionage. Sophronia is an interesting character. She’s not willfully disobedient, but she seems to have a streak of curiosity that leads to a lot of rule-breaking.
The focus of the novel seemed to be on Sophronia’s escapades outside of class. For on the way to school, an incident occurs that she spends the majority of her time preoccupied with. Her mild adventures were made somewhat more interesting by this Victorian steampunk world, which has bonus factors of werewolves and vampires.
My favorite part of this book, hands down was how FUNNY it was. I was cracking up and highlighting on my kindle like a madwoman, cackling all the while. EXAMPLE:
“You must watch your figures. Watch them!”
Sophronia, uncertain how she might do such a thing, ate bites between staring down at her own chest.
To sum up: 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....more
Steampunk is still something that I’m iffy on. If it wasn’t Scott Westerfeld I can’t guarantee that I would have started thiPosted to Almost Grown-up:
Steampunk is still something that I’m iffy on. If it wasn’t Scott Westerfeld I can’t guarantee that I would have started this series, nor can I guarantee that I would have finished it. I don’t know what it is about the genre that took me some time to get into. The first book in the series, Leviathan took some adjusting, but had me interested enough to pick up the sequel, Behemoth. By the time I finished Behemoth, I was eagerly anticipating the release of Goliath.
World War I is an interesting story even when it is not tampered with, but in this series it is even more so. The world’s powers tend to be one of two things: Darwinists, who make living, breathing creatures that suit their means (such as messenger lizards who can repeat what is spoken to them), or Clankers, who use heavy machinery (such as Walkers, giant machines that they can “walk” inside over long stretches of terrain). And Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination really did set WWI in motion, has a son in this series who is sheltered aboard the living airship Leviathan.
Goliath is, as the others have been, an adventure. But it’s also the culmination of a love story. Deryn’s secret is revealed and Alek has to come to terms with that and trust her, but also with the feelings that she has for him.
Quite beside the trust issues, there are also the issues of loyalty. Deryn’s soldier for a Darwinist power. Alek, a Clanker. Alek believes in destiny and fate intervening. Deryn believes that you make your own destiny. The end comes to sort of a melding of both of their belief systems, and I truly believe that the “compromise” was the right choice.
Overall rating: 4/5. If you enjoy steampunk or can adjust to it, this was a very enjoyable war and love story....more
I'll be honest: Leviathan wasn't my favorite book. It was the first steampunk novel I've ever read and while I liked the time period (WWI is among myI'll be honest: Leviathan wasn't my favorite book. It was the first steampunk novel I've ever read and while I liked the time period (WWI is among my favorite historical periods to read about) and a lot of the ideas present (the whole girl crossdressing thing is one of my favorites... Twelfth Night, Mulan, She's The Man, Hana Kimi... really you can't go wrong), something about the book just didn't do it for me. But towards the end, reading it did pique my interest as Deryn discovered she had feelings for Alek. So I muscled on to Behemoth and was rewarded. There were the awkward moments I hoped for between Alek, Deryn, and other characters because of Deryn's facade as a man. As the characters grow, I believe the situations do too and I'm actually looking forward to the next installment....more