Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Book Review: Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Pros: fun, quirky characters, quick moving plot, historical tidbits added, good inclusion of a dark skinned supporting cast member that kept to historical conventions without being racist

Cons: the ending is too sudden (and too soon!)

For Parents: minor violence

Sophronia's antics have given cause for her to be sent to a finishing school.  But what her proper mother doesn't realize is that Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy teaches more than just which spoon to use for soup.  It also teaches skills in espionage.  And Sophronia's first lesson comes when the carriage she and two fellow students are taking to the school is attacked by flywaymen looking for a prototype in the possession of one of the passengers...

The book is a fun romp, with quirky characters and a quick plot.  The school is located in an unusual place that makes for a wonderful setting and the mischief Sophronia and her classmates get into trying to figure out what the prototype is and where it's been hidden, is great.

I was a bit concerned by the opening as Sophronia is VERY over the top, but the plot quickly requires it and she never got on my nerves.  Nor did any of the other quirky characters.

It was impressive how the author added Phineas B. Crow, aka Soap, to the cast.  Sophronia knows it's improper for her to associate with someone of a lower class - and a boy to boot, but she doesn't care about that, or the dark colour of his skin.  She's simply curious about him and the world at large.

The ending came too suddenly, and much too soon, for me.  I can't wait to see what other adventures Sophronia and her friends get up to.

Etiquette and Espionage hits stores February 5th.


Paul Weimer said...

Interesting. Thanks, Jessica. Having liked her earlier novels, I was curious how Gail's talents translated to YA.

Jessica Strider said...

She transitions to YA very well.