Sophronia Temminnick at 14 is a great trial more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners -- and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Her poor mother, desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady, enrolls the lively tomboy in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.
But young ladies learn to finish...everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage -- in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year's education.
My Review :
I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this book and it came along as I was ill. However as soon as I was feeling well enough to read, this was the first book that came to mind. I loved Gail Carriger's Steampunk Parasol Protectorate series and it was my first introduction to this special genre. I couldn't wait to dive back into the wonderful paranormal world the author has created and hoped it would be as good as her previous books.
Things began with a fun and interesting introduction to the new leading lady. Or should I say, girl. Now back in the days, girls became ladies and were definitely more mature than a teenager today. So be warned that this is therefore a Young Adult novel and be happy to know that it doesn't really matter if you are an adult reading the book. It is upstanding and well thought out. It is not girlie. So after being introduced to Sophronia I was very intrigued about her future. It didn't take me long to devour the book up and smile away at the same time.
I loved the concept and I am a happy reader. Etiquette & Espionage shows that Carriger can write for younger readers while not making things silly or boring. The character is quite different to Alexi Tarabotti in that she has a young recklessness and doesn't care much for her clothes. She could grow into a very well behaved young lady but it seems that Sophronia is destined to be something else entirely.
The special mix of paranormal and steampunk is kept in this new series and readers of the Parasol Protectorate will recognise more than a few of the other characters mentioned in this book. Some have a bigger part to play than others but there is a sense of the familiar all the way through.
A wonderful and delightful read that I really enjoyed. Action, fun and espionage in the paranormal steampunk Victorian setting was exactly what I was expecting and exactly what I got. I love this author and all her books so far and can't wait for more. A must read series to add to my list and of course I do hope that another adult series comes along again soon.