Etiquette & Espionage – Review // A Really Fun Steampunk Read

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
Book 1 in the Finishing School saga
Genre: YA steampunk
Pages: 307
Format: hardcover
Source: library
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

note

Whether you’ve read this or not, you can watch my “5 reasons I loved it” video here! πŸ™‚

plot: 20 out of 20
characters: 20 out of 20
setting: 20 out of 20
relationships: 20 out of 20
twists: 20 out of 20
100 out of 100

Etiquette & EspionageΒ surprised me. I went in expecting a historical fantasy and got a steampunk. It was just a really fun, light read. πŸ™‚

the plot

The story follows Sophronia, a 14 year old girl sent by her mother to a finishing school to become a proper young lady. But while the school does teach etiquette, it also teaches girls how to be spies – but without messing up their hair. It was definitely one of the most unique stories I’ve ever read, especially with the mechanics in this steampunk world. They were easy to understand, and made everything more entertaining. That being said, this book is more lighthearted and fun, not an action-packed adventure. That’s why I enjoyed it so much. I was able to fly through it, and it put a big smile on my face. πŸ™‚

the characters

Sophronia is our main character, and her curious tomboy attitude doesn’t fit with the criteria for girls her age or her proper family. I really liked her. She was witty, smart, nimble, and amusing. She was realistic too; she learned all of the lessons taught at the academy, but still made mistakes and had rough times on occasion. She wasn’t perfect, but she gave everything her best effort and I liked that. By the end of the book she’s undergone a fair amount of development, and I’m excited to see where she goes in the sequel. πŸ˜‰

I also really liked all of the side characters. Dimity was Sophronia’s best friend and obsessed with shiny and sparkly things. Monique was the typical mean girl every school of any sort has, but with a twist. Soap and Vieve were members of the lower class, friends of Sophronia’s and each with a special talent. They were all so individual and fun to read about. πŸ™‚

the setting

This book took place in Victorian London, one of my favorite historical settings, but there were also mechanical bots that helped in various ways around households. It was a fun twist on the time period I had grown to know and love so much, and the elegance that was already there made it even better. Imagine the technology of New Beijing, but not quite as advanced, in 1851. πŸ˜‰

the relationships

Readers don’t see a lot of Sophronia’s family, so no real judgement can be made about them, but we did see her friendship with Dimity grow. They were each other’s closest friend at the academy, and with their interests being almost entirely opposites, they made quite the pair. πŸ˜€

There was also no romance in this book. There were no crushes, no flirting, nothing. I think it was more realistic for there to not be romance with everything else going on. There wasn’t even hints of anything possibly happening in the sequel. As much of a hopeless romantic as I am, I thought it was very refreshing. πŸ™‚

the twists

There weren’t really any big twists in this book, only a couple of things here and there, and I didn’t mind. Like I said, I found this to be more of a lighthearted read, without the intensity of other stories, and I enjoyed it. Even with no real, jaw-dropping twists, the story still remained unpredictable and it was good enough for me to have a lot of fun reading it. πŸ˜‰

overall

All in all, I was presently surprised by Etiquette & Espionage. If you haven’t read it yet, I’d definitely recommend it. I know I’ll be picking up the sequel as soon as I can. πŸ˜€

my rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Have you read this book? Is it on your TBR? If you have read it, what did you think? I’d love to know! Tell me in the comments! πŸ™‚

Next I’ll be starting Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard. πŸ™‚ I hope you all have a fabulous day/night! ❀

Until next time…

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2 thoughts on “Etiquette & Espionage – Review // A Really Fun Steampunk Read

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