Book Summery (Via Goodreads): It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.
Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners—and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.
But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine's, 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.
Ok, let me preface this review with the fact that I love the Parasol Protectorate series. I mean looooove it! Carriger has such a distinctive voice, therefore it was impossible for me to separate the two series (at least in my mind). I loved Carriger's witty writing style. However, I could have used a bit more of her humor in Etiquette & Espionage. The story started out faced-paced and I was immediately adsorbed. However, somewhere in the middle, the story leveled off and I felt the pace lag a bit. I love the incorporation of even more steampunk elements! Bumbersnoot is the best little steampunk character ever! I loved Sophronia's voice and willfulness. I also quite enjoyed her character arc within the novel. I expect her character to develop even more throughout the series. I loved the setting of the finishing school and all of the characters Sophronia meets there. This is a great start to a promising series! I can't wait for the next installment!
"'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?'
Diminty pursed her lips. 'Who doesn't want an exploding wicker chicken'?"
Cover Art Commentary:
LOVE IT!!! First of all, who doesn't love a bright purple background?! Secondly, I love the girl with the puffy dress and scissors (which come into play later in the story).