Etiquette & Espionage

Carriger, Gail

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Etiquette & Espionage
In an alternate England of 1851, spirited fourteen-year-old Sophronia is enrolled in a finishing school where, she is suprised to learn, lessons include not only the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also diversion, deceit, and espionage.

Publisher: New York : Little, Brown, 2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780316190084
Branch Call Number: FIC C
Characteristics: 307 p. ; 24 cm.
Alternate Title: Etiquette and espionage


From the critics

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Feb 06, 2015
  • Love_Legolas_111 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

An extremely enjoyable story chock-full of action, adventure, wit, humor, and characters you'll grow to love! This is the first book I've read by Carriger and also the first I've read in this genre (steampunk), but I can't wait to dive into it deeper! If they're all as good as this book and better, I may have found myself a new enjoyable genre. First off, the story was interesting. It was a little slow in the beginning, but as soon as Sophronia leaves her house for finishing school after about the first chapter and...a suspenseful event occurs, the book picked up it's pace and drew me in. The characters in the main cast are all interesting; I loved Sophronia, Dimity, Soap, Pillover, and the rest. Some of extra girls seemed like fill-ins (and probably won't provide much character development on Sophronia's part unless they are furthur explored in the following books), but this is only the first book of a four book series, so...I plan to read the rest. An excellent work of fiction that will take your imagination on a splendid ride.

Feb 01, 2015
  • em_lib rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

In an alternate 19th C England, the plucky Sophronia must learn how to curtsy properly - and throw a dagger with precision - if she hopes to survive finishing school. Sophronia has a keen sense for danger - both finding herself in it and getting herself out of it. At Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality, classes take place in a dirigible and the staff range from alive to undead to automaton (steam-powered robot). When Sophronia and her companions are attacked by flywaymen (highwaymen of the skies), she finds herself compelled to solve a mystery about her new school.

This book really grew on me once I got used to the fact that it is aimed at a much younger audience than Carriger's other, lovely novels (Soulless etc). A little heavier on the steampunk technology than I like, but Sophronia really carries the story, and it's also delightful to meet younger versions of characters we knew in the Soulless series. For anyone into campy steampunk ages 10 and up.

Aug 18, 2014

The concept of this book is intriguing and I loved how the reader is first shown the main character in her family life and then follows her through her experience at the school. The teacher's personalities felt a little underdeveloped but the school subjects and main plot was quite fascinating.
It isn't a book to be taken too seriously and I had to take breaks from it because the interpersonal drama was a bit ridiculous at times but overall a worthwhile read!

Jul 25, 2014
  • mvkramer rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I did not expect to like this at all, but it's quite refreshing actually; a lively, sprightly, humorous novel that doesn't take itself too seriously and is a cracking good read. I loved the setting of the school. Boarding school aboard a floating airship convoy? Learning how to do my hair and poison people? Sign me up! I also liked Sophronia, fun, capable girl with a no-nonsense attitude. A great character to identify with.

Jul 23, 2014
  • Solter rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This novel incorporates concepts of steampunk and the supernatural in some interesting ways. The main character definitely has a mind of her own and the author gives her the skills to understand and relate to the wide variety of other characters around her. Some of the vocabulary may be difficult for younger readers to decode as it describes objects and ideas of the time period (1851), but doesn't always explain them. I enjoyed the world in which Sophronia lives, and the sense of humour she and her friends share. It was a fun read.

Jun 15, 2014
  • mkastar rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I really liked this book! A good balance between action and character development, and great plot! Finishing school for spies! :)

Feb 07, 2014
  • GuyN rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Steampunk? Check. Vampires and werewolves? Check. Love interest for heroine who helps her? Check. Victorian finishing school for girls slated to become spies? Check. Cute mechanimal small dog companion? Check. Pie in the face humor? Check. Carriger tries to touch all the bases to get her book (and series) read and made into a movie, but neither her writing style nor her character development is above average. Nevertheless, sometimes the situations in this book are comic enough to get a giggle on. Easy to read and fast paced enought for tweens to enjoy.

Feb 05, 2014
  • JCLMeganB rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Etiquette and Espionage made me laugh out loud. This is steampunk at its best. The audiobook is fantastic, too.

Jan 27, 2014
  • hania4987 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

a boarding school prequel (?) to "The Parasol Protectorate" but it did not have the same humor or charm as some of her previous books

Jan 04, 2014
  • MissLillieBear rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Over all a nice little read. Not great but not bad; a nice read for relaxing or when bored over the holidays, not to say its boring or anything. When I finished it, i wasn't ecstatic for the next one, I dun no I guess it's a book that you'll eventually forget about. The book (claimed by Marie Lu btw read her trilogy legend, it's awesome!) that its like harry potter but I find the plot of it, i would say coincidental, unrealistic, and just straight out expected, though yet again a nice little read.

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Add Age Suitability

Feb 06, 2015
  • Love_Legolas_111 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Love_Legolas_111 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Aug 17, 2014

LadyLynx thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 19, 2014
  • StrawberryMilk rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

StrawberryMilk thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Jun 15, 2014
  • mkastar rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

mkastar thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Feb 01, 2014
  • princessgracetan rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

princessgracetan thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 17


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Feb 12, 2015
  • Love_Legolas_111 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Sexual Content: Women's bust sizes are sometimes compared. Sophronia thinks girls like Captain Niall so much because he's "completely naked" under the greatcoat he wears. One side-character who dresses like a boy is revealed to be a girl. However, she only dresses like a boy because she reasons "boys have more fun", or something like that.

Feb 12, 2015
  • Love_Legolas_111 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Violence: Being a finishing school training "intelligencers", the girls are taught the finer arts of "killing", and there is some violence throughout the book. There is talk of poisoning people, including one girl relishing in the subject (she wants to poison her first husband).

Feb 12, 2015
  • Love_Legolas_111 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Coarse Language: Monique angerly says "a*se" (I'm not sure if this an exclusively British profanity, but...). Pillover says "We're d***ed".


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Jul 20, 2013
  • ramiec rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Our daddy is a founding member of the Death Weasel Confederacy, and Mummy is a kitchen chemist with questionable intent, but poor Pillover can't even bring himself to murder ants with his Depraved Lens of Crispy Magnification.

Jul 20, 2013
  • ramiec rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The trifle did it.


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Carriger, Gail
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