Monday, May 13, 2013

Book Review: Etiquette and Espionage

TITLE: Etiquette and Espionage
Book 1 in the new Finishing School series
AUTHOR: Gail Carriger
PUBLISHED: February 2013
GENRE: Steampunk, Mystery, Adventure, Urban Fantasy
PREMISE: Set twenty years or so before Alexia's time in the Parasol Protectorate series, we meet Sophronia who is sent to finishing school. Or at least, it's a finishing school on the surface...
MY REVIEW: It probably comes as no surprise to anyone who reads this blog daily: I loved the hell out of this. No, Sophronia is not Alexia and you know what? I like that. I don't understand this complaint at all really. It's a good thing that the author is introducing new characters. Yes, I adore Alexia, but her story was DONE. Now we get new insight to this world from a different place and different character. To me, that's a good thing.
This one was mostly set up and introducing readers to the world. The author was smart in that she realized this new YA audience maybe hasn't read the previous books and does take some time to explain things and for us veterans of the Parasol Protectorate I suppose that could be annoying. There are various nods and winks to veterans of the series as well, because I noticed several characters popping up here and there (Vieve!) and I'm positive that the contraption that Sophronia and her friends are hunting down has something to do with Alexia's Soulless state though I'm not sure how yet.
I think enjoyment of this will depend on what you wanted from it. Veterans of the Alexia series may enjoy it more then new readers. But if you wanted more of Alexia and probably were disappointed as you only get glimpses of them, here and there. Most of it is about Sophronia and her new friends who I personally find just as enjoyable as Alexia and co. Just enjoyable in different ways.
WHO SHOULD READ: Parasol Protectorate fans (who don't mind reading about a character other then Alexia), steampunk fans, Diana Wynne Jones fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five girl spies in training

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