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Friday, October 4, 2013

Book Review: Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

Title: Etiquette & Espionage

Author: Gail Carriger

Publisher: Little, Brown

Publication date: February, 2013

Hardcover: 320 pages

Stand Alone or Series: Series–this is the first in a series

How I got this book: Galley from the publisher

Why I chose this book: The synopsis of the book just seemed so interesting and unique.  Plus, I’m a sucker for any type of book that has an element of spy-culture in it.


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. Temminnick 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 the 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.


I was very excited to read this book.  The synopsis just sounded so fun and interesting, I was curious to see what kind of direction the author was going to take this book in. I also want to add in the note that I typically don’t read books where the protagonist is this young (14).  On that front, this was new to me, and I wasn’t sure if I would like the younger age.

When Sophronia gets sent off to an exclusive finishing school, she gets taught the arts of espionage and assassination.  You would think reading about this school, it would be strict, hard, painful.  However, the entire setting of the school is really fun to read about.  Everything is new and exciting, and it’s like you’re there for the journey as well.

All of the characters are developed enough that I can get a good enough idea of who I like and who I don’t really care about.  As for Sophronia, she’s a good character that you can get behind.  I like her, I understand her, I care about her.

The use of steampunk in the novel is also interesting to see.  In the way of novels, steampunk is a fairly new thing.  Every author likes to use it in their own way, and Carriger does a good job of making it fun and interesting.

Really good book, I would definitely recommend this book to friends and readers like like this genre.

Vampire Diaries Is Back!

For those of you who are proud followers of the TV series, you’ll know that last night was the highly anticipated premier of the 5th season of Vampire Diaries.

Whether you only watch the series on TV, or follow with the books, you’ll know that there’s going to be some major drama this season.  Stefan is locked in a safe, constantly drowning over and over again.  Elena and Damen are together at last, but Elena is having dreams of Stefan.  Bonnie is dead, but only Jeremy knows.  Not to mention there’s already been a murder on day one at college.  This is what we know just from the first episode.  Can you imagine how much more agonizing the rest of the series is going to become?
I have a feeling some more of my favorite characters are going to die.  There seems to be no problem with killing off some big characters.  I still miss Aunt Jenna, but I don’t think she’s coming back.

When spoilers were released about season 5 we were told someone minor was going to die in the first episode.  Check! That was the new roommate, Megan.  We were also told someone more major was going to die. Check! That was Bonnie’s father.  There’s even more death to come as the season progresses.

What do you think is going to happen next in the season?  Who’s going to die next?  Will Stefan be saved from the locked safe?  Will Elena and Damen stay together?