Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

In much the same manner as Alan Bradley's young protagonist Flavia De Luce, precocious fourteen-year-old Sophronia Temminnick has a mind of her own. Much to her family's chagrin Sophronia has always been fascinated with mechanical technology. This innate curiosity has a tendency to get her into trouble. Her latest mishap involving the dumbwaiter culminates in a trifle inadvertently landing on the head of a visiting neighbor. Unsure of how to handle her youngest daughter, Sophronia's mother decides to send her off to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. Although initially the idea of finishing school holds about as much appeal as "being loaned out as a drone to the fashion-conscious vampires of London's elite society," Sophronia quickly realizes that this unorthodox finishing school may just be the adventure she has been waiting for. Of course she will have to sit through lessons on manners and etiquette; however, there are also lessons on the proper way to poison an adversary, which are much more to Sophronia's liking. The school is filled with strange mechanics and formative new allies, and it's not long before Sophronia and her classmates find themselves in the midst of their first adventure.

Gail Carriger's first foray into teen fiction is a fast-paced exciting adventure featuring a spunky young hero you can't help but root for. Fans of Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series will be pleasantly surprised by the number of familiar faces that make cameo appearances in her newest novel.  And of course there is no shortage of Carriger's trademark quick-witted humor.

If you enjoyed Etiquette and Espionage, you won't be waiting long for further adventures featuring Sophronia and her wily gang of classmates, as the second book in the series is set to release later this year. In the meantime, check out Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series. For more teen steampunk adventures, check out Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan series.

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