Double Mini Reviews: Etiquette & Espionage + Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Posted November 14, 2014 by Nori in Book Reviews / 5 Comments

Etiquette & Espionage
Gail Carriger
Release Date: February 5th 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Received From: Netgalley
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother’s existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea–and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right–but it’s a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine’s certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.

Imagine a boarding school with a vampire teacher, etiquette lessons, werewolves, poison lessons, mechanical animals, and oh, did I mention that the school is in the air? Does that sound interesting to you? Maybe? Possibly? Well if it does, you should go to your local library or bookstore and grab a copy of Etiquette and Espionage.

Etiquette and Espionage started out with Sophronia climbing inside of a dumbwaiter and plummeting a couple of floors until she had to dive through a door which accidentally set off a chain of events leading to a parfait landing on top of a visitor’s hat. And yes, that happened on page five.One day, a headmistress of a finishing school came to Sophronia’s house and talked to her mother, which eventually led to Sophronia being sent away in hopes of learning proper etiquette. Little did her mother know that Sophronia would learn more about espionage than etiquette.

I immediately loved Sophronia; after all, she had a curious mind and was always trying new things. Sure, not all of her experiments ended well, but they were always very amusing! I admired her bravery and courage, while also being in awe of her ability to turn trash into treasures. What I mean by this is that she was always able to find a good use for the things around her.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and give it 4.5/5 stars.

Curtsies & Conspiracies
Gail Carriger
Release Date: November 2013
Publisher: Hachette Little, Brown & Co
Received From: Netgalley
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Sophronia, second year at Miss Geraldine’s Finishing Academy, helps Dimity avoid London kidnappers and Vieve 10 attend Bunson boys’ school. Someone kills for malfunctioning guidance valves that can control ‘aether’ atmosphere level. Again, she flirts with ‘sootie’ coal-worker Soap from the boiler room, and cuts Felix, son of Duke Golborne, at come-out ball. Teacher Captain Niall turns werewolf; vampire Prof Braithwope braves ‘tether’; mechanimal Bumbersnoot plays essential role.



This book was a great continuation of the Finishing School series. It started with a mystery, of course, and immediately put Sophronia into a difficult situation. She quickly learned that all of the girls were going through a test to see whether they were still a good fit for the school, or if they should be dismissed. When Sophronia took the test, she didn’t think much of it, but later found out that she received the highest marks for the exam not only in her year, but in history. This led to her being ostracized by her friends, making her a bit lonely. While some girls might have been devastated, Sophronia realized that this might have been planned, and so she didn’t let it get into her head. As the book continued, Sophronia continued her eavesdropping ways and tried to solve the puzzle that was introduced in the first book.


There was never a dull moment in the book, whether that be due to intriguing characters, dialogue, or plot. I loved Sophronia’s courageousness and boldness. She portrayed what it means to be smart, fearless, and an incredible heroine. Something else that I admired about her was her loyalty to her friends, even when they abandoned her. The fact that she was willing to put her friends’ safety in front of her own really spoke to me about the type of person she was. I would love to have her as a friend.

So there you have it! That was my first mini review- and a double at that! Have you read this series? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below.

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5 responses to “Double Mini Reviews: Etiquette & Espionage + Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

  1. I thought these books were SO much fun! I actually got to listen to them on audiobook – my very first audiobook ever was Etiquette & Espionage acutally – and the narrator was just perfect for the story. I can’t wait til I can grab Waistcoats & Weaponry!

  2. I have seen these books flying around quite a bit and have them both on my TBR! After seeing your positive reviews I am really looking forward to when I can get to read these novels! Thanks for sharing.

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