Saturday, March 22, 2014

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1) by Gail Carriger

It'll all end in tears and oil.

Why I read this book

This book called my attention when a while ago, while I was reading on Steampunk, so I guess it was around the time I read Boneshaker for the Sword and Laser book club. Audible was having a sale on first books of series and so I got a copy.

What the book is about

Sophronia (which I thought all along was written Sephronia, but never mind that) is a 14 year old in Victorian England that hasn't learned how to be a lady yet. Trying to "help" her with that her mother sends her away to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. Little did her mother know that this is also a school for spies.

First impressions

The book started a bit slowly for me...not because of what was happening, but because of the way it was happening. I can't put into words, but I am afraid that partially is because at first the distinction between voices was not very good.

Final thoughts was ok. I guess we shall start with what I liked. The descriptions of places and dresses (if you are familiar with my reviews, I am easily sold on good imagery); the concept of an spy...sorry intelligence gathering finishing school and the fact that the main character was a resourceful, smart albeit a bit annoying, girl who wasn't afraid of taking matters into her own hands.

What I didn't like. The adding of vampires AND werewolves that (to me) didn't really add much to the story. I'm not saying that it should've revolved around them, no, but I feel that the 2 characters I'm making reference to didn't gain much from their conditions. I might be proven wrong on future installments, but in all seemed a bit out of place.

The steampunk theme I believe is not for me. After reading 2...3 books of this genre, I realize that the parts that are making it steampunk itself just don't make me tingle and even gets overlooked at times. That said, I did enjoy imagining the little dog Bumbersnoot. That was cute.

I was expecting more of the school itself, I thought the classes are going to be fun!...Nope, they were rather short described , almost teaser like, but then you never get to have the whole picture and this jumps from class to "adventure" were not very seamless, didn't have a progression between them, which made me loose track often.

And something that really bother me...was referring to someone as "odd colored". Do I realize it was to keep with the Victorian tone? Yes, no need to tell me that, but it bother me nonetheless.

Moira Quirk does a good job most of the time, but unfortunately when there were a lot of girls talking I couldn't follow who was who as the voices sounded very similar. I think is just that at a certain point there is a limit of different tones you can do.

I think I would follow the series if it goes on sale again, but I wouldn't recommend it based on my experience. Then again I don't have a lot of friends with steampunk fever.

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