Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

I selected Etiquette & Espionage for our Book Nerds Across America read along this month after reading several great reviews a few months ago.  The description reminded me of the Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter with some high society etiquette mixed in.

Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality is not your average finishing school.  Yes...they learn the art of proper dress, manners, and etiquette...but there is far more to the curriculum than meets the eye.  Not even Mademoiselle Geraldine is aware of the true mission of her school.

Sophronia Temminnick is a very inquisitive young lady, which causes her to get into quite a bit of trouble at home.  Her mother is delighted when Ms. Geraldine extends an offer to her daughter to attend her very exclusive academy. 

The majority of the book is a bit of a mystery as Sophronia and her friends try to locate a missing object that is desperately wanted by an outside group that is threatening the school.  There is a werewolf, a vampire, and an all boys school for geniuses which all could have provided the basis for a great story.  Unfortunately, this book fell short of my expectations.

The story is written in a very flowery 19th century tone, but at times it was a bit much.  The character names were ridiculous and some of the unusual vocabulary detracted more than it added to the story.  The characters and the story trudged along at a steady state, but it never engaged me to the point where it was difficult for me to set the book down.  In fact, with 30 pages left, I easily turned out the light to resume reading the following night.  By that point in a book, I would hope to be engaged enough to stay up an extra half an hour to finish.   

It isn't a bad story, but I don't think I will continue with this series.  I gave it 2 stars, which according to my definition means it was "okay".  I haven't read any of Gail Carriger's other books, but it appears that she has a similar series for adults.  If you have read any of her Parasol Protectorate series, I would love to hear your thoughts.

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