If you keep up with the blog, you’d know that I received a box from BookCase.Club not too long ago. In it, there was a YA book by Gail Carriger (who has replied to all of my tweets!) called Etiquette and Espionage.
Here we meet Sophronia Temminick, the youngest daughter of a very large family. She’s not like her sisters. She’s more apt to dismantle a mechanical servant to see how it works than drool over the latest glove fashions from Italy.
She’s not at all excited to be sent to a finishing school, but it was her mother’s last ditch attempt to refine her daughter. What young Miss Temminck doesn’t know is that she’s to be a covert recruit for a school that does much more than teach her to curtsy properly.
Sophronia herself is surprised at how quickly she takes to Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing School. From here Sophronia befriends a Lady raised by Werewolves, the daughter of a spy and an evil genius who is better at flower arrangements than throwing knives, and a dark skinned boy in the engine area called Soap.
I was sucked into this mildly steampunk world with fantastic creatures. Werewolves can’t fly. Vampires are “tethered” to places or people. Not only were these fun, new takes on what we already love, but the characterization of everyone in the books felt real and individual.
The first romp through this world, with it’s evil geniuses and “Picklemen,” a society with a distaste for the supernatural, drove me to purchase the next three books in digital format. young Sophronia grows from a troublesome tomboy to a proper lady with not only a sharp mind, but a dedicated network of friends and enemies of her enemies.
I think that I finished each consequential book in the space of a day. The first book took a while to really draw me in, but I spiraled out of control from there. Obviously.
All in all, if you’re new to Steampunk this is a fun read to begin with. Caarriger also writes the Parasol Protectorate series as well as a new series, Imprudence. I’m saving up a bit of cash so I can dive into those next.