The Atomics review Etiquette & Espionage: Alyssia, Emma & Emma

The Atomics review Etiquette & Espionage: Alyssia, Emma & Emma

Posted by in Atomics, Blog, Book News, News, Recommended Reading

Etiquette & Espionage, Book One in the brand new Finishing School series by Gail Carriger is out now.

We were inundated with requests from our Atomics reader review programme (aged 12-18 and love books? Sign up here!) and these are the results.

It is very hard to find a good YA steampunk novel. Fortunately Etiquette & Espionage is one of them. Sophronia Temminnick is not a typical young lady. She would much rather climb trees and tinker with mechanical devices than talk about the latest fashions, which is exactly why after an unfortunate incident involving a trifle, she is shipped off to finishing school. Only, Madamoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality is no ordinary finishing school, it is of course a school for intelligencers or assassins. And so here begins an epic adventure with a floating school, top-hat wearing werewolf, an oblivious headmistress and a camp vampire.

I loved Etiquette & Espionage, it was funny and engaging. At first it was a bit hard to get into due to the fact it was written in a Victorian style so one must expect a few ‘spiffing’s and a few ‘jolly good’s but once you get into it it’s easy to understand. Sophronia herself was a very good protagonist, she is intelligent, curious and cunning which makes for a superb heroine. But of course no story is complete without an antagonist, who in this case is Monique de Pelouse. Monique is your typical mean girl, she despises Sophronia for the failure of her finishing and her demotion but even if demoted she is determined still to be top dog at the academy. Dimity, Sophronia’s first friend at the academy is a riot of laughs thanks to her hideous wardrobe and her ill-timed faints but my favourite character has to be Vieve who is Professor Lefoux’s (teacher of modern weaponry and technological advancements) niece.

This book completely charmed me, I would love to go to school that teaches you how to lie effectively and faint without wrinkling your skirts. Who wouldn’t? Gail Carriger has created an outstanding series that every girl would love and I sincerely can’t wait to read the second book of the series. Fingers crossed Atom releases it soon!


I found this book a great read because of the adventure and action.
This book is more than your average girly book this book is good for tom-boys as well!
Great if you want a light read because it is not too full on and not too long


When Atom first showed Etiquette & Espionage was up for review, I thought it would be an interesting read. However, I struggled to get into the book myself. This may have been as the main character Sophronia is younger and therefore not as relatable as the book is well written with a brilliant plot.

A school of Etiquette & Espionage is like the dream school for many, like Hogwarts but with a hint of 007 and knife throwing skills, I would recommend the book to young teenagers as they would thoroughly enjoy it!



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