Tag Archives: gail carriger

Book Review: Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1)

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Author: Gail Carriger

Genre: YA/Steampunk

Summary: It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners—and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage—in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.

Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate, this YA series debut is filled with all the saucy adventure and droll humor Gail Carriger’s legions of fans have come to adore.

Review: I read part of Gail’s first series, The Parasol Protectorate, and was extremely excited when I learned she was writing a YA series. She really sold me on Steampunk.

Her character’s are unique and solid within themselves. This is set in a different time, not to mention that there are different creatures in this world as well, but she does a wonderful job at keeping the character’s true to the time, and still very relatable.

Her description is wonderful. I love the steampunky words used to describe the machines and the funny names of the machines themselves. Also, the names of characters are extremely unique. You won’t see them in any other YA novel, that’s for sure!

Overall, I love Carriger’s pith. She gives every chapter a purpose, but she throws a dash of hilarity. Mostly, the pith is all in the language and conversation, which makes reading in this time setting completely lovable! 

Recommendation: A must read!

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Cheers!

Book Review: Blameless (Parasol Protectorate #3)

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Author: Gail Carriger

Genre: SF/F

Summary (goodreads): Quitting her husband’s house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season.

Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all of London’s vampires are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead.

While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires — and they’re armed with pesto.

Review: I loved this book, even more than the first two. You can tell that Gail hit her stride in this book. There’s more steampunk elements and somehow she has become more pithy. And it’s wonderful. I must say, I was sad that it ended the way it did. I know there are more books in this series, but come on, such a cliffhanger! I’m not a fan of spoilers so that’s all I’m going to say!

Gail has created a wonderfully strong, humorous female character in Alexia. I have read some of her blog posts about writing and she mentioned going to extremes when mapping out a world and the characters. It’s very evident that she took her time fleshing everything out. This is some amazing world-building, and it’s set in the past! Great accomplishment!

Recommendation: Obviously, I’d like you to read the first two in the series first. After that, definitely pick this one up!

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Cheers!

Book Review: Changeless (Parasol Protectorate #2)

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Author: Gail Carriger

Genre: SF-Steampunk

Summary (Goodreads): In the delightfully wicked follow-up to Soulless, Alexia Tarabotti is entangled once more in Victorian London’s supernatural mysteries. 

Alexia Tarabotti, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears – leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria.

But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can. 

She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it.

Review: I love this series. I cannot get enough of Gail’s wit and charming characters. This book did not disappoint and I look forward to reading the next in the series. There’s a great deal of intrigue in this book as in the first and has also added more steampunk. Though at times I felt the descriptions were a bit lengthy in certain parts, the double twist at the end entirely made up for it! I don’t want any spoilers here, so I’ll leave it at that!

Recommendation: Great read! If you liked the first in the series then you will not be disappointed in this one!Image

Cheers!

Book Review: Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1)

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Author: Gail Carriger

Genre: SF-Steampunk

Summary (Goodreads): First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire – and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Review: First of all, this is not only a new author for me but also a new genre! My first ever steampunk. All I can say is that I’m hooked! I was given the first three books of the Parasol Protectorate series (there’s five) by a close, bookish friend. I trust her bookish opinion completely. And I’m glad I tried this series! It is wonderful.

Of course it’s set in a different time, but the world back then is also a bit different. It’s full of vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and preternaturals. And they’re all in high society and have rules of etiquette. The main character is funny, witty, and charmingly smart. I am completely in love with Gail’s pithiness throughout the book. I can only hope she continues throughout the series with the same tone and humor.

I was also very lucky to meet her in person! I went with said bookish friend to Gail’s book signing for her new YA steampunk series. It was wonderful to see her in person. And I must say she is just as charming as she wrote Alexia to be!

Recommendation: Pick it up! It’s a wonderfully fun read!

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