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 the bane of her mother's existence. More interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea - and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy - Mrs. Temminnick is desperate her daughter become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.
But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish all right - but it's a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine's certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in how to finish in other ways: the fine art of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.
Book One of the Finishing School series.
©2013 Gail Carriger (P)2013 Hachette Audio
Believable and natural dialogue, not some pained, stilted, artificial Victorian phrases.
First steampunk novel I've tried; the genre interests me but I hope this effort is not indicative of the entire species.
Terrible, overly dramatic voicing in general and absolutely unbearable French accent for one character.
I wouldn't know--I could barely get through one chapter.
Because of the synopsis, time period and premise, I so wanted to love this book. I was hesitant after listening to the sample, but decided to trust the many good reviews and give it a chance. What a mistake. I'll listen to my gut next time.
Like most (probably) I got this because I enjoy Carriger's Parasol Protectorate books. If you liked those books, you'll probably like this. It's an adorable kind of book. If you haven't read her adult books, I don't know what you'll think of this book. There is a lot about the England this book takes place in that isn't really explained (aka not explained at all), like any background whatsoever with regards to the supernatural.
I couldn't give the plot more stars for two reasons. Firstly, the book really doesn't have much of a plot. Things just sort of happen as it becomes necessary for characters to do things rather than just exist. It's definitely more about meeting beloved characters that we know well as adults and setting the scene for future books than it is about the 'mystery' or whatever you'd like to label the plot here. Now, if you don't think too hard about anything and just happily go with the flow, then this lack of plot won't bother you. Just have low expectations.
My second issue is with the intended audience. I imagine most readers will be (as mentioned) adults who liked her other books. But it's definitely intended for a young adult audience....or so it sort of seems. Now, Sephronia is young for most young adult heroines, and there isn't any romance whatsoever (which is just fine, the girl is 14!). That's all fine and well, but given what else is out there for teen readers, this book will probably come across as rather tame. Younger teens might like it, but vocabulary might be a concern for tweens.
One of the best
The characters, especially the main character Sophronia, were wickedly funny and engaging.
Her delivery was spot-on.
Anyone wanting a fun, steampunky adventure should download this book!
Addicted to books, especially audiobooks. Read lots and prosper!
Now this is what Young Adult should be - fun and fast and witty! There is no triple love play, agonizing angst and long drawn out periods of self pity. Jump on board Carriger's air ship and have a great adventure!
After listening to this book, I would have to say Moira Quirk is now my second favorite narrator, my first being Katherine Kellgren from the Royal Spyness series. I may even say its a close tie for first!
The story had a perfect balance of humor, intrigue, whit, and charm, and I really enjoyed the surprises well placed through out. I am so looking forward to Curtsies & Conspiracies due in November, and I can only hope this series will continue on even after Finishing School is completed.
I recommended this book to my sister as well, who began to listen to it on her way to and from work. Not only did she say it made her drive more tolerable, but it also gave her something to look forward to on the drive in every morning. She loved it so much, she actually finished listening to it over the weekend at home.
I would recommend this book to anyone from young teen to adult.
Designer. Aviation Enthusiast. Fitness Instructor. Love books. Prefer long series with happy endings in mystery, comedy, fantasy, & romance.
Gail Carriger has an intriguing way of bringing her mythical characters to life. She describes an old world of parasols, finishing schools, plush dresses, and fancy ladies in such a way that it makes me what to run out and go steam punk/victorian. I love this style of book with love, intrigue, mystery, etiquette, and a twist around every corner. What is even more fun and interesting about Gail's writing is her word choices, she is always using fun and whimsical speech styles to bring out the moment, but she does it in a way that you know exactly what the words mean and do not need a dictionary. She will grow your vocabulary whilst entertaining you.
This book is not part of the Parasol Protectorate series, I preferred that series to this one but is of the same caliber. You will enjoy yourself and be thoroughly entertained with both series of books.
Sci-Fi, Fantasy, historical fiction, mystery, thrillers with sarcasm are my favorites.
What do you do with a daughter who seems to be in the center of all mischief in the house and has a ghastly curtsy? Why send her to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.
The listener shortly discovers that the school also teaches the young ladies a very useful skill sets all designed to turn out a perfectly groomed & elegantly dressed and mannered ladies who can steal the crown jewels and battle with the king's guards all while not messing her hair or clothing.
I admit it I bought this book because I absolutely loved Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate and I was not disappointed.
Now this was just plain fun! I haven't read the other novels by Carriger so I had no preconceptions or notions of how this would unwind. What I found was a wildly outrageous take on the gilded age. A fun, mannerly, tongue-in-cheek spin on Edwardian England - with just the right touch of steampunk.
Werewolves and vampires have been so overdone as to be pedestrian and steampunk is still in enough of its infancy as a literary genre as to be undefined. Carriger took the overdefined and underdefined and deftly created a great romp of a novel.
I highly recommend this book and look forward to the upcoming sequels in the series. And I'm definitely going to go get the other books set in this world.
I really had no expectations when I downloaded this book. I did so on a whim because I saw it had gotten good ratings and it was not that expensive. What I got was a very fun story about an adventurous young woman covertly recruited to attend a boarding school for spies and assassins. A fun story for teen and adults alike.
I’ve read and listen this delightful book simultaneously, and have to admit that flawless narration and highly artistic performance added to the fascinating by itself story more charm and attractiveness.
I didn’t listen any other books narrated by Moira Quirk yet, but going to browse something right away.
Definitely looking forward for the next installment in the series.
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