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
An engaging story, relatable main character, and fantastic world created by Carriger is brought to life by the voice talent of Moira Quirk. Top notch combination of story and story teller. I like how Carriger even pokes gentle and good natured fun at a group who sews gears with no purpose to their clothing, and commits a faux pas wearing evening dress before high tea.
A fun listen, appropriate modesty in actions and language, violence is not gratuitous. Wholesome fun in a slightly different universe from what might be expected.
This was more of a YA read but thoroughly enjoyable for teenagers, middle age and older. If you like Harry Potter, this book is reminiscent of Harry only written about a covert girls' school. The characters are enjoyable and the narrator did a phenomenal job with all the characters (boys, girls, men, women and machines)! This was a fun book because of the steam punk theme. I admit I had to restart it about 5 times because I got distracted and you can't miss, otherwise you'll get lost with all the high jinx! I'm looking forward to the next one and anything else narrated by Ms. Quirk!
This is a very good Young Adult series. Predictable but fun with some laugh out loud moments. It's easy to get engaged with the characters and follow along in their escapades.
\m/ Austin, TX
I love Victorian settings and if this wasn't enough Carriger adds steampunk, so when this book came out I scooped it up. Now that it's on audible I had to get it too. Moira Quirk was a great fit for this book. I wish I could do readout-louds the way she does, so flawless. You must read, it's so fun and a great YA book.
Some youth fiction is great for all ages. This is a good book, but it really is for young girls. I would say middle school age. The story features young girls who are typical in the sense of being competitive and cliquish, but whose supposed "finishing school" is teaching them to be spies and assassins. Several characters are charming and issues of race, class and gender are all addressed.
I labored through half of this book hoping it would eventually make some sense. I thought it was going to be a historical novel, but it turned out to be children's fantasy. I gave up on it around the eighth chapter and fast forwarded to the end.
I would not recommend this book to anyone.
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