The Captain’s Log – etiquette & espionage (Gail Carrigar)

Ahoy there me mateys!  This was an audiobook that I picked up because I was looking for a fluffy fun read and the cover, title, and the small part of the blurb that I read sounded appealing.  The story involves a finishing school where girls learn the traditional arts like dance and how to curtsy and the not so usual arts of espionage like poison, knives, and seduction.

The cover looks like this:

Therefore I was surprised to find out that the main character was only 14 and that this was YA.  I had assumed from the cover that the protagonist would be at least 16 but more like 17 going on 18.  She does NOT look 14 in the cover.  Apparently the author has another series called the Parasol Protectorate that stars an older spinster which is what I mistakenly thought I was reading.  This book was part of the Finishing School series marketed more for the younger set.  Should have perhaps read the blurb in full.

That being said, I got mostly what I wanted.  I did like the protagonist, Sophronia.  She is a bit of a special snowflake but I was won over by her in the end.  The plot is fluffy and makes little sense at times but I did enjoy it.  I chuckled at many parts which was nice.  And I loved the pet “mechanimal” and its part in the story.  The other students were fun but didn’t get nearly enough page time.  I also would have liked more descriptions of the espionage training, especially in the use of the fan.

Light on plot and characterization but full of fun and silliness, I do think I would read the next in the series.  I also am tempted by the other more adult series though I hear it is more of a romance.  If the crew has any opinions on these series then please chime in!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

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. Temminnick 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.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Gail Carriger – Author

To buy the book go to:

etiquette & espionage – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

19 thoughts on “The Captain’s Log – etiquette & espionage (Gail Carrigar)

  1. I recently read this book for the same reason! I just wanted something fluffy and fun and escapist. We certainly got that, didn’t we? I don’t think I’ll be continuing the series, however. Like you pointed out, I think I want an older protagonist. I struggled with how sometimes Sophronia acts like she’s 14 and most of the time… well, she seems a bit age-less. It was frustrating to me. Will you continue reading these?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At the time I thought I would read more in this series but I am in no rush. It may not even happen. I enjoyed it but I didn’t love it. I was told the other series in the same world has an older protagonist. But there seems to be a lot of romance. So I am not sure about that either. A local library does have many of them in audio book form so at least I wouldn’t be spending me hoarded loot to read it. Just me tax dollars. I be okay with that.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are quite a few series where I am in no rush to finish them. A few are because I don’t want it to end. The majority are because I am not super interested. Interested enough it might become fun reading some day, and interested enough to keep it as a “just in case” sort of book.

        The library is an amazing resource. I am all about taking advantage!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I also have a lot of series I am not interested in finishing. At some point I feel like I need to make of list of the abandoned ones and the ones I will finish. But it feels like a big time commitment and I am not in the mood yet. I adore the library. I also take full advantage!
        x The Captain

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I like the idea of making lists like that myself, but I never find the time to do it, honestly. It’s more of an ideal than a real idea. 😉 There was a Top Ten Tuesday at one point which explored series we will haven’t finished yet. I felt that was a good use of a TTT. It helped me realize what series I should still finish and which ones I just need to abandon. Just a good thought exercise.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read all of Gail Carriger’s books, and loved them all! Like you, I was a little surprised by how young Sophronia is in this book — and actually, I didn’t get into it and thought it was *too* young the first time I read it. Fortunately, I was convinced to give it another try last year, and ended up listening to all four books via audio. The series gets better and better as it goes along, and I ended up loving it. The Parasol Protectorate is amazing and absolutely worth reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad ye found the rest of the books in the books in the series get better. When the correct mood strikes, I will likely listen to the other books via audio as well. It may take a while because the mood for this type of read is rare. We shall see. Thanks for readin’ an’ commenting.
      x The Captain


  3. “Light on plot and characterization but full of fun and silliness” is why I’m enjoying her other series that’s about Prudence, the daughter of her protagonist in Parasol Protectorate. Though that one’s starting to become too “romance-y” as well, so I’ll have to see if I’m willing to stick with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve heard these are fun. Glad you like it. I think I have the first of the Parasol Protectorate series. It was very popular a while back and I wanted to, and still want to, read it.

    Liked by 1 person

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