Phoenix Rising (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Series #1)

Phoenix Rising (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Series #1)

by Pip Ballantine, Tee Morris

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Overview

Co-authors Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris ingeniously reimagine England’s Edwardian Era in Phoenix Rising—a hilarious, rip-roaring steampunk fantasy romp that the voracious fans of New York Times bestseller Gail Carriger will eagerly devour with great relish. In this outrageous, non-stop adventure, Ballantine and Morris introduce us to Agents Books and Braun of the ultra-secret Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences—the most delightful duo of very British evil-bashers since The Avengers, Emma Peel and John Steed. With its malevolent secret societies, earth-shattering conspiracies, breathtaking derring-do, and absolutely wondrous weapons, Phoenix Rising out-Sherlocks Robert Downey, Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062049766
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/26/2011
Series: Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Series , #1
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 368,627
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Born in New Zealand, Philippa (Pip) Ballantine has always had her head in a book. A corporate librarian for thirteen years, she has a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Library and Information Science. She is New Zealand's first podcast novelist and has produced four podiobooks. Many of these have been shortlisted for the Parsec Awards, and she has won a Sir Julius Vogel Award. She is also the author of Geist and the soon-to-be-published Spectyr. While New Zealand calls, currently Philippa calls America home.

While Tee Morris began his writing career with Dragon Moon Press's 2002 historical epic fantasy Morevi: The Chronicles of Rafe and Askana, it is his podcast of that book and works such as Podcasting for Dummies and All a Twitter that have earned him the distinction as one of the pioneers of social media. With Phoenix Rising, Tee returns to where he prefers to be—his imagination. When he is not there, Tee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his five cats and one daughter, all of whom have him very well-trained.

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Phoenix Rising 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 98 reviews.
Fallen_Valkyrja More than 1 year ago
You have read other reviews and the blurb so you know what the book is about. The only thing I have to add is that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and will most definitely be picking up the short stories and the next book in the series when it is released. Funny, smart, and imaginative... these authors know how to engage and deliver.
PJaxton More than 1 year ago
First, and foremost, I really love the concept behind Phoenix Rising. Part Avengers (the 60's British TV show, not the superhero comics), part X-Files, part Wild Wild West (again, the TV show, not the movie), and gloriously, drippingly, extravagantly steampunk from beginning to end. It's a romp, and a hoot, and a ripping good yarn to boot. It's a shame this didn't come out in a hardback edition (I've grown to dislike the smaller paperbacks, and opted to finish reading this in ebook form), because it's the kind of book that should be enjoyed in front of a fire, sipping a glass of port, while wearing a smoking jacket. (Okay, I confess, I don't smoke and I rarely wear jackets around the house, so make mine a fluffy dressing robe.) Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine have struck steampunk gold with this collaboration, and I eagerly await the next and subsequent installments of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series. The two main characters are likable and accessible. The reserved archivist, Wellington Books, is just the right blend of British posh and Victorian gear-geek to play foil to the impulsive and -- dare I say it? -- explosive colonial, Eliza Braun. While not an exact copy of Steed and Peale from the Avengers, this duo has all the same sparks flying between them. The interaction of these two is what makes this book (and the hopefully the forthcoming series) a rollicking success. That said, I got the sense in reading Phoenix Rising that the authors may have been too rushed to complete it on time. At times the writing seems hurried, with shortcuts and liberties taken that left me wanting more detail, and a great deal more dialog between Eliza and "Welly". For example, several times Wellington is described as a sort of amateur inventor, and yet we never see the plethora of little gadgets and failed experiments one might expect from such a character. And far too often one or the other character "thinks" they should say something witty, but then doesn't. With characters this awesome, I want to hear every witty thing they have to say, whether they say it out loud or not! In the past year or so, I've read some pretty bad steampunk. It's a genre searching for itself, and sometimes it seems like it's searching in the dark. Well, Morris and Ballantine have found the light and this steampunk effort glows with awesome!
Melhay More than 1 year ago
Wellington Thornhill Books meets the lovely Eliza D. Braun as she is saving his arse from being tortured, by booming the place. But Eliza has a secret about saving Wellington. Agents Books and Braun work for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences in different fields of the company. They each have strong personalities and feelings for the areas they excel in. Street agents and the archivist see each other as two different components. But, for their exceedingly strong believes they are paired up as new partners, in "Books" archives. Yet Agent Braun wants nothing more than anything to be back in the field blowing up something with her favorite weapon, dynamite. Miss Eliza Braun has a hard time at adjusting to being in the Archives trying to file the many magical items and cases away, so Mr. Wellington Books takes her to show her something new deeper in the Archives ~ Cases of the Unknown. After seeing hundreds of cases classified as Cases of the Unknown (Books opinion of words) Agent Braun decides with her abilities in the field and Books intelligence here in the Archives and basic training, to take on these cases. When Eliza comes across a case in filing that she recognizes as one her last partner had worked and ended up in the mental hospital over, she decides to do as he had done and pick up the case on her personal time. I think I can go on and on about this book. It was so well written and so many different aspects that I enjoyed. The book starts right in with a bang with action and bullets flying every which direction as the main characters meet. Then we step back a bit to have the world of The Ministry drawn for us to understand what they do and the set up of it. We learn the Archives, in the basement of the Ministry's office building, is a library of sorts and storage area for many peculiar items and past case information, almost magical items. The Archives even reminds me a little of the television show Warehouse 13 on the SyFy channel with the warehousing of magical. While we are learning of the Archives we are also getting to know the characters and the rough blend of personalities, but I have to say I love the give and take in jabs between these two. Once they talk of the Cases of the Unknown we see how Eliza then Books get drawn to one particular case. Before they realize it they are eyeballs deep in the investigation. Then we have another addition to the mix as the House of Usher is after Agent Books for reasons we are not yet aware of. The characters are fun! Books is the gentlemanly kind of man, not one who thinks of loads of weapons, but one to get lost in the design of things and the puzzle in figuring them out. Books is one that loves the steam machinery and pully machinery, which is ever present in this book. Eliza is a kick arse ask questions later kind of woman. Eliza is the one who loves weapons and to make things go boom. Books even references her once, to himself as he is so gentlemanly, as the Angel of Destruction. Some might say the book has a slow start or moves slow after the bang of a beginning in the first chapter. However, I have to say it's a perfect balance of action, fun and case building/solving for me. And the dialect and writing styles is a pleasure to read. This is a book to sit down with and enjoy from all angles; world building, characters, case solving ~ all for the style, fun, and mystery of it. Until next book I have the podcasts of different cases
harstan More than 1 year ago
In London, someone abducts the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences archivist Wellington Thornhill Books. Field Agent Eliza Braun rescues him from his Antarctic prison. However, though she gets the job done, the MPO leadership decides Braun uses too much brawn with her excessive collateral damage and Books thinks the archives is his personal library. Ministry Director Dr. Sound finds a subtle solution to his two problem children. He assigns Braun to work for Books. However, her work there leads her back to her first cold case Rag and Bone Murders that left her partner insane. This quickly takes the operative and the archivist into uncovering a nefarious plot by the House of Usher. Filled with sound and fury, the Director will learn sometimes you get what you wish for. The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences steampunk fantasy is a fun tale starring a gender bending couple with apt surnames of Book and Braun. The story line starts with a big bang at their first encounter and remains loaded with action; but some scenes seem more like cul de sac additions. As the lead pair struggle to survive one escapade after another with the help of cute Oliver Twist kids, fans will enjoy their dysfunctional exploits. Harriet Klausner
Openbooksociety_dot_com More than 1 year ago
An Interesting Read Review brought to you by Verushka Steampunk is not my first choice of genres, with Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate ‘Soulless’ being my first introduction to it. So, a steampunk novel is going to have to work hard to keep me interested and Phoenix Rising succeeds admirably. The climax of the novel might have given me flashbacks to Branagh in the unfortunate Wild Wild West, but that was short-lived, and also a movie (yes, I watch too many movies that have nothing to do with the rich, engaging and absolutely enjoyable prose of this novel). Eliza Braun, a field agent is introduced to us mid-mission on her way to rescue Wellington Books, an Archivist at the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, a clandestine organisation dedicated to investigating, well, peculiar and supernatural occurrences for Queen and country. Books is a bookworm, happier stuck in the Archive of the Ministry, filing unsolved cases and ignoring the voice of his father in the back of his mind and his upper-crust upbringing. Eliza is his complete opposite, a fiery and brash colonial (a New Zealander, and proud of it, much like Pip Ballantine, one of the authors. As an Australian, the references did make laugh out loud). Her attitude gets her in trouble more often than not, despite her talent as a field agent and this is what lands her in what is probably the most boring place in the Ministry to her, the Archive as Book’s assistant. What is interesting though, is that Eliza begins the book by keeping a secret from her rescue mission of Books, concerning Books from him, and by the end of the book, Books in turn does the same with her. By then though, readers are fully aware that neither is what they seem, and what I think is a joy to read is that when these characters do learn from each other, and about each other causes them both to develop further as characters, when too often things like that can be forgotten within a novel. It isn’t the most original set-up, but the authors’ talent and skill elevates what is a common plot to something better. The elements of steampunk that have always fascinated me, and all are present in this book: the Ministry, with their gadgets and their secret agents in need of gadgets, not to mention a secret Phoenix society hell bent on destruction and power. Everything is primed to show off some remarkable incorporations of modern tech that had me laughing as I was reading this on the train to work. The gems in this book though are Eliza and Books, both as fabulously alive within these pages, as they are opposites. The book takes readers to both aspects of London reflected in their characters – the working class pubs where Eliza feels at home, and the upper-crust of society where Books knows he can fit in, but might not feel quiet at home. I should mention though, as much as Eliza loves London, she is colonial and proud of it, and longs for New Zealand. The book works hard in making each overcome their pre-conceptions of each other, but again the authors’ skill saved a simple plot tactic from being boring. It is fun watching Books fluster at the depths to Eliza which brings me to something else – the cover does create a misconception in regards to the story, for it is Eliza and Books’ story, not just her’s. (cont) For the FULL review and more visit openbooksociety dot com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Phoenix Rising was my first foray into the steampunk genre, so I have no idea how it stacks up with steampunk other books. I'm not quite sure how to sum it up except to say that I enjoyed it and really, really liked it. On top of having never read a steampunk book before, I've never read either author, nor have I read a lot of historical-ish books, so I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I started reading. I was a little apprehensive, and I did feel a tiny bit out of my depth with some of the language (the phrasing and vocabulary in particular tripped me up from time to time). There were also more descriptions than I'm used to, and more depth to the story than I anticipated, so there were times when, despite all of the action going on (and there really was a lot going on), the story felt slow and a little dense. But the main characters drew me in and kept me hooked. Honestly, how can you not like that the gun-toting, explosive-loving lady is named Braun? And that the nerdy, detail-loving, rules-abiding gent is named Books? Thrown together as partners, they both begrudgingly start opening up over the course of the book, and their dynamic worked for me. I kept laughing at the things they'd say to each other. I love both of them enormously, both separately and together, and I honestly can't wait for the next book to see how their relationship/partnership develops. And I'm not going to lie - I'm pulling for them to end up together, maybe not right away, but eventually. As a general thing for me, I'm not ever super excited to have tidbits/subplots brought up and not resolved by the end, but the ones in Phoenix Rising made me excited to pick up the next book versus being just irritated. I want to know what happens next! Which is a good sign of a first book of a series, and I wish more first series books were as solid as this one. At the end of the day, I really enjoyed Phoenix Rising. It's probably not for everyone, but if you can keep an open mind and enjoy some good bantering, I'd suggest giving it a try. Favorite excerpt: She groaned as her face turned to press against the rosewood floor. "Welly, remind me to order a better mattress for my bed. This one is far too firm." "Oh, Eliza," Wellington gasped, now remembering why he was in these lush surroundings. "No broken nose, I hope." "S'all right," Braun slurred. Her voiced dropped to a whisper. "My ample bosom broke my fall."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a breath of fresh air for me. I can't wait for the next one!
Joseph Baker More than 1 year ago
X-files steampunk style
Murasake More than 1 year ago
It's sometime in the late 1890s--late Victorian London, and Wellington Thornhill Books, Archivist for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences is kidnapped, whisked away to an Antarctic stronghold for, ahem, questioning, and is rescued by Ministry field agent Eliza D. Braun. Upon returning to London, she is assigned to assist Books in the Archives. This is Ministry director Dr. Sound's version of killing two birds with one stone: Eliza Braun is too unpredictable and resistant to orders in the field, and Books is starting to think of the Archives as his. Books has a working Difference Engine that he built himself, and has programmed for all manner of useful tasks. The Archives are filled not just with accounts of solves and unsolved cases, but artifacts--a map to the city of El Dorado, and a Zulu amulet that does truly dangerous things, among others. The agents, including Books, wear rings that can be tracked by the Emergency Tracking System. Braun is not really cut out to be an archivist, and she's haunted by one of the first cases she worked on after arriving in England from New Zealand. Known as the Rag and Bone Murders, the case revolved around bodies found dead and mutilated in a variety of gruesome ways: one drained of all blood, another with all bones removed, yet another with the skin completely removed. She and her first partner, Harrison Thorne, found no solution and the investigation became increasingly dangerous, until they were ordered to stop, and the unsolved case consigned to the Archives. But Harry didn't drop the case, and eventually disappeared for a week, only to turn up near a factory, completely mad. Braun can't let the case go, either, and inevitably sucks the very staid, very proper, very not-a-field-agent Books into the case with her. And that's when things really get dangerous, as they clash with a secret society with its own plans for England, agents of the House of Usher still intent upon questioning Books, a deadly female assassin, and the mad genius who's behind everything--maybe! They repeatedly escape by the skin of their teeth, due to Braun's way with weapons and explosives, or Books' way with machinery and codes. And when the final showdown comes, if they want to survive, they have to get over their mutual friction and incomprehension, and start trusting each other. This is a great romp through a Victorian England that's just off enough to be intriguing, and I found Books and Braun rapidly growing on me. The pace is lively, and the authors keep the reader guessing.
Anonymous 28 days ago
This+book+is+part+Avengers+TV+show%2C+part+Jules+Verne+fantasy%2C+part+X+Files+and+a+ripping+good+yarn++to+boot.++A+secret+organization+investgating+an+even+more+secret+society+promises+much%2C+and+this+book+delivers.++A+fast+paced+story+that+doesn%27t+sacrifice+detailed+world+building%2C+this+bookntells+a+plausible%2C+engaging+story+that+could+cross+over+to+non-steampunk+readers.++The+main+characters+are+likable%2C+the+world+building+is+rooted+just+enough+in+actual+history+to+make+it+believable+and+with+just+enough+steampunk+to+let+you+know+you+are+on+a+unique+journey.++Love+this+book+and+will+definitely+be+getting+the+next+installment+in+the+series.
TheDivineOomba on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really don't think I like the Steampunk Genre. Or maybe I just don't like this book. Hard to say.Its got a couple of annoying characters, one with a very blatant social agenda, and another who is actually quite dull. I'm not sure how I feel about the sexual tension in this book - on one hand, it really doesn't feel natural, on the hand I do like how it was used as a weapon.I think the action scenes were well done, but the book really never slowed down and allowed a reader to catch their breathe. I do think the writing style was excellent- there is a grace and ease that this book has, but with unlikeable, boring characters, a plot that could be tightened up a bit, this book was only an OK read.
JJbooklvr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series. I really enjoyed the interplay between the characters of Braun and Books. This will appeal to fans of steampunk and also anyone who likes a fast-paced story with lots of action and humor. I am looking forward to the sequel.
thewalkinggirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This one is really hard to rate. I loved how it started, just like I loved a lot of the individual chapters. Unfortunately, sometimes the chapters seemed a little too individual, in the sense that it was sometimes hard to transition from one chapter to the next. I think if you were reading each chapter as a separate installment of the story (instead of reading it in one sitting) it would be less noticeable.The publisher compared this to Carriger's Soulless series, which in some ways makes sense to me, but in other ways it's almost more like a combination of Read or Die, Pratchett's The Truth and Lara Croft with maybe some James Bond and Avengers thrown in. Yes, I just dumped a lot of pop culture references on you, but if you find that really annoying, you're probably not going to like this book -- granted, in the book it's mostly 19th century pop culture, but still.I liked the hero and heroine, both separately and together. I liked how their work relationship kind of flirts with potential romantic aspects, but doesn't push it. I also liked how intricate some of the individual elements of the story were. I didn't like how sometimes those elements moved from intricate to precious. I also didn't like the sexual-predator aspect of the villain(s). It was, in my opinion, unnecessary to the story and distasteful. Looking back, I'm wondering if it was a deliberate reference to Victorian sexual mores, but while I was reading it I was caught off guard and found it an unwelcome addition to the story. So unwelcome, that from shortly after Welly and Eliza arrive at the house party, I pretty much skimmed until a little before the end.Despite my complaints, there's enough potential in this story that I'm interested in reading the next. I think that some of the transition problems will be solved with a little more joint-writing experience and the story itself is interesting enough that I do want to see what happens to Wellington and Eliza, Sound, Sophia and the other characters.This review is based on a digital ARC received via NetGalley.
wakela on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If I could only use one word to describe this book it would be SPLEDIFEROUS! First off, I absolutely loved the characters. They were completely backwards. First off, the female (Braun) was the strong, overbearing, blow everything up type. Whereas, the male (Books) was more the calm, intellectual type. Even though that is their main personality type, there are so many layers to them that you get to see as the story progresses.The plot was incredible. I couldn¿t put this book down! There were so many times that this book had me laughing though. I loved some of the references such as Barnabas and Angelique Collins or Bruce Campbell. Ingenious!In conjunction with the Wakela's World Disclosure Statement, I received a product in order to enable my review. No other compensation has been received. My statements are an honest account of my experience with the brand. The opinions stated here are mine alone.
wkelly42 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An evil brotherhood (possibly two) is threatening the British Empire and, it stands to reason, the civilized world. Unfortunately, the only man who knows anything about it is being kept in a drugged stupor in a mental institution. And mental institutions in Victorian England are not places to be left in. Only two people can solve the mystery of what in the world is going on ¿ an Archivist who spends most of his time in a basement office, and a field agent whose previous cases have resulted in her being placed on probation ¿ in the care of the aforementioned archivist. But both are highly trained agents of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, so really anything can happen.And trust me, it does.A one word review ¿ wow. Another word ¿ exquisite. I simply am thankful at this point that the wise people at HarperCollins have bought this as a series, because after one book all I can think of is ¿When is the next one coming out??!¿I have read both Morris and Ballentine before, and have enjoyed both authors¿ work. When I heard that they were getting together for a steampunk series, I knew I had to keep track of it. When they announced publication, it immediately went on my must read list. And when NetGalley offered the ebook for reviewers? I couldn¿t click ¿Request¿ fast enough. I wasn¿t disappointed at all.Steampunk is a fascinating genre, and Ballantine and Morris have captured it perfectly. I think this series could serve as a great introduction to the genre, in fact, since you really don¿t have to have much of an understanding of steampunk to enjoy the book. There also seems to be an element or two of the pulp genre, though much of that is actually turned on it¿s head. And of course, there are the main characters, who remind me of every male/female pulp partnership I¿ve ever read or heard about ¿ with one major difference. See, traditionally the man is the aggressive, guns blazing type, and the woman (if she isn¿t just the damsel in distress) is the perfectionist, analytical type who needs saving quite a bit. And at first glance, we¿ve got the formula here ¿ the main characters are, after all, named Books and Braun.In this book, though, that would be Wellington Thornhill Books, Archivist, and Eliza D. Braun, field agent. And everything you ever thought you knew about this type of adventure fiction is now turned completely upside down.And that is the fun of the book. That and the interplay between these two polar opposites, who are thrown together and who end up corrupting each other. No ¿ not like that (not in this book, anyway). But that kind of tension is there, too. Some of the scenes reminded me of Moonlighting, in fact, especially in the way that Eliza Braun seemed to enjoy making Books ¿ uncomfortable. Strong characterization is something I always look for in fiction, and I certainly found it here. These are characters that I felt like I knew, and I want to know more about them.The plot is a classic. Secret society has superweapons, and they¿re trying to take over the world for it¿s own good. In the process, they¿re perfectly willing to kill anyone that gets in their way. Books and Braun, of course, are intent on getting in their way. And, of course, there are twists and turns so that, while you may know how it will turn out, you won¿t really know how it gets there, or why. AND, there are enough loose ends left dangling in our faces that we¿re just going to have to get the next book, and the one after that, and so on ¿.
rgurskey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wherein this reader was not overly impressed with the prose of this first novel in a possible serial and will not peruse any further offerings by either of the scribes of this adventure.
Bibliotropic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If the X-Files dealt more with artifacts and the truth behind urban legends, and existed in Victorian London, you might end up with something like the Minsitry of Peculiar Occurences, office of Her Majesty the Queen, handler of those strange events that need to be taken care of in the most discrete and sensitive way possible.That is, until Eliza Braun comes in with gons a-blazing, with Wellington Books shaking his head in long-suffering acceptance.Phoenix Rising is the first book in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurences series, and what a fantastic beginning it was. We get thrown right into the action and intrigue, which doesn't let up its pace for the whole of the book. Through a series of circumstances which doesn't please either of the two main characters, Agents Books and Braun (lovely pun on the ideas of intelligence and brute strength, which they respectively embody) are thrown together, and among other things, find themselves embroiled in a conspiracy to overthrown the Queen and restore glory to the remains of the British Empire.And that's in their off-hours.Ballantine and Morris bring together a wonderful blend of writing styles that show great creativity and talent for the little details of Victorian steampunk living, as well as a sense of humour that left me chuckling aloud at some moments (such as the chapter titles). It seems to me that this was a book that must have been as fun to write as it was for me to read, and the enjoyment shows in the tone of the novel; even during the tense and serious moments, there's witty humour and sarcasm, and you tear through the pages wanting to know just what happens next.Phoenix Rising is, ultimately, a fast-paced action-adventure that should not be missed. To fans of steampunk, or just fans of books with a good plot and sense of humour, this is one book that should definitely be gracing your bookshelves. And I don't say that lightly; this is a book that was given to me for free as an e-ARC, and I know very well that I'm going to be buying a hard copy as soon as I can. It isn't often that I do that, but in this case, I'll make a very happy exception.
theepicrat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Ministry Of Peculiar Occurrences is not happy with field agent Eliza Braun, especially after getting a little too dynamite-happy in Antarctica while rescuing archivist Wellington Books. As a proper British organization, they prefer a little more discreteness and lot less kaboom. Hence, they re-assign Agent Braun to the Archives with Agent Books to learn how to stay out of trouble. Will Books be successful in keeping a tight leash on Agent Braun - or will he find himself getting dragged along with Braun whom trouble seems unable to resist?Phoenix Rising starts off quite delightfully with a most improper rescue-and-explosion, but the aftermath did not quite catch my fancy. I can see how Agents Braun and Books may charm readers with their unlikely pairing - Eliza as impulsive and headstrong, Wellington as by-the-book and action-impaired. However, I wasn't quite sold on the peculiar occurrences that they investigated - and I don't think all the sinister and mysterious sideplots were fully addressed. I wished that I had enjoyed Phoenix Rising a little bit more (I love its cover!), but we just didn't click quite right.
MelHay on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wellington Thornhill Books meets the lovely Eliza D. Braun as she is saving his arse from being tortured, by booming the place. But Eliza has a secret about saving Wellington. Agents Books and Braun work for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences in different fields of the company. They each have strong personalities and feelings for the areas they excel in. Street agents and the archivist see each other as two different components. But, for their exceedingly strong believes they are paired up as new partners, in "Books" archives. Yet Agent Braun wants nothing more than anything to be back in the field blowing up something with her favorite weapon, dynamite. Miss Eliza Braun has a hard time at adjusting to being in the Archives trying to file the many magical items and cases away, so Mr. Wellington Books takes her to show her something new deeper in the Archives ~ Cases of the Unknown. After seeing hundreds of cases classified as Cases of the Unknown (Books opinion of words) Agent Braun decides with her abilities in the field and Books intelligence here in the Archives and basic training, to take on these cases. When Eliza comes across a case in filing that she recognizes as one her last partner had worked and ended up in the mental hospital over, she decides to do as he had done and pick up the case on her personal time.I think I can go on and on about this book. It was so well written and so many different aspects that I enjoyed.The book starts right in with a bang with action and bullets flying every which direction as the main characters meet. Then we step back a bit to have the world of The Ministry drawn for us to understand what they do and the set up of it. We learn the Archives, in the basement of the Ministry's office building, is a library of sorts and storage area for many peculiar items and past case information, almost magical items. The Archives even reminds me a little of the television show Warehouse 13 on the SyFy channel with the warehousing of magical. While we are learning of the Archives we are also getting to know the characters and the rough blend of personalities, but I have to say I love the give and take in jabs between these two. Once they talk of the Cases of the Unknown we see how Eliza then Books get drawn to one particular case. Before they realize it they are eyeballs deep in the investigation. Then we have another addition to the mix as the House of Usher is after Agent Books for reasons we are not yet aware of.The characters are fun! Books is the gentlemanly kind of man, not one who thinks of loads of weapons, but one to get lost in the design of things and the puzzle in figuring them out. Books is one that loves the steam machinery and pully machinery, which is ever present in this book. Eliza is a kick arse ask questions later kind of woman. Eliza is the one who loves weapons and to make things go boom. Books even references her once, to himself as he is so gentlemanly, as the Angel of Destruction.Some might say the book has a slow start or moves slow after the bang of a beginning in the first chapter. However, I have to say it's a perfect balance of action, fun and case building/solving for me. And the dialect and writing styles is a pleasure to read. This is a book to sit down with and enjoy from all angles; world building, characters, case solving ~ all for the style, fun, and mystery of it.I will be looking forward to the next book with these characters and steampunk world. But until then I will be listening to the podcasts of different cases in the Cases of the Unknown section of the Archives.
samantha.1020 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary from Goodreads:"Evil is most assuredly afoot¿and Britain¿s fate rests in the hands of an alluring renegade . . . and a librarian.These are dark days indeed in Victoria¿s England. Londoners are vanishing, then reappearing, washing up as corpses on the banks of the Thames, drained of blood and bone. Yet the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences¿the Crown¿s clandestine organization whose bailiwick is the strange and unsettling¿will not allow its agents to investigate. Fearless and exceedingly lovely Eliza D. Braun, however, with her bulletproof corset and a disturbing fondness for dynamite, refuses to let the matter rest . . . and she¿s prepared to drag her timorous new partner, Wellington Books, along with her into the perilous fray."My Thoughts:This is one of those books that I just HAD to read. I saw the cover while browsing on the internet and then I read the above summary...I just knew that this was my type of book and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I'm happy to say that Phoenix Rising was as good as I hoped it would be and far exceeded my expectations! It was such a fun read and the action started on page one and didn't let up until the end of the book. One of the best things about this book was the two main characters Eliza and Books. They were completely opposite of each other in every way but it still allowed for a certain type of chemistry to develop between them. The adventures and mystery that they found themselves involved in moved the story along at a fast pace. And there were some funny moments inserted within the story as well. This all added up to a really solid read for me that I enjoyed immensely. I'm sure that this book will draw comparisons to Gail Carriger's Soulless series but I found that I liked this book for different reasons (and I'm an uber-fan of Gail's series). I'm eager to see what kind of trouble Eliza and Books can stir up next. Highly recommended especially to fans of steampunk!Bottom Line: A fun, fast-paced read that I couldn't get enough of! I just became an instant fan of this series :)Disclosure: Checked out from my local library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(I think it was a counciler office or something... all i know was that it was some type of office)
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Ursula4400 More than 1 year ago
I only made it to page 5. Didn't care for it.