The Janus Affair (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Series #2)

The Janus Affair (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Series #2)

by Pip Ballantine

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062049780
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/29/2012
Series: Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Series , #2
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 366,484
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.50(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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The Janus Affair: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Melhay More than 1 year ago
Lena disappears before Eliza on the train in a flash of lightning, but just before doing so asks Eliza for help. Eliza wants and requests the case, but being a Junior Archivist (not on field work) and compromised with knowing the victim, is not given the case. Agent Bruce Campbell is given the case. While at a suffragist meeting another lady, one well known to Eliza, is attacked. Eliza now starts to investigate the case with Wellington's help, and finds it leads to the suffragist women going missing and protecting the one woman who could lead the England Suffragists into a new time. This particular incident seems to go back several years in the archives when investigated into it, all unsolved and referencing the burnt metal smell and flash of light. As far away from the past as both our partnered agents might think, it will creep up to them fast here. Both of our courageous characters are haunted by their history. One that wants it back and the other who can't forget it. Eliza's past keeps showing up in London...a suffragist from New Zealand, an old love...all the things that bring Eliza's exiled home fresh to the front of her mind. We see Eliza with a touch of vulnerability with her yearning for her home land, and missing her family and friends. Wellington's mind is daunting by his memories of his commanding father. Boy do I love Wellington and the secrets he has. We get a small taste of what he has up his sleeves, yet still so mysterious! I want to tell Eliza, Wellington is much more than she knows...stronger and deadlier than she thinks, yet such a gentleman. I just love seeing Wellington's spunk. The secrets he's hiding are starting to seep through the longer he is with the adventurous Eliza, and becoming visible to those around them. We are sucked into the mystery in the prelude wondering what Lena is running from and why. Then what the heck happened to her on the train in front of Eliza!? Shocking! And the electrifying mystery will have you guessing and looking for clues with our duo. I have to mention the chapter headings, titles as per say. Ha ha! Love these. They make me smile and give a little of whats to come in the chapter. And they call Eliza a Pepperpot! The Ministry Seven is back! These kids add a lovely touch to the story with Eliza and Wellington. Almost a family feeling. There is a young Verity mentioned. I love Verity! and so excited to see here status here. Between listening to the Tales from the Archives and reading the books I know Verity is in the Tales from the Archives, but not 100% sure of Phoenix Rising. I do enjoy hearing of her again though. Brilliant young lady. Speaking of the Tales from the Archives! It is NOT necessary to listen or read them to enjoy any of these books. But, yes always a but... But they do give a few back stories you could very well enjoy, especially after reading this book. If you are curious about Eliza and the happenings related to Kate, you can read or listen to the podcast that highlights this story. But do take a listen to The Evil that Befell Sampson. Now to go with learning about Eliza's past, if you are more curious about Wellington and his father you can learn a touch on that as well with the Tales from the Archives. We have Sins of the Father, in podcast form.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am SO taken with Welly and Eliza, I can't even take you, and my love affair with them has only grown since Book 1. In The Janus Affair, we see Welly and Eliza a year after we met them in Book 1. They've grown comfortable with each other, and closer as partners and friends. Eliza's still up to her old tricks, and involves herself in unsolved cases that fellow agent Bruce Campbell refuses to investigate, much to Welly's chagrin. But Eliza is a hard woman to say no to, and the two are off and running trying to protect key members of London's suffragist movement, which just so happens to include Kate Campbell, Eliza's old mentor from New Zealand. There is plenty of interesting tension going on here between Welly and Eliza, which worked for me because this was exactly what I wanted to see more of after Book 1 ended. A lot of the tension comes from the arrival of Kate's son, Douglas, who just so happened to be Eliza's former fiancee. Seeing Welly's reactions to Douglas was extremely entertaining, touching, and insightful, and seeing a different, softer side to Eliza was nice, too. They work so well together, and it's kind of adorable to see the different ways they have both rubbed off on each other. I thought the central plot was good and moved well, and there were a lot of little pieces to the story. Douglas was annoying, Bruce was irritating, the Ministry Seven were adorable, and the resolution had plenty of action to it. And like Book 1, the few loose ends that were left dangling only served to keep me interested and wishing Book 3 was coming out soon, versus annoyed. I still tripped over vocabulary and Victorian customs and descriptions (since this I don't usually read historical or steampunk), and spent a lot of the book wondering exactly what some of the objects looked like (this is when I wish there were pictures in books); but there was enough of a description to help me along, and whenever I stumbled, I just imagined something that seemed to fit and kept on going. And it was kind of fun to see a steampunk equivalent to some modern inventions, like a motorcycle, a computer, a laptop, and a movie projector. There was a lot packed into this novel, so it still felt dense (like Book 1), but I don't see that as a bad thing, just a writing style. However, there were a lot of typos in this book that were a little annoying. I'm not talking about English spelling versus American, but things like random commas appearing for no reason; a little more proofreading would have been good. All told, I'm loving this series so far. I love the quirks, the sense of humor, the world, and the main protagonists. If you want a good, solid read, and are willing to try something new, I would highly recommend The Janus Affair.
Dreamstobecome More than 1 year ago
The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences is a top-notch, top-secret agency within Her Majesty Queen Victoria's government in London. A sort of steampunk X-Files if you will. Archivist Wellington Thornhill Books, Esq. and rowdy colonial field agent (now Junior Archivist) Eliza D. Braun are a match made in odd couple heaven. He prefers the quiet of the Ministry's Archives, she prefers exotic blends of dynamite. You get the picture. Currently restricted to the Archives, these two find themselves unwittingly in the midst of a Peculiar Occurrence when Eliza's suffragist friends start disappearing in a startlingly bizarre manner. Someone has a device which essentially teleports the victim out of the spot they are standing in to an unknown location, and these women are never heard from again. Despite the Ministry's strict orders to leave the case alone, Books and Braun plunge headfirst into a private investigation for various reasons of their own, one of which being that the agent assigned to the actual task is deemed incompetent by Eliza. Mischief and mayhem are indeed afoot as they enlist the help of Eliza's part-clockwork maid Alice, a ragtag group of street urchins known as the Ministry Seven, and a former lover of Miss Braun's, one Douglas Sheppard. Tensions are high and intrigue is heavy as things start to unravel for them... but this is a no-spoiler zone, and let me just tell you that the reveals are absolutely worth it when you get to them in the book. Authors Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris are absolutely hands down two of the cleverest authors I know. Phoenix Rising was a fantastic jaunt into a steampunk world with wit and intrigue. The Janus Affair not only meets that standard but triples it. I felt my jaw drop open so hard several times that it popped audibly. I was white-knuckled gripping the pages. I was up till three in the morning to finish because I needed to know what HAPPENED. And the authors do not disappoint. I am positively drunk with excitement for the third installment. Tee and Pip are heartily my heroes, and I recommend this book to everyone all the time. It has everything. EVERYTHING. And it gets better and better with each page turn.
JJbooklvr on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This is the sequel to Phoenix Rising and continues the adventures of Books and Braun. If you are a fan of Steampunk this should be on your list of books to read this year. I just love the interplay of the two main characters who never seem to be able to stay out of trouble and yet always manage to save the day.
wkelly42 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
The Wait Is Over.That¿s all I could think of when review copies were made available for the sequel to last year¿s Phoenix Rising ¿ the first volume chronicling the adventures of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. That book, added to my habitual reading of the Girl Genius webcomic, became my gateway into the world of steampunk ¿ a truly fascinating place, to be sure.The Janus Affair starts off on a hypertrain, with a woman who vanishes right in front of Eliza Braun. Turns out that the woman is (or was) a suffragist, and knew Eliza. Of course, Braun and her partner, Wellington Thornhill Books, Esquire (it just seems wrong somehow to leave any part of his name out when addressing him), are told to leave the case to the field agent ¿ in this case, Eliza¿s countryman Bruce Campbell. We find out that this isn¿t the first time a noted suffragist has disappeared, and Eliza¿s old friend Kate Sheppard, a noted New Zealand suffragist, is in England to boost morale. And of course ¿ well, you can put two and two together, and see that Eliza feels duty bound to protect Kate, no matter what the Ministry thinks. And of course, Books is in it up to his neck.But things are not as they seem. As more and more suffragists disappear, the movement threatens to fall into disarray. Eliza is attacked at her home. Books squares off against Douglas Sheppard, who fans of the Ministry¿s podcast may remember from Episode 1 (The Evil That Befell Sampson), and in particular his ¿ attachment to Ms. Braun. (That story is also available in one of the Tales from the Archives anthologies that are still available on Amazon for $2.99.) Suffice to say that Mr. Sheppard¿s arrival in England is welcomed by Eliza, and not so much by Wellington, and I will leave the rest to your imagination until you read it for yourself. The resolution to this particular plot thread was, I thought, rather satisfying.In fact, the whole book is rather satisfying. We learn much more about Wellington Thornhill Books, Esq. than we have even in the short stories ¿ enough that we see he¿s not the nebbish that we may have thought he was. And we learn more of Agent Campbell in this book ¿ enough to know that he isn¿t, in fact, as bad as we had thought before ¿ he is much worse. We see more of the Ministry 7 in action, we see Eliza¿s housekeeper in action, we see Wellington kiss a girl (two, actually, and I¿m not telling who they are!). There are airship battles, perilous chase scenes, life and death struggles ¿ and there is RUGBY. So what more could you possible want out of a book?One thing I want to note for those who missed Phoenix Rising ¿ while there are some things in this book that refer back to the previous volume, do NOT feel that you can¿t jump into this series right now. Once you do, you will feel compelled to read the first book, then get the three volumes of short stories set in this world, and THEN subscribe to the podcast, but you won¿t miss out on anything important if you jump in here.There is a concern among many people in writing a sequel, and it is addressed in the prologue to this book."There is always that daunting task after you write a book, people want more. Sure, it¿s always good when people want more. It means they like you. (They really, really like you!) So you get started on the sequel ¿ and that¿s when it sinks in ¿ you¿ve got to clear the bar you¿ve set for yourself."The Janus Affair clears the bar masterfully, and leaves me wondering now ¿ What will they do next? The bar is now even higher.
samantha.1020 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
There are those books that suck you in completely and pull you deep down into their depths. When you stop reading it is almost painful because you were submersed in the world that you were reading about. And the characters....books like this make me feel like I know these characters. That maybe they were once intimate friends of mine. This is one of those books for me! Stepping back into The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences was like visiting old friends but only better because I swear that I enjoyed this book even more than the first!I LOVED The Janus Affair! Loved it! Everything that I enjoyed about Phoenix Rising was back in this second book and there was more! That's right...more! In this book, Eliza and Wellington begin to secretly investigate the very odd and mysterious disappearances of a few leaders of the feminist movement. Secretly investigate because it seems like these disappearances are being ignored by the Ministry. And Eliza and Books are still in hot water for all of the trouble that they managed to cause from their last case. As always trouble is underfoot whenever these two get their hands on a good mystery.One of my favorite things about this book was the growing and changing relationship between Books and Eliza. I'll try to be as spoiler-free as possible but it really was what MADE this book for me. I loved the fractures and misunderstandings that were abundant and played an important role in this book. I felt like each step of the book was leading up to something, and that something happened at the end of the book just like I had hoped! Did I say that I loved this book already??? I seriously did! I had a hard time putting the book down and found myself wondering how I am going to possibly wait for the next book to come out. Aack! I may end up rereading these two books to help hold me off until book 3 comes out. But back to my thoughts on it. The steampunk aspect was fun to read about it...I loved reading about all of the different gadgets and gizmos. Although there were a few times that the technical parts of explanation went way over my head, I felt like it really added to the story. I've got to add that I really like the mystery that is included in the interludes throughout the book. I feel like these interludes are giving us hints on whats to come in the series. It is very intriguing! Reading this book was such a fun-filled adventure with unexpected twists and turns and so much more! I can't get enough of these books and I'm really eager to see what kinds of trouble Eliza and Books can get into next. Because you just know that somehow they are going to get themselves in more trouble. It is bound to happen. And I'll be there to read all about it!!All in all, a deliciously good read and a great follow-up to the 1st book! I highly recommend this series if you haven't tried it yet. Especially if you are thinking about dipping your toes in the steampunk genre. You won't be disappointed! As for me, I'm going to be impatiently waiting for the next book to come out. Highly recommended!Bottom Line: An unputdownable read! Already a favorite series of mine and we are only on book 2!Disclosure: I was lucky enough to receive an e-galley of this through Edelweiss and the publisher.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fast pace and few surprises make this book an enjoyable read.
Chuck_vdL More than 1 year ago
Great fun, enjoyed it fully.  Great continuation of the series, if you liked book1, you ought to love this.  Wonderful to see the characters develop and learn to trust each other's skills and abilities
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DonO More than 1 year ago
This second novel provides the same flair and opportunity for imagination received in the first installment. References to the previous novel provide continuity without necessitating the reader to have read the first novel. Remeniscient of Steed and Peale with more 'punch'.
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iambubby More than 1 year ago
A can"t miss series, if you love steampunk!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy this series. Great characters, gadgets, plot, and action. My only complaint is this--I prefer the mystery of the plot to remain a mystery. I don't like knowing who the bad guys are let alone knowing what they are doing before the end of the story. Knowing ahead of the end takes away the suspense, the excitement and the challenge of reading the book. I have to skip those chapters to continue enjoying the book. I have this opinion no matter what genre of book I read. It is one of my pet peeves and I am sure I am not the only reader who feels this way. I hope I do not have to continue skipping chapters in future books of this series or I may end up skipping the future books completely. I certainly hope not as I really do thoroughly enjoy everything else about this series. Thank you for the opportunity to voice my opinion and I do hope that the fine authors consider it.
ElizabethT More than 1 year ago
Really can't wait for the next one. These authors never disappoint. I highly recommend reading this series.
Wetlander87 More than 1 year ago
I've been following Morris and Ballantine for going on 5 years since listening to their podcasted fiction and really have come to enjoy their respective styles. I was excited when I heard a preview of their fist steampunk MOPO novel Phoniex Rising in 2009 and greatly enjoyed it when I finally got to read it last year. I've been looking forward to the sequel ever since and am happy to say Tee and Pip deliver again with the Janus Affair. This is steampunk done right. It's not just about cool goggles and retro gadgets but also about character and Victorian themes. If anyone asks you what is steampunk I would recommend this book and it's predecessor. While i enjoyed the book over all I feel like the authors rushed certain aspects of the character development and character romances. I don't feel they jumped the shark( this is steam punk afterall) and I have enough in the authors that I will continue to anticipate future novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris never fail to entertain! The Janus Affair is a great follow up to Pheonix Rising!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun and surprisingly rich in detail - the suspense is perfectly done.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awful lot of fun!