Wednesday, March 23, 2011
40) Phoenix Rising by Philippa Ballantine & Tee Morris
These are dark days indeed in Victoria’s England. Londoners are vanishing, then reappearing, washing up as corpses on the banks of the river Thames, drained of blood and bone. Yet the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences- the Crown’s clandestine organisation whose baliwick 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.
For a malevolent brotherhood is operating in the deepening London shadows, intent upon the enslavement of all Britons. And Books and Braun- he with his encyclopedic brain and she with her remarkable devices- must get to the twisted roots of a most nefarious plot… or see England fall to the Phoenix.
My Review -
The blurb for this one grabbed me straight away. I am having serious Gail Carriger withdrawal symptoms and I needed a good Steampunk adventure to take the edge off. The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences was certainly the right place to go for my Steampunk fix. Very British and delightfully Victorian, Phoenix Rising is a promising strong start to a new series that holds surprises around every corner.
Thrilling and full of adventure this story really did amaze me. The authors are extremely creative and manage to paint some lovely pictures of the locations and characters with their words. I have to admit I sometimes felt a little lost where the plot was concerned but everything came together in the end and I felt satisfied with the story.
Braun and Books make a super team and I wonder how their relationship will evolve. I really liked Eliza for her kick-ass attitude and ladylike demeanor while Books was just that geeky kind of guy who grows on you the more you get to know him. What I have to say though is that the characters on the cover, for me, don't look anything like how I imagined Eliza and Welly.
No debut is without a couple of weak points and Phoenix Rising does have a few. However I am pretty confident that this is a series that will gather strength and depth as it continues. With such a good start it can only get better and develop into something that will go on to my must read list. Right now I am sure that the second book will go on my wishlist but the sequel is always the selling point.
A must try for any Steampunk fans. I am new to the genre myself but have to say I found this one to be not only entertaining but also well written. Lots of flair and an excellent new idea. Mystery, mayhem and strange mechanical equipment all come together for a futuristic mixture of the past.
Phoenix Rising is due out on the 1st of May.