Review: Phoenix Rising by Philippa Ballantine & Tee Morris

Posted 9 June, 2011 by Lori @ Romancing the Dark Side in Reviews / 1 Comment

Phoenix Rising by Phillipa Ballentine & Tee Morris
Series: Ministry of Peculiar Occurences
Genre: Steampunk
Published by: Harper Voyager on April 26, 2011
Format: eARC
Pages: 353
Source: NetGalley
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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.

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!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A fun and exciting adventure!

Eliza Braun and Wellington Books both work for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences but have very different jobs. Eliza is a field agent who loves an adrenaline rush, dynamite and butt-kicking. Wellington is the Ministry’s Archivist (also known as the librarian, which he despises) who has a love for engineering, record keeping and tea. After a disastrous end to a case, Eliza is partnered up with Wellington, who she instantly nicknames Welly, to assist in the Archiving department. Eliza is completely out of her element at her new job and helping Wellington archive old Ministry cases doesn’t seem promising, that is until she stumbles upon a cold case that sparks both her curiosity and her new partner’s. Without the Ministry’s knowledge Braun and Books embark on a dangerous journey to solve a case that could cost them not only their jobs but their very lives.

You know a book is going to be good when it begins with bang! The authors jumps right into the action and have you hanging onto every word. The story does drag just a little when Eliza and Wellington are first partnered up but you also get to witness the snarky banter that goes on between these two great characters. It’s great to see the roles reversed in this story, the last names truly define each character’s personality. The villains are just as well developed as the main characters and will make you cringe when their devious plans are revealed.

I absolutely love Eliza, she’s smart, strong and has no inhibitions. Wellington is just an interesting and his cautious nature is the perfect compliment to Eliza, keeping her wild side grounded at times. These two are the most unlikely duo but they make one exceptional team! Guarded at the beginning of their partnership, Eliza and Wellington soon become more than partners, they become friends and realize they gravely underestimated each other. There were times when I thought their relationship would reach a romantic level in a few scenes but was sadly let down! I’m hoping the authors don’t hold off on making this a reality for me (keeping fingers crossed).

PHOENIX RISING is another marvelous addition to the steampunk genre. A modern version of Sherlock Holmes with the creepiness of Frankenstein. Whether you’re a steampunk fan or just love a good adventure mixed in with a little mystery, be sure to give this one a try!


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One Response to “Review: Phoenix Rising by Philippa Ballantine & Tee Morris”

  1. I agree – this was just a fun book. I was quite surprised by the dark naughtiness of the final section of the book, but it worked very well. I definitely hope we get more of Eliza and Welly!

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