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. (via Goodreads)
What can I say about Phoenix Rising… Could there be a more awesome and deliciously fun steampunk novel? I think not! The first book in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series is full of mystery, diabolic secret societies, fantastic steampunk devices and enough Victorian mayhem to make the Brontë sisters blush.
But let’s be practical for a moment. A book can have all the inner workings, but for me the characters are what seal the deal. The chemistry between Eliza D. Braun and Wellington Books is reminescent of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, and it works from the start.
Here’s a passage from the first chapter:
“You didn’t happen to bring a spare coat with you, Agent Braun?”
Eliza didn’t reply. At first. “Sorry, mate. I needed to travel light.”
Travel light? A small arsenal of handguns, throwing knives, sticks of dynamite, and that small cannon strapped to her back was traveling light?
I knew from these first conversations Phoenix Rising would be both hilarious and thrilling. Did I like this novel? I loved it! You can ask my family, who had to put up with my vocal expressions of joy.
Ready for more?