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Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel

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Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780062049766
ISBN10: 0062049763
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Evil is most assuredly afoot—and Britains fate rests in the hands of an alluring renegade . . . and a librarian.

These are dark days indeed in Victorias 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 Crowns 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 shes 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!

Review:

"Agent Eliza Braun of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, who sports a bulletproof corset, is a New Zealander prone to shooting first and asking questions later. Archivist Wellington Books invented the Difference Engine supercomputer and has a dislike of guns and a surprising skill for undercover acting. Obviously, they are fated to meet cute and fight crime. Their opponents are the Phoenix Society, a murderous cabal devoted to world domination and wife-swapping. Eliza's plan involves infiltrating their recruitment orgy, leading to explosions and fisticuffs. Oddly slow given the outrageous plot, this slightly steampunkish spy fantasy would benefit from losing 100 pages, an exceedingly pointless drunk scene, and a bevy of plucky urchins, but it's still well suited for a bit of early summer beach reading. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

Co-authors Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris ingeniously reimagine Englands 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.

Synopsis:

In a world riddled with the destruction of men and machines alike, Thaddeus Sharpe takes to the streets of St. Petersburg, geared toward the hunt of his life….
 
Thaddeus Sharpe’s life is dedicated to the hunting and killing of clockworkers. When a mysterious young woman named Sofiya Ekk approaches him with a proposition from a powerful employer, he cannot refuse. A man who calls himself Mr. Griffin seeks Thad’s help with mad clockwork scientist Lord Havoc, who has molded a dangerous machine. Mr. Griffin cares little if the evil Lord lives or dies; all he desires is Havoc’s invention.
 
Upon Thad’s arrival at Havoc’s laboratory, he is met with a chilling discovery. Havoc is not only concealing his precious machine; he has been using a young child by the name of Nikolai for cruel experiments. Locked into a clockwork web of intrigue, Thad must decipher the dangerous truth surrounding Nikolai and the chaos contraption before havoc reigns….

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Cora, August 6, 2014 (view all comments by Cora)
Hold On to Your Tea Cup

Agent Books is an archivist, glorified librarian and cataloger of unusual artifacts, and Agent Braun is an unruly field agent who has trouble following rules. They have been naughty, and their superiors have demoted Agent Braun to the archives��"Books and Braun are stuck with each other in the dank underground storage area that houses strange and mysterious artifacts.

No, it’s not your imagination. The story practically shouts Warehouse 13 in Victorian England.

They work for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, protectors of the British Empire and collectors of “unusual” artifacts. Braun is not content to serve her time in the archives and decides to investigate the case her partner was working on when he went crazy. Bruan pulls Books into her investigation, and as the story progressives a reader might begin to wonder who in this duo is more crazy.

Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris is a Steampunk adventure with explosives, carriage chases, daring rescues, beautiful mercenary agents, evil geniuses, automatons, lots of steam, bigoted wealthy people who wish to take over the world, and two agents who blunter into places they really shouldn’t. Add to all that, their director’s mysterious shenanigans in the archive’s secret, locked room. “What’s he up to?” is a story question left hanging for book two.

Who Will Like this?

People who love lighthearted Steampunk adventures will definitely like this book. It was a fun read. The book doesn’t take itself too seriously and neither should the reader. It has a little bit of everything: adventure, death, steam, sex, underworld slime, wealthy slime.

James Blaylock, J. W. Jeter, and Tim Powers, the fathers of steampunk, have said that when they started writing Steampunk they weren’t trying to make a serious statement; they were having fun telling zany stories. This book is written in the same vein.

Confession Time

I wanted to like this story; however, I had trouble getting into it. I read two other books in between putting Phoenix Rising aside and picking it up again. It just didn’t grab me. I think most people who like Steampunk would enjoy it. For me, it was okay, predictable, and flat. In other words, nothing to shout about.

Here are the issues I had:

1. There was nothing new, and some of the story seemed borrowed without much effort to move in new directions.

2. The protagonists were stereotypes, the typical buddy cops/investigators/agents. Braun was the wild crazy one and Books the mild mannered sane one. Casting Braun as a woman didn’t change the dynamics because she fit the crazy cop/agent mold to a tee.

3. The antagonists were also bad stereotypes, James Bond villains stepping back into Victorian England. I expected one of them to twist his handlebar mustache��"thankfully that didn’t happen.

Character driven novels pull me into a story and keep me engaged. I want to care about the characters--that didn’t happen in this book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Teri Crosby, July 21, 2011 (view all comments by Teri Crosby)
Ohh Philippa I love your brain!
The characters in Phoenix were so complex in ways and so awesome. I loved the detailed steampunk and the world building. As the book progressed I could not put it down. I ate up the pages in one whole long night..er..morning leaving the kids to fend with toaster waffles and juicy juicy.
Steampunk is such an interesting genre for me. I love the detailed description and of course the clothing!
While I personally would probably not wear it I love the rich attire and then there is the dialog. The dialog in steampunk has all of these new words to me, wiki has my homepage.
The aspect that I loved most from Phoenix Rising was the fact that Eliza totally took the scene, the initiative and the action in the book. The male character Brooks, was more reserved and not as strong willed as most male characters in steampunk, so I do love my ladies who are worth their salt in life and disturbance.
Need some steam?! Get a Phoenix.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780062049766
Subtitle:
A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel
Author:
Ballantine, Pip
Author:
Harper, Steven
Author:
Cross, Kate
Author:
Morris, Tee
Publisher:
Harper Voyager
Subject:
Fantasy - General
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy
Edition Description:
Mass Market PB
Series:
Novel of the Clockwork Empire
Publication Date:
20110426
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9.25 x 7 x 1.24 in 29.04 oz
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » General
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Paranormal
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Steampunk

Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel New Mass Market
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Product details 416 pages Harper Voyager - English 9780062049766 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Agent Eliza Braun of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, who sports a bulletproof corset, is a New Zealander prone to shooting first and asking questions later. Archivist Wellington Books invented the Difference Engine supercomputer and has a dislike of guns and a surprising skill for undercover acting. Obviously, they are fated to meet cute and fight crime. Their opponents are the Phoenix Society, a murderous cabal devoted to world domination and wife-swapping. Eliza's plan involves infiltrating their recruitment orgy, leading to explosions and fisticuffs. Oddly slow given the outrageous plot, this slightly steampunkish spy fantasy would benefit from losing 100 pages, an exceedingly pointless drunk scene, and a bevy of plucky urchins, but it's still well suited for a bit of early summer beach reading. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , Co-authors Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris ingeniously reimagine Englands 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.
"Synopsis" by ,
In a world riddled with the destruction of men and machines alike, Thaddeus Sharpe takes to the streets of St. Petersburg, geared toward the hunt of his life….
 
Thaddeus Sharpe’s life is dedicated to the hunting and killing of clockworkers. When a mysterious young woman named Sofiya Ekk approaches him with a proposition from a powerful employer, he cannot refuse. A man who calls himself Mr. Griffin seeks Thad’s help with mad clockwork scientist Lord Havoc, who has molded a dangerous machine. Mr. Griffin cares little if the evil Lord lives or dies; all he desires is Havoc’s invention.
 
Upon Thad’s arrival at Havoc’s laboratory, he is met with a chilling discovery. Havoc is not only concealing his precious machine; he has been using a young child by the name of Nikolai for cruel experiments. Locked into a clockwork web of intrigue, Thad must decipher the dangerous truth surrounding Nikolai and the chaos contraption before havoc reigns….
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