Normally, I'm not a fan of steampunk but I was pleasantly surprised by Phoenix Rising. I liked the two main characters, Eliza Braun and Wellington Books, which made a somewhat meandering story easier to take. While the plot does drag in certain place it's interesting enough to keep you listening. Much of the credit for that has to go to the narrator, James Langton. He inhabits each of the characters and gives their own voice quite nicely; however, his New Zealand accent was questionable at times. While there are some major plot holes and unsettling events that may turn off some readers/listeners, overall this a was really fun story and I look forward to more adventures from Books and Braun.
Phoenix Rising is an absolutely wonderful action/adventure tale through a England of Gentleman, Ladies, Bulletproof Corsets, Airships. And most importantly, a plot that could destroy Queen Victoria's nation and perhaps even the world. Enter Eliza D. Braun & Wellington Books, Esq., two agents for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences which from the shadows keep England safe.
Starting off with the lead characters they are so well developed and you quickly fall in love with them both for different reasons. But the great care and development runs all through the novel with a wonderful world you want to explore more of. And great characters, both good and evil, that make you not want to stop reading because you want to know what happens next. Cliche sounding perhaps but it is very true here.
And the narration by James Langton was wonderful the whole way through, a challenge I am sure with so many accents and such. But he performs just wonderful as well and very much, I think, helped to bring a soul to the world and characters like the great narrators of film and stage. Top marks to him.
If you are looking for a great action tale, please join Agents Books & Braun.
I grew up on Golden Age Radio, I love to learn about a great many things, and I enjoy a wide variety of genres. Me, bored? Never!
It's the Victorian Era equivalent to the X-Files... if Mulder was a straight-laced archivist, if Scully was a female 007 with an explosives fetish, and if both of them were actually forbidden to go on the mission they were investigating. Overall, it's fairly predictable, lending to it being a quick read, but there are enough surprises and great character moments sprinkled throughout to keep you plowing through to the end. This book is simply a lot of fun. I can't wait to work through the second one.
No. It is more a book about sex than a book of science fiction. There is a good story in there it just gets lost in sex and debauchery.
Thereby Hangs a Tail
James Langton's performance is excellent.
I appreciated all the main characters, especially the main male and female ones.
The narration is lively, the characters are original, the book has humor.
Phoenix Rising oozed with steampunk goodness. From Eliza’s weapons to the archives we encountered gadgets from the simple to complex. The authors did an excellent job of describing them, and I often felt like I was right in the room with the characters and impressive machinery. Ballantine and Morris delivered an engaging plot with an ebb and flow that provided intense action scenes and moments that allowed us to glean information and understand their characters. The overall story ARC is a small thread woven into the overall tale that has me curious and eager for more. While there is no romance, we do feel a connection developing between our main characters, one that has me itching for more. The case wrapped up nicely, and I look forward to The Janus Affair the next book in the series.
James Langton was absolutely amazing as the narrator. He brought both Eliza and Wellington to life. Through him, they came to life from the gestures to pitch as he conveyed the feelings. He seamlessly delivered punch lines and the snark that made this tale so entertaining for me.
Phoenix Rising was such a brilliant listen. I laughed, felt for the characters and became swept up in the chase. I am so glad I chose to listen to the audio version and plan to continue.
If you like steampunk then you'll probably enjoy this book. It's a fun romp through all the cliches of the genre. It's got gadgets and secret societies and British manners. If you're looking for something super new, innovative or different, then you will probably be disappointed. I would have given the book a higher rating, but the heroine just rubbed me the wrong way. I'm as much a fan of the spunky heroine as the next gal, but to me Eliza crossed the line between spunky/independent to rude jerk. Frankly, I didn't like her much. Books, the hero, was really too cliche to be really interesting.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, A hoper, a pray-er, a magic-bean buyer. If you're a pretender come sit by my fire
Honestly well written and totally fun -- this was my first foray into the steampunk genre, and I was not disappointed. I'm not sure that it's totally MY genre? But this was a super fun story with some great language and interesting character dynamics. I wholeheartedly recommend this story!
Thoroughly enjoyable listen! I couldn't turn it off.
A Victorian James Bond/Lara Croft type duo with character development that's just plain fun.
The story is great with enough detail to get the atmosphere of the period without dragging.
Possibly the best narration I've heard to date.
So glad I wasn't swayed by a few poor reviews written by people who apparently don't understand Steampunk. The enjoyable nature of Steampunk is that it is made up of satire, outrageous escapades and wondrous steam operated machines such as in Captain Nemo adventures. This book was enjoyable and entertaining. I found the main characters lovable and campy beyond description. Everything I love about Victorian Steampunk.I have been following Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris via Podcasting for years and I hope to see this series become a roaring success.