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!
©2011 Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers
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.
A frequent listener - mostly to mystery, police procedurals and science fantasy, with a few other bits and pieces thrown in. I live on a farm and run my own technical writing business, and listen to audiobooks while knitting and spinning yarn in my spare time.
It would depend on the type of books my friend enjoys - definitely wouldn't recommend it to my mother. Someone who reads science fiction and isn't put off by some pretty horrific scenes and characters would enjoy it.
I haven't listened to either of these authors before, and it was my first 'steampunk' read.
I liked the scene in the bar with the automated drink serving machine. I liked a lot of the machinery scenes - very imaginative and creative. I also really liked the descriptions of the archives and the associated machinery.
It is part of a series and has follow-up books, and the adventures of the two main characters will be interesting, no doubt.
This was my first venture into 'steampunk' and I am not sure that I will listen to more. I generally listen to more science fantasy style novels (dragons, druids, etc) and also spy and detective novels. I'm used to scenes with blood and guts, but this was a bit distasteful for me in the level of depravity. The Phoenix Society seemed like a nasty group, but as the book continued, I found their activities and behaviours to be a bit over the top in terms of depravity and darkness. The behaviour of the wives in the organization seemed ridiculous to me, and too far fetched to believe. So, to sum up, I enjoyed the main characters and the setting, the archives, the interactions between Books and Braun....but found the culmination of the action a little much.
I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.
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.
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!
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.
It could have been better spent. The book occasionally felt on the edge of being engaging only to fall victim to predictable plot contrivances and Steampunk cliches.
Occasional successful invocation of a Victorian mood was most interesting -- inability to make the Steampunk affectations seem natural, constant Deus Ex Machina devices introducing both implements of salvation and destruction were among the least interesting things.
It already is, it is called "Sanctuary"
The narration was fairly pleasant but australian accents were rather odd...or perhaps it was the dialog that made them seem so stilted.Dreadfully obvious setup of a sequel that almost seemed tacked on. Side plot with Australian "mole" character, or secret chamber never developed very well or, at least, never well enough to invoke interest.
No, for me there was nothing I could find to enjoy. Might work for a younger reader.
Not for me
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