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
Yes! The story alone is wonderful, lots of fun, with good scene setting and amusing quips. If I had read a textual copy of this story, I would have enjoyed it. But listening to Langton tell the story makes the experience sublime. His voice is perfect for the combination of amusing melodrama and various flavors of Victorian characters. From the oh-so-proper British upper class Books to the rough-around-the-edges New Zealander Braun to the London street urchins, Langton really brings out the colorful characters of Phoenix Rising.
The narrator's voices & pacing.
My first one, but not my last. I've also listened to the sequel, The Janus Affair, and enjoyed it just as much.
Because this is the first book in the series, there are a few places where the exposition drags a bit, but it is sort of necessary to set the stage, given this universe is quite different from real life and also from "normal" sci-fi.
A good story line alittle slow at first but well written no once was enough but I do look forward to one more to see where everyone ends up
I like both the main characters equally
He was a pro and did a great job he nailed the moods of each character
The end at the grave yard for the fallen agent
A serious look into Queen Vics times, we don't realize just how far we have come toward
equality of all peoples
Taking the road less traveled
real page turner
attention to world building detail
this is the first but really enjoyed the performance
has all the goodness of action/adventure and the cherry on top....steampunk 8-)
I'm an avid reader but when driving or exercising, listening to a great book and a great performance makes time fly!
Fun steam punk.
Mr. Langton's performance of Wellington Books is spot on; he perfectly embodies Books.
Light and fun, this is a good brain-candy kind of book.
My first steampunk, but it more than met my expectations for the genre. Lightweight, of course, but consistently fun. Narration by James Langton was a wonder, as it skipped about the British Empire from Welsh to Australian to public school English. One critical reviewer is probably right in that Langton's Kiwi accent seems off, but the amazing melodramatic default-narrator voice more than makes up for it. In fact, its the narration that makes this book -- that and the snide references to 19th century British pop culture. I suspect I only "got" about half of those, but they do add to the fun. The plot? Uh ... why, yes, I suppose it does have a plot. But it doesn't really get in the way of the other stuff, and it does move along in a sprightly sort of way, with appropriate quantities of flash bang -- like the deadly battle of assassins fought out on stage, with prop weapons, during a performance of the finale of Verdi's Macbeth. Definitely worth the price of admission.
No, for me there was nothing I could find to enjoy. Might work for a younger reader.
Not for me
This was the first steampunk genre I have listened to or read, it has made me a fan leading me to download the second in this series before I had even finished the first. The characters are entertaining and well developed and the narration was perfect for the personalities of agents Books and Braun. My favorite part was the steampunk inventions, it was a great intro for a first timer into the steampunk genre,
Agents Books and Braun are together my favorite characters, their chemistry and odd couple bickering make the pair fun to listen to and drew me into the story even more.
Langton made the personality of the characters shine and helped make agent books that much more charming.
When I first started listening, I thought I wouldn't get through. The book begins with a high-action sequence that the narrator reads as slowly as a bunny book for two-year-olds. Fortunately, narrator, characters, and action improve. All triteness of plot becomes forgivable in the enjoyment of the slowly building partnership between the two main characters. Their quips, characters and interactions begin working together like an efficient steampunk machine--or better, since this machine doesn't fall apart.
This was my first 'read' of a steampunk book, although I've been aware of the genre for a while. Phoenix rising grabbed me early and never got boring. The writing is excellent, and the mix of steam-driven computers, Babbage-inspired mechanical gizmos and Victorian era mystery is convincing. James Langton does a good job voice acting the characters, and nearly got me to listen to the whole thing non-stop, to the dismay of my wife. I'd recommend this novel to mystery and fantasy alike.
This story was original.
This was an overall nice read. But I am still not sure why we needed the orgy episode?
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