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
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?
I read fantasy and smut and sometimes I read smutty fantasy.
First of all, I don't care for male readers.I can overlook a poor reader if the story is exciting. This story was not. I listened to the book for four hours. After that, I simply could not continued. The characters the stereotypical hot tough girl and nerdy guy. An unlikely pair who get thrown together etc...blah blah blah.
It felt like I was listening to a Scooby Doo mystery.
Pip and Tee work wonderfully together to create an exciting and entertaining dash through Steam Punk Victorian England. The characters of Eliza Braun and Wellington Books are brought colorfully to life and their polar opposite personalities are the source of conflict and humor in unpredictable and satisfying ways.
I hope there is more to come from both pairs, Pip and Tee, and Eliza and Wellington.
I like Fantasy & Science Fiction but not into Zombie. Due to Health issues, listen to Audiobooks/read ebooks where I can enlarge the print
At first the narrator & narration rubbed me the wrong way. But if you stick with it you will find that this is worth the effort . . .
The story is a steam punk, sort of Victorian era tale that confuses true history with fact which at times confuses and irks. But if you get past this it's not a bad tale if taken very much tongue in cheek . . .
If you like this you will probably like the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
Steampunk Occult Avengers
The final scene under the mansion where the two agents really get to dig deep and show off their skills.
Scene at the opera.
Adventures in an extraordinary past.
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