Title: Phoenix Rising, A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences
Author: Pip Ballatine, Tee Morris
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Steam Punk
Length: 402 pages
Where Stacie’s Copy Came From: Oshkosh Public Library
Plot Basics: Eliza D. Braun is fearless, daring, and more than a little reckless. She is assigned to rescue Wellington Books, The Archivist for the Ministry of Peculiar affairs. When the rescue is more than a little aggressive and, how shall we say, explosive, Eliza is
banished assigned to the Archive to learn from History and appreciate the knowledge that it contains.
Eliza isn’t the sort of person to stay in the Archives and Wellington isn’t the sort of person to keep her there.
Banter Points: This was a wonderful steam punk novel. Eliza’s daring is brilliant and Welly is a perfect foil to her. Eliza really steals the show in this book, but Welly has a past. I’d say more but it would spoil some of the plot.
The point of view was third person, but always within the limitation of either Eliza or Welly. It’s limited then to information that one of the two of them knows, which works well with the dual authors too. I was glad that it wasn’t a dueling telling or one in letters. It just wouldn’t have worked.
The steam punk inventions aren’t the focal point either. They are part of the world, but don’t dominate the telling like some steam punk novels. It was a good balance and when the attention needed to shift the the inventions, it was a natural transition.
Bummer Points: The start point is a rescue scene and I felt off kilter for a while. Everything happened so fast and while trying to learn the world and follow the rescue, I was a bit lost. However, I have a feeling that could be the exact impression that Welly had on meeting Eliza and it could have been intentional on the part of the authors.
Stacie’s Recommendation: Definitely worth the read.