Phoenix Rising -Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris

mpo - pheonix rising


In Victorian England, Londoners wash up dead on Thames, drained of blood and bone. Clandestine Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences is forbidden to investigate. But Eliza Braun, with bulletproof corset, fondness for dynamite, remarkable devices, drags along timorous new partner Wellington Books, of encyclopedic brain, against Phoenix intent on enslaving Britons.

My Thoughts

Marvelous. Absolutely marvelous! This is how you introduce a book series. Mystery, adventure, intrigue, and a cast of characters so delightfully quirky, I could barely contain my giddy giggles as I learned more and more about this mismatched pair of secret agents.

Agent Eliza D. Braun is not to be trifled with. She’s sassy, mischievous, intelligent, and extremely handy with weapons of any kind. She has a great fondness for bulletproof corsets, and firearms stashed within said corset’s confines. She’s a skilled fighter, and knows a thing or two about things that go boom and cause chaos in their wake. Many around her, mainly the director of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, believe her to be thoughtless and reckless. I, personally, believe her to be strong-willed and brave. And, let’s face it, she’s incredibly reckless. She does reap the consequences for her actions, in what turns out to be the most beneficial of ways.

Wellington Books, on the other hand, makes up for his lack of field work skills with an encyclopedic mind, and a knack for all things clockwork. While he generally likes to stay hidden within the confines of his Archives, Eliza is quite the force to be reckoned with. As a result of their first misadventure, wherein Eliza saves Books from immediate, life-threatening circumstances, Eliza is transferred to work with books in the Archives. Their lives will never be the same again. She turns his world upside down. Which really isn’t a bad thing.

It is incredibly difficult not to get totally swept up in the action and adventure. Even when Eliza isn’t in the middle of a gun fight, or a fist fight, or what have you, the mystery and intrigue keep you on the edge of your seat. The detail and imagery capture you and drag you into Victorian England, down to the streets of London. It’s like you’re right beside them, watching it all transpire. It’s clear and vivid. It’s incredible.

The plot thickens considerably when Eliza uncovers a forgotten case deep within the Archives that concerns her former partner. Despite Wellington’s concern and warnings, Eliza decides to power forward. She’s intrigued, and she needs answers to so many questions she had regarding his last case. Questions Books would prefer to leave unanswered. Questions that lead them both down a very dangerous, and secretive road.

Their dynamic is incredible. There is consistent bickering and sass between Eliza and Welly (her very cute nickname for her new partner). Though they may not see eye to eye, through very extreme circumstances, they learn to trust each other and work together. The deeper they get into this current case, the more they have to rely on each other, and their individual skills and assets to get out alive. It’s an extreme game of blind trust – a game that turns out to be fruitful to their overall endeavour.

They learn a lot from each other, it turns out. While they both harbour their own secrets, they’re very slowly, but surely, getting to know each other. They work extremely well together – bickering and all. As the case closes, there is a threat on the horizon that could undermine the entire organization they risk life and limb for. I am absolutely thrilled to have discovered this book series, many thanks to a good friend for the recommendation. I can’t wait to see what kind of peculiarities the ministry will uncover, discover, and investigate next.


~ by Aubrey Smith on July 18, 2016.

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