Sunday, April 17, 2011

Phoenix Rising-Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris

Phoenix Rising
Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
Harper Voyager, Apr 26 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780062049766

In London, someone abducts the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences archivist Wellington Thornhill Books. Field Agent Eliza Braun rescues him from his Antarctic prison.

However, though she gets the job done, the MPO leadership decides Braun uses too much brawn with her excessive collateral damage and Books thinks the archives is his personal library. Ministry Director Dr. Sound finds a subtle solution to his two problem children. He assigns Braun to work for Books. However, her work there leads her back to her first cold case Rag and Bone Murders that left her partner insane. This quickly takes the operative and the archivist into uncovering a nefarious plot by the House of Usher. Filled with sound and fury, the Director will learn sometimes you get what you wish for.

The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences steampunk fantasy is a fun tale starring a gender bending couple with apt surnames of Book and Braun. The story line starts with a big bang at their first encounter and remains loaded with action; but some scenes seem more like cul de sac additions. As the lead pair struggle to survive one escapade after another with the help of cute Oliver Twist kids, fans will enjoy their dysfunctional exploits.

Harriet Klausner

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