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Review: Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris

Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris (Ministry of Peculiar Occurences #1)

library copy

Synopsis from Goodreads
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!


 Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK 

9.5/10

* * *
 Seriously? One of the most amazing steampunk books I've ever read. So funny, sharp and brilliant. 


The partnership between Wellington and Eliza works to a tee. She is like a female version of Robert Downey Jr. - cocky, slightly reckless, crazily entertaining and very wordly. 

Welly on the other hand is a bit of an enigma. Bookish, prudish and very boring when you just meet him, and yet our gentleman is full of surprises which we uncover only slightly in his acting at the end of the book.

So, what happens?

Eliza is a gal from New Zealand and a field agent with an unhealthy fondness of weaponry and explosives. When her latest mission goes awry as in the whole building blows up and vanishes in the middle of Antarctica, her director decides that Miss Brown needs to be taught a lesson, learn to slow down just a notch and partners her with the archivist Wellington Books to catalog the Archives.

The pairing seems disastrous until Books and Brown stumble into one of the unsolved cases buried in the Archives and decide to look into it out of boredom...

Pandora box is opened, mayhem ensues, villainous plan of a secret society  discovered, and all at the weekend, mind you, so our couple works overtime and in secret to bring down a huge conspiracy against The Crown.

Hilarious book, full of action, gadgetry and brazen, dangerous females bent on destruction. Very much recommended!

* * *
Фантастика какая-то просто, а не книга! Пальчики оближешь.

И смешно и умно и красиво и живо. Элиза и Велли оказываются блестящими партнёрами несмотря на их совершенно разный взгляд на жизнь. Букс чем-то напомнил мне Ватсона, а Элиза прямо была списана с Роберта Дауни Джуниора - сумасшедшая, дерзкая, очаровательная, смешная и чрезвычайно самоуверенная особа с нездоровой любовью к взрывчатке и новому огнестрельному оружию.

В общем-то, сюжет прост. Элиза проваливает задание, и в наказание директор министерства отправляет её в архивы помощником Веллингтона Букса систематизировать документы. Вместо спокойной и скучной жизни в архивах, парочка натыкается на закрытое и нераскрытое дело о странных убийствах в бедных районах Лондона, расследуя которое бывший партнёр Элизы сошёл с ума.

Наступают выходные, и наша парочка оказывается по уши в неприятностях, расследуя секретное общество, пытающееся радикализировать Британскую Империю, в своё свободное время да ещё и без ведомости руководства. И вот уже за ними гоняется итальянский ассасин, они срывают оперу и взрывают один из величественных особняков Англии... и еле-еле выбираются из переделки живыми.

Обычный день для мисс Браун, но отклонение от нормы для Велли... Замечательная, суматошная книга, которую я всем советую! Буду читать продолжение.
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