A Ministry of PECULIAR OCCURRENCES Novel
By Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris
I loved this book. I want MORE of this book. YOU should read this book.
If you like Steampunk and secret agents…like a steampunk era Mulder and Scully, in Merry Olde England, then this book is for you. I’ve placed it proudly on the same shelf as my Simon R. Green NIGHTSIDE books, and anyone who knows me knows that is not a shelf I shelve lightly.
Authors Ballantine and Morris have created a believable world, despite it’s unbelievable denizens, and caught me from page one, carrying me along for the entire book. In fact, I daresay I was caught before that, as Dominick Finelle’s art makes this book a safe exception to the “don’t judge a book by its cover” rule.
When Wellington Books, archivist (don’t call him a librarian), scholar, secret-keeper, and sideline inventor, is captured by enemies to the crown from The House of Usher (How great a concept is that?)
colonial bad-ass, and ultimate agent Eliza D. Braun is charged with bringing him back. Well, technichally, she’s charged with taking him out in order to preserve the countless Ministry secrets in that keen little mind of his, but she manages to get him out brains and secrets intact.
However, when Braun’s over-the-top actions get her reassigned to Books’ beloved archives, the two have to redefine the term “compromise” before they drive each other insane. Things get more tense, as Braun discovers a cold case connected to the fate of her former partner, and convinces Books to help her look into it. But, when they come up against the Phoenix Society, an ancient secret society, corrupted by those who would see the British Empire flourish over all others, Braun has to face people as cunning as she, and Books is forced to match wits with one of his own heroes in the field of technology.
High stakes action and intrigue, with two great characters from whom the chemistry is radiant. In parts, a light action romp, akin to a summer blockbuster; in other parts, however, this book is as serious as a heart-attack.
Agents Books and Braun are worthy heirs of Jon Steed and Emma Peel, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, and Peter Bishop and Olivia Dunham.
5 out of 5 stars