This review is the first in a new series of reviews. I’ve been planning to do this for a while. It has just taken some time to find the right thing to review and time to review it. You might notice that this review is in the category “Time Wasters”. That doesn’t mean that things in this category are a waste of time. While the rest of the reviews on The Nifty Tech Blog are aimed at productivity, reviews in this category are for ways to occupy the leisure time you’ll have after using all the other products we’ve recommended.
Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel is the first novel from Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris writing together. They take us back to the age of Queen Victoria, and give us a view of a secret organization in Her Majesty’s government. This clandestine organization, the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, deals with the strange, the bizarre, and those things best not talked about in polite society. Agents of the Ministry travel the world investigating these strange and unusual events, and returning dangerous artifacts to Mother England where they can be safely stored away from dangerous hands.
This tale follows Eliza D. Braun, an agent of the Ministry originally from New Zealand. Exiled from her homeland under mysterious circumstances, Eliza is one of the most effective agents of the Ministry. And one of the least covert. After her latest mission led to the destruction of a stronghold of the secret society known as the House of Usher, and the mountain that housed the stronghold, Eliza is put on suspension, and re-assigned from the field to serve the ministry in the Archives, the repository of all these dangerous artifacts and boring agent reports.
Another thing deposited in the Archives is one Wellington Thornhill Books, Esquire, the Ministry’s appointed Archivist, and the object of Eliza’s last mission. Kidnapped by the House of Usher, and returned by the unconventional Miss Braun, Mr. Books was looking forward to returning to the peace and quiet of his Archives, but instead finds himself with an unconventional assistant. An assistant who insists upon reopening unsolved cases of the Ministry and investigating them. Starting with the case of what happened to her old partner…
This begins a roller coaster ride of intrigue, secret societies, and steam-driven science gone mad. With a touch of hedonism thrown in in case you got bored. Everyone has their secrets and surprises, and this book is full of twists, turns, and reveals. This is an excellent book. If you’re at all insterested in steampunk, I’m sure you’ll enjoy Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel.