Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 13 hours and 45 minutes (410 Pages)
Release Date: August 9, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series
Source: Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
“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!”
This is the first book in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series. Right now there are five books released in this series. I really enjoyed this start to this steampunk series. There is a lot of action, a secret society, automatons and many crazy devices. Additionally I really enjoyed the characters; they have complex pasts and are intriguing and fun to read about.
I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was very well done. Langton was a joy to listen to and did a great job on character voices and with emotion. I would definitely recommend listening to this series on audiobooks if you enjoy them.
I am a huge fan of steampunk books and this was one of the better steampunk books I have read. It is much less paranormal romance in tone and has a much more urban fantasy type pace to it. It seems like a lot of the steampunk series I have read are more on the romance end of things. While there are some hints at a romance in this book it is mostly an investigative urban fantasy.
I loved the pairing of Books and Braun (an excellent, if blunt, play on names here). Eliza Braun is a blow everything up, attack first, ask later kind of woman who gets sent down to the archives for acting too brashly and disobeying orders on her last case. Wellington Books mans the library…eh…archives for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. They could not be more different. However, when Eliza unearths an interesting case that’s been filed with the other unsolved mysteries they suddenly find themselves with a common cause.
There is a lot of action, intrigue and mystery in this book. The book is chock full of interesting devices, weaponized automatons and other crazy steampunky inventions. It was great fun to read and I ended up enjoying it a ton.
Overall this book was highly entertaining and I would recommend to both steampunk and urban fantasy fans. This was a fun read and I plan on continuing with the series.