Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Review: Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris

Phoenix Rising
Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #1
by: Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris
$7.99 mass market paperback
Historical Fantasy / Steampunk
Released: May 2011

Eliza is a field agent for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.  Well, she was, until her superiors grew tired of all the explosions and building collapses left in her wake.  Thinking to punish her, they sent her to the Archives to work with Wellington, a stuffy no-nonsense man who doesn't like trespassers in his domain.

While helping sort though the files, Eliza finds an unsolved case file worked on by her former partner, and she fears this case is the reason he's now babbling incoherently in the mental ward.  Deciding to avenge her partner, she convinces Wellington to accompany her on the search for clues.

But things are not as they appear.  Now the two must work together to bring down a secret society intent on bringing about a new leadership in England, while staying one step ahead of those trying to silence them...forever.

This was a great start to a great series.  Steampunk-when written right-can be a grand adventure into the past that tells a whole new story of the ingenuity of the human mind.  The banter between Eliza and Wellington, or "Welly" as she calls him, had me chuckling in more than one spot.  The two are polar opposites, but somehow manage to work together without killing each other.  Eliza wears trousers and a steel corset, while Wellington abhors violence but can hold his own in a fight.  There's more to Wellington than meets the eye.  I hope there's a book 2 in this series on the horizon, because I'd love to read more about this unlikely duo. 

I'd recommend this book to anyone who's read Gail Carriger, or has an interest in a good steampunk story.

Carla gives this book a



  1. I love your rating system! :) As one of the authors I can tell you that there is indeed a book two tentatively entitled Of Cogs and Corsets that we are working on right now. Thanks for your lovely review.

  2. I like the few steampunkish books that i've tried so far...I haven't been able to concentrate on Gail Corriger, however. I keep finding books by Ilona Andrews, Suzanne McLeod, Devon Monk...etc, to read and get distracted. But I do plan to try to finish - it's just the first chapter I read had such a regency romance feel to it, that it kind of turned me off. I will try to get past this though, because I keep hearing how everyone is enjoying the whole series. There must be something right with it, yes?

    Anyway, is there an excerpt available for Phoenix Rising? Your review has me interested in reading this. :)

  3. Sorry, a little late replying to this, but you can find the 1st 70 pages at
    and if you like audio, we have some free podcast short stories in the Ministry world at
    Thanks for the review Carla- so glad you enjoyed your time with Eliza and Welly.