- Taschenbuch: 416 Seiten
- Verlag: Harper Voyager (26. April 2011)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0062049763
- ISBN-13: 978-0062049766
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 10,6 x 2,6 x 17,1 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 13 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 122.405 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Series, Band 1) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 26. April 2011
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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!
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Born in New Zealand, Philippa (Pip) Ballantine has always had her head in a book. A corporate librarian for thirteen years, she has a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Library and Information Science. She is New Zealand's first podcast novelist and has produced four podiobooks. Many of these have been shortlisted for the Parsec Awards, and she has won a Sir Julius Vogel Award. She is also the author of Geist and the soon-to-be-published Spectyr. While New Zealand calls, currently Philippa calls America home.
While Tee Morris began his writing career with Dragon Moon Press's 2002 historical epic fantasy Morevi: The Chronicles of Rafe and Askana, it is his podcast of that book and works such as Podcasting for Dummies and All a Twitter that have earned him the distinction as one of the pioneers of social media. With Phoenix Rising, Tee returns to where he prefers to be—his imagination. When he is not there, Tee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his five cats and one daughter, all of whom have him very well-trained.
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I wanted to like this book better, I really did.
The idea of a super-secret society operating right under the nose of Queen Victoria and the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, trying to “rebuild” Britain to its “former glory”, only opposed by one field agent and one librarian archivist, because everybody else just doesn’t have a single clue, sounded wonderful. And in a Steampunk setting, no less. (Plus, the cover is beautiful and really intriguing.)
I imagined a daring hero/ine with a brainy sidekick (or even a full-fledged partner of equal value, for once) fighting the bad and saving the Empire James-Bond-style – or something the like.
And it actually came to that.
More or less.
Only what seemed like a thousand pages later, which is just too effing long.
“Phoenix Rising” took its sweet time to a) set a plot, b) get to the point and c) getting an effing move on! (Meaning: it was often really lengthy and thus pretty boring.) Which – consequently – made it very hard to find at least SOME kind of access to it and to find the motivation to continue reading.
Also, the two authors spent a huge amount of time to establish the two main characters, but completely forwent to establish the world they’re operating in. Yeah, it’s the Victorian age with a bit of Steampunk thrown in, but what does that actually MEAN?
I’m not exactly firm on Victorian etiquette and his was my very first Steampunk novel, and while I don’t expect Steampunk authors to start from Adam whenever they’re writing a new book, a few general guidelines would have been very welcome.
Even if the plot turned out to be quite interesting after all, this book seems to be mostly carried by the two main characters and their newly-formed partnership/friendship.
Which brings me neatly to the second biggest problem I had with “Phoenix Rising”. (More on my biggest problem later).
This isn’t a partnership, let alone a friendship. This is something like a “work relationship”, at best. And a forced one to boot.
The authors try so very hard to convince us – especially towards the end – that Books and Braun really came to like each other (or “became fond of the other”, or whatever), but no matter how often they tell us that, not once during the whole book, did I get the feeling that they DO. Not even at the very end.
All Books and Braun ACTUALLY do is:
- slander each other
- try (and fail) to establish a kind of witty-banter-thing, which pretty much always comes across as stiff, aggressive (and most of all completely unnecessary) posturing
- and work more against than with each other.
The only times when they actually get something accomplished are times when they work ALONE and APART from each other. The “divide and conquer” thing is way more effective, because they really do make a horrible team.
Mostly “thanks” to Eliza Braun, field agent (my aforementioned biggest problem) – for reasons I will never, ever understand, because she’s neither a good field agent nor a nice person. Oh, the authors insist on telling us that she totally IS, but judging by how she is constantly trying to “unsettle” Books by shoving her breasts in his face, salaciously rubbing her (beautiful, of course) body (including the ample bosom) against him and making insinuating remarks at every possible moment, she is not exactly professional. (And thus Dr. Sound was imo absolutely right to demote her and transfer her to the archives. He could have – and maybe should have – rescinded her agent status.)
She’s careless with everything stored in the archive (e. g. she destroys one of three vases which – put together – would have had a map to El Dorado on them and is not even remotely sorry). She never listens to Books let alone follows orders, and she makes absolutely no effort of being polite. (Well, the authors say she does, but she really doesn’t.) She’s almost losing her calm at any given moment, even when playing a part or just staying calm is absolutely vital. (E. g. she’s on the verge of losing it and about to slap the host because he slandered the Suffragettes, but ISN’T when an uncle is about to abuse his Laudanum-drugged, minor niece. She merely leaves, because “she would have most assuredly been his next prey”. M-hm. Yeah. Super-agent.)
All the times Eliza drones on and on how Books should go out in the field and needs to act like a “proper” agent, including improvising and thinking on his feet and whatnot. And the first time he actually DOES, she absolutely hates and resents him for it and immediately wants to punish him! He’s playing a role. Something she wanted him to do in the first place. So instead of being happy that he finally got a clue and acts like the agent she apparently wanted him to be she’s just jealous that he had beat her at her own game and even seems to believe he IS the role that he’s playing. Even if the “partnership” is relatively new, she should really know him well enough by now (page 255 ff.) to be able to distinguish a role he’s playing from his actual character. Seriously, what stupid kind of agent is she, anyway? (Of course, she can punish Wellington a while later. And “punishing” him by throwing him on a bed and practically riding him is not only immature, it’s also cruel and mean. For someone who has claimed to like Books she’s acting like a total bitch towards him. All the time.)
Seriously, Eliza is one of the most ridiculously aggressive characters I’ve ever read.
She blows hot and cold all over, is prone to serious mood swings and apparently completely hung up on being “a colonial” from New Zealand. I mean, seriously, she repeats that every five or so pages, so obviously she hasn’t come to terms with it yet.
That goes for the other “colonial” characters as well, btw.
And I just don’t care. It’s annoying.
It’s okay to tell me once, “There are also people from New Zealand, Australia and whatnot, and they’re looked upon as kind of inferior and worthless by the snobby and seemingly “proper” Brits.” But if you repeat that, like, a hundred times throughout the book, I can’t help but thinking you believe me to be either extremely slow or just too stupid to have understood that the first time.
No, sorry. This book definitely wasn’t for me. The only things I liked were Books and the last hundred pages, and that just wasn’t enough.
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