Phoenix Rising (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, #1)Phoenix Rising by Philippa Ballantine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fantastic gender bender

It’s about time! This book has a great combination of the hiss and gurgle of complex steam punk gadgets and a fantasy mystery. Books and Braun are a great mismatched pair. I referenced purchasing this book in my blog because I had sadly dragged my disappointed self through another overly sexed urban fantasy where the main character ended up raped. It was awful, and I was more than a little offended to realize that it was a pattern. On my blog, I ranted about the state of the female hero in modern literature. In a huff, I grabbed my purse and headed to the nearest bookstore hoping for the genre to redeem itself in my eyes. When I picked up this novel, I was delighted at the gender-bender tale and amused that Eliza Braun, the “explosive” field agent wore a bulletproof corset. Princess Leia would have been proud to have her join the sisterhood. Books, is proper in that kind of sexy-but-doesn’t-know-it way. And, his resourcefulness and quick thinking made him an equal partner for Braun.

My only complaint about this book is that I couldn’t shake the feeling that the publishing company rushed the release. It had a distinctly unpolished feel, which was glaring against the beautiful Victorian wit. Other than that, I would highly recommend this read, especially if you appreciate the type of sharp-tongued banter that can be enjoyed in any Sherlock Holmes tale.

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