Author: Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris
Date of Publication: May 29, 2012
Formats Available: Paperback, E-Book
Synopsis: When Eliza Braun and her partner Wellington Books witness a passenger aboard Britain's latest hyperstream train vanish in a bolt of lightning they find that this is not the first of many disappearances that they cannot ignore. As more and more women in the suffragist movement begin vanishing Eliza convinces Wellington to go against his instincts and investigate the disappearances. With the arrival of former friends from New Zealand Eliza must face her past to properly investigate, leaving her questioning her place in England. Between Wellington's skill with machines and Eliza's use of weapons and explosives they just may be able to capture the culprit behind the kidnappings, that is, if they aren't the next victims.
I had really enjoyed the first novel in this series, Phoenix Rising, so when I saw that there was a sequel I knew that I had to read it. Unfortunately while this novel wasn't bad I definitely felt that it didn't quite live up to the action and excitement present in the first novel. I found the plot of The Janus Affair to be a bit tedious and honestly I just wasn't as interested in it as I was in the plot of Phoenix Rising.
While the plot wasn't bad it was considerably weaker than in the first novel. While adding in the suffragist movement was an interesting idea it just didn't work for the story. The suffragist movement was a controversial time this novel just didn't quite capture that aspect, making the kidnappings of the suffragist women feel a little anti-climactic. The climax of the novel seemed almost random and left quite a few loose ends in terms of some of the characters; however the ending left it open for a sequel which I am highly anticipating!
This novel focused more on the characters and their interactions than the plot. As Eliza and Wellington discover their feelings for each other as well as face significant others from their past they learn a lot about each other and their feelings. While the plot of this novel fell flat the character development did not! This novel offered a deeper look at both Eliza and Wellington and offered unexpected revelations and introduced interesting new tidbits on their characters!
In the end, I enjoyed this novel a lot. Eliza is a fun character to read about and I absolutely love her relationship with Wellington. Full of action, mystery, and suspense this novel was by no means dull. I liked the adding in of New Zealand characters and the revelations about both Eliza and Wellingtons past. I loved the changing perspectives and the several plots all contained in one novel. While I didn't think it lived up to Phoenix Rising I still liked this novel and definitely can't wait for the next one!
The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels are some of steampunk's finest. A great series so far I'm extremely excited to see where the series goes as Eliza drags Wellington into more adventures and they take on new cases! Definitely a great series that should not be missed by fans of steampunk!