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The Janus Affair (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #2)

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  2,292 ratings  ·  269 reviews
Certainly no strangers to peculiar occurrences, agents Wellington Books and Eliza Braun are nonetheless stunned to observe a fellow passenger aboard Britain's latest hypersteam train suddenly vanish in a dazzling bolt of lightning. They soon discover this is not the only such disappearance - every case inexplicably unexamined by the Crown.
Paperback, 1st Edition, 416 pages
Published May 29th 2012 by Harper Voyager Harper Collins
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Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
It’s been a year since Agent Eliza Braun was pulled from the field due to insubordination (temper, temper, Miss Braun!) and sentenced to work in the archives with Mr. Wellington Thornhill Books, the archivist. Nothing remotely exciting has happened since their very first case together, the one involving a secret society, and Miss Braun is starting to become restless. She needn’t worry, though, since trouble is attracted to her just as Eliza is attracted to trouble, and before you know it, our da ...more
I really liked the first in this series and I really enjoyed the second as well. There are some jokey things with the naming I could have done without, but overall I got caught up in the characters a LOT, even moreso than the last installment. I really like how romance cliches aren't followed in this book, and it's really more of an adventure novel with some romance thrown in. I love the female lead is tough without TRYING too hard, I loved her old flame coming in, not cackling like a bad guy, b ...more

Wellington Books and Eliza Braun are thrown into the middle of a mystery when a woman that Eliza has briefly met, disappears in a ball of lightning before their very eyes.

This is the second novel in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series with Books and Braun. Wellington (Welly) Books, university graduate, former army officer, inventor and brilliant mind pairs wonderfully with the intrepid feminist and (former) field agent Eliza Braun. Welly, Archivist and Eliza, now an archivist-in-training
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

I loved this. Absolutely. Frikkin. Loved it. I tried to draw out the experience and couldn't make myself stop reading the second day. Without a doubt, this impressive second novel in the newer Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series is going into my "best of 2012" shelf as well as my much less used "all-time favorites." I think I may even have loved this book like I love my hallmark series of steampunk, Gail Carriger's formidably funny and inventive
At first, as I was reading this, I found myself in the position of the parents at the school play in Down With Skool!. "At least," I said, "it's better than last year's."

The first Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novel has been widely praised, and has even won an award, but personally I was profoundly unimpressed with it (my Goodreads review is here). At the end of that review, I said that despite its many flaws it looked like it had promise, and that the sequel could well be better. It is, alth
The authors either need better editors or they need vocabulary lessons. "Shear" is not the same as "sheer", "any" is not the same as "many" and "bobble" is definitely not the same as "bauble."

And oh, my dog, "a grizzly discovery" means you just found a bear. If you just found a body, that's more of a grisly discovery.
Bob Milne
As the second Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, The Janus Affair more than delivers on the promise of last year's Phoenix Rising, even if the story at the heart of it isn't quite as strong. With the preliminaries out of the way, Ballantine & Morris are able to spend more time exploring their steampunk society, developing the relationship between Books and Braun, and building upon some of the plot threads teased but left dangling in the first instalment.

Let's start with the steampunk el
Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews
*Rating* 4.0-4.5
*Genre* Steampunk


The Janus Affair is the second novel in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris. It has been nearly a year since the Phoenix Rising episode and once again our heroine (Miss Eliza Braun) and hero (Wellington Books Thornhill Esq.) are thrown into a mystery of epic proportions which leads to a clumsy reunion with Braun’s one time lover and a discovery of Books secrets he’s gone through a lot of trouble hiding.

The duo wor
Read the full review at

Buy it. Read it. You'll love it.

Setting: Victorian London. However, this is the Victorian London not seen by your ancestors. This is the Victorian London Verne and Wells would have chosen to live in if the choice had been available. The wonderfully infernal devices evidenced throughout The Janus Affair are much more blended into the story than almost any other steampunk story I've encountered. I've heard complaints about steampunk from two a
Cat Russell  (Addicted2Heroines)
"We are partners. While life in the Archives moves at a more pedestrian pace than her previous exploits, it is that other life I have caught glimpses of in our brief time together that has made me feel..." And his voice trailed off again.

"Alive, Mr. Books?"

He nodded appreciatively. "Well put, Alice."

Ballantine & Morris' sequel is as clever and well-crafted as its predecessor, with an abundance of witty, playful banter, an intriguing mystery, and a satisfying ending.

Once again, Archivist and
Mike (the Paladin)
This is the second in a series that would fit better on a shelf labeled Urban Fantasy/Steam Punk. And it's a good book, a good read. Unfortunately it's (in my opinion of course) a bit too much of a good thing. This book would I think have been better had the same story been told in maybe two-thirds the length.

While I like the book and like the characters the dialogue and "flavor text" got to be a bit much this time. I sadly must admit that there were times when I'd laid the book aside that I wa
Fastens your seat belts, folks, this one is one hell of a ride.

If you read last year's review of Phoenix Rising, you probably either already know what I'm about to say, or you're already nose deep into the book and not reading this review. For those of you who are coming late into the game, Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris are at it again! On May 29th, 2012, Harper Voyager released their second Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, The Janus Affair. Once again, Wellington Thornhill Books, and Eli
I felt charitable, so gave it a 3.

Tee Morris and Pip Ballatine are great authors, when it comes to fantasy.

This, however, did not really grab me. All the naff steampunk cliches and tropes (and before anyone starts, I consider myself an avid member of the steampunk culture).

The same tired almost prescribed plot and plot devices. Secret agents, Victorian London, gaslight, dirigibles, corsets, goggles and mad science/ anachronistic technology. So, following the same tired path to churn out an SP
Janus is the two headed god, and whoever decided to use his name in this title, deserves a pay bump. Everything in this book is two faced in some way.
The Janus Affair takes our favorite archivists Books and Braun on another adventure as well as answering questions that were raised in the first volume of the series. More is revealed about both characters’’ past as wells certain plot lines laid down in the first volume.
More importantly, the famous duo struggles to finds out what has happened to t
Tim Hicks
I presume the authors have many friends, and that explains the reviews with four and five stars.

I've read plenty of good steam punk, and this isn't it. Try some Cherie Priest, folks, or Jay Lake's Mainspring series.

Perhaps I'm over sensitive about books that are riddled with errors. Some books don't use a copy editor; this one seems to have hired an anti- copy editor to put errors in. I counted more than a dozen, from "mischevious" and "visable" to "you where saying?" And of course the anachron
Andrew Obrigewitsch
That cardboard cutout character of an englishman from the 1800s makes a comeback. And I'm tired of reading about him in every modern book written about people in england during that time period. Otherwise there were a few interesting bits, but nothing to really spark my interest.
I have so wanted to read a good steampunk novel that dealt with the suffrage movement. I enjoyed the first of these novels and thus was optimistic about this one. Sigh. It is lively and if you like the dynamics between Books and Braun, it has fun moments. I liked some of the depictions of the suffragists (the "Protectors" are based on real women who guarded suffragist leaders). Balanced against that, the dialogue is awkward and unrealistic (I found myself wondering if Eliza Braun's maid, Alice, ...more
(Full review here:

I don’t know why I waited so long between reading the first and the second books of this series. Typically I’m not much of a steampunk person, but honestly, the writing and the worldbuilding in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences books more than makes up for any ambivalence I may normally feel. Twice now I’ve been proven wrong, and that’s convinced me that I need to read the third book soon, in preparation for the release of book four.
Oct 20, 2012 E. rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: reviewed
Book two in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series is much like the first: it's a steampunk paint-by-the-numbers, with very few surprises for the genre's devoted readers. If all you require of your steampunk is beautiful airships and amazing guns, you'll be well-satisfied with this one. Your tongue may well tangle with all the similar sounding names in this volume, for there's a Books, a Braun, a Bruce, a Betsy, a Campbell, a Charlotte, a Chandi, a Cullpepper... You get the idea.
What begins as a seemingly isolated if extremely strange occurence of a passenger disappearing in an inexplicable flash of lightning witnessed on a train journey turns out to be only one among numerous such occurences: Suffragists are vanishing without a trace, leaving behind stunned witnesses with electrical burns, and the cases are buried in the Archives with barely any attempt at investigation. Sure enough, archivist Wellington Books and his partner, disgraced former field agent Eliza Braun, ...more
Ben Babcock
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Since I had luke warm feelings about Phoenix Rising, I was hoping I'd like The Janus Affair more, but it wasn't any better or worse. Once again it had a good storyline. Something about the style made it drag on in parts, which is weird considering there is a fair amount of action. The descriptions can be too lengthy, which is something I loathe in literature. The chapters although there are not many which focus on characters other than Braun and Books aren't interesting.

Books and Braun are lika
Rashika (is tired)
This book needs better editing. Also some of the characters really pissed me off. Feminist me was not happy.

Aside from that, it was a fun read.
Scott Roche
I had the pleasure of reading The Janus Affair: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel by Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine over the last week. Before I get into the whys and wherefores of that pleasantness, allow me to get a few things out of the way, in case these names or this book series is new to you.

Tee Morris is an actor, author, and podcaster from the Virginia area. He’s written fiction and non-fiction and I’m absolutely a fan of his style. Pip Ballantine is also an author and a podcaster
David Ketelsen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fangs for the Fantasy
Though Wellington Books and Eliza Braun are still ensconced in the ministry's archives, they both continue to investigate cases. A nefarious plot still carries on to bring down Director Sound and with him, their beloved Ministry. By continuing their investigations, Books and Eliza continue to disobey direct orders and are unknowingly placing the future of the ministry in jeopardy. They manage to continue clandestinely, until the kidnappings of suffragette's begin to occur.

Elisa is deeply commit
Stutley Constable
This book was recommended to me as a good example of the Steampunk genre. To my great disappointment I found it to be one of the worst books I have ever read.

I discovered a large number of grammatical errors, incomplete sentences, incorrectly used words and sentences with missing words. Someone was falling down on the job when this book was going through its beta and editing, I think.

My biggest complaint about this book is the lack of originality among the characters. The majority of them seem l
C.m. Simpson
If you like your steampunk without vampires and werewolves and with more Victoriana, gaslight, London and steam, then I recommend The Janus Affair. While this novel has a local (London) focus and uses the development of the suffragette movement in steampunk England, it also has a ‘Great Game’ feel. I enjoyed the contrast of ‘colonial’ and ‘homeland’ personas and attitudes as well as the contrast of classes. I liked the clever way steampunk ‘gadgets’ and inventions were woven through the story, a ...more
A classic steampunk novel, THE JANUS AFFAIR faithfully combines the aesthetic and social mores of Victorian England with advanced technologies in their cumbersome, nascent form. Books and Braun continue their partnership, and from page one both mystery and mayhem rule the narrative.

My love for these two characters is both an asset and a downfall for the series. On one hand, the hints about Wellington's "less civilized side" had me eager for an explosion of super spy prowess that would cause Eli
Well this is the second book in the adventures of Eliza Braun and Wellington Books who are puportedly srchivists for Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. Somehow the two heroes find themselves in a series of adventures and trying to keep out of trouble.
The second book in the series is much better than the first, the characters have certainly developed and the action is plenty and pushes the story along. There is a lot to like in this series and it would be good to see this being touted as a TV ser
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The Ministry of P...: The Janus Affair cover 1 35 Jan 10, 2012 08:19PM  
  • The Impossible Cube (Clockwork Empire, #2)
  • Tarnished (The St. Croix Chronicles, #1)
  • Silver Mirrors (Apparatus Infernum, #2)
  • Tin Swift (Age of Steam, #2)
  • Her Own Devices (Magnificent Devices, #2)
  • The Hidden Goddess (Veneficas Americana, #2)
  • The Osiris Ritual (Newbury and Hobbes, #2)
  • Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City (Iron Seas, #1.5)
  • The Red Plague Affair (Bannon & Clare, #2)
  • Touch of Steel (Clockwork Agents, #2)
  • The Hunter (The Legend Chronicles, #1)
  • Agatha H and the Airship City (Girl Genius Novels, #1)
  • A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences: Tales from the Archives, Volume 3
  • A Study in Darkness (The Baskerville Affair, #2)
  • Long Live the Queen (The Immortal Empire, #3)

Other Books in the Series

Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences (9 books)
  • Phoenix Rising (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, #1)
  • Dawn's Early Light (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, #3)
  • The Diamond Conspiracy (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, #4)
  • Ministry Protocol: Thrilling Tales of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences
  • Tales from the Archives: Collection 7
  • Clockwork Portal (Tale from the Archives Book 3)
  • Bitter Pill (Tale from the Archives Book 3)
  • A Christmas to Die for
Phoenix Rising (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, #1) Dawn's Early Light (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, #3) The Diamond Conspiracy (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, #4) A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences: Tales from the Archives, Collection 1 Ministry Protocol: Thrilling Tales of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences

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“Right then," Campbell began, his tone so civil it was offensive. "May I have your name for the record, Miss...?"

"Eliza Braun," Eliza sneered. "Here, I'll spell it for you -- B-U-G-G-E-R-O-F-F.”
“Be that as it may, we were--and no doubt, still are--held under scrutiny, with that whole Phoenix Society brouhaha. It is imperative we remain on our best behaviour, a feat that you did not exactly manage effortlessly with your shenanigans in Edinburgh.” 4 likes
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