Up until a year or two ago, I would not have considered myself a fan of Steam punk. I had read a few pieces in the genre here and there and while theyUp until a year or two ago, I would not have considered myself a fan of Steam punk. I had read a few pieces in the genre here and there and while they were okay, they weren't anything overly memorable. So when I heard that my friends (yes, I am personal friends with the authors), were collaborating on a steam punk novel I was supportive. This was a good project for them and I, of course wished them all the best on it. But inwardly skeptical....It was steam punk. Steam punk was a fad and a lot of it was not very good. Why were they jumping on that bandwagon and not they writing what I WANTED them to write?
Thank god they did....
Phoenix Rising: A ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Adventure is an action packed humorous, romp into the world of a clandestine organization (similar in many regards to the James Bond franchise's MI6) during the reign of Queen Victoria. Our two heroes are a Dashing Duo of contradictions, opposing perspectives and outlooks, and approaches. Where he will solve a puzzling lock by thinking through the solution with logic and practicality, she would prefer to simply blow it up.
This piece is amazingly well written. As I said, I know both Authors personally and have read their previous works as independent writers. I'm also aware, in general, of the approach Ballantine and Morris took to writing this piece. But they have merged their styles so flawlessly that it is nearly impossible to tell where one writer stopped and the next began. Together they have crafted a vivid and visual world that dances off the page and plays in your mind like the next hollywood blockbuster complete with a carriage chase through the streets of London, a trip to Antartica, and a night out to see the Scottish Opera performed on the London Opera Stage, a set piece that his this opera goer in stitches as Morris and Ballantine poke just a little bit of fun at the art from the perspective of one character who...is not a fan.
Throughout the book, the Authors pause the main story with a series of interludes focusing on other characters in the world. Interconnected in their own right, these interludes set the stage for another tale, one, I hope, to be told in a future volume.
Phoenix Rising has single handedly changed my mind about the Steam punk Genere. In our media world filled with reboots and re-imaginings, and plotless movies focused too heavily on the visual effects and not enough on character development, Phoenix Rising is an amazingly original diversion into a world of government spies, secret societies, conspiracy and intrigue, powered by cogs and steam, while dressed with a bullet proof corset.
This is a must read, and I can not wait for the sequel....more
I very much enjoyed this book. As a latecomer to this series (yes I found it from the HBO series), I was very curious to see how much HBO had added anI very much enjoyed this book. As a latecomer to this series (yes I found it from the HBO series), I was very curious to see how much HBO had added and was very surprised to realize that so much detail had been put into place in the books. Martin delivers an amazingly rich, vivid, and vibrant world and anyone even remotely interested in epic fantasy owes it to themselves to pick this up....more
Geist is a wonderfully written, character driven story set in a fantasy (some may call it urban fantasy), world with a dash of steam punk thrown in foGeist is a wonderfully written, character driven story set in a fantasy (some may call it urban fantasy), world with a dash of steam punk thrown in for good measure. The Characterization is strong and the story compelling, complete with conspiracies, betrayal, political intrigue..and even a few days of isolation on a blimp. It paces well but is a fast read. I’d been reading it for a while when I took it with me on a recent trip to baltimore and pulled it out of my bag just before my return flight departed. An hour and a half later I’d gone through the last hundred pages of the mass market paperback. The world of Geist had me so consumed, I’d lost track of time. Not since the Harry Potter books has a world wrapped me up so completely.
To say I enjoyed it, is an understatement, and I can not wait to get to the sequel.