Maja (The Nocturnal Library)'s Reviews > The Janus Affair

The Janus Affair by Pip Ballantine
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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 dashing archivist and our colonial pepperpot find themselves entangled in a complicated case involving missing suffragists, teleportation, ghosts from the past and quite a few explosions. Of course, Eliza and Welly aren’t supposed to be working outside the archives at all, but the field agent assigned to the case has been neglecting his duties in the worst possible way and meanwhile, women from the movement are still disappearing.

Unlike the first installment, The Janus Affair was harder to get into. The beginning was pretty slow compared to the explosive opening scene of Phoenix Rising. I struggled with the first 80 pages for five days straight, giving up and then forcing myself to restart, only to give up again after 10 pages or so. But when things finally started moving, when Eliza and Welly reminded me just how extraordinarily witty (and dysfunctional) they are, I wanted to kick myself for waiting so long to push through the beginning.

I should have remembered how wonderful these two characters are when they interact, how amusing when they snap at each other and, despite all their bickering, how protective they become when a third party goes after one of them.
”Your faith in my abilities does inspire me as would Helen’s visage,” snipped Wellington.
“Helen had a thousand ships covering her backside, mate.” Eliza shrugged, motioning to him. “I have an Archivist who’s afraid of guns. You figure out who has the better deal.”

There is more of everything in The Janus Affair: more action, more humor, more inventions, more peculiar occurrences, more witty banter and (ahem!) more unresolved sexual tension. My poor Books is too nerdy and shy to admit to himself, let alone to Eliza, how he really feels, but the arrival of Eliza’s old flame from New Zealand might just push him over the edge. Everyone has secrets, right? Even our gentle archivist has a surprise or two in store.

This, my darlings, is steampunk at its best! I’m not exactly an expert on the genre, but I do recognize quality when I see it, and spouses Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris delivered quality work not once, but two times. From the language (especially language!) and society to the intriguing inventions, even the smallest detail is in its place. If you intend to read one steampunk in your life, this is what you should choose. Ballantine and Morris know what they’re doing.

Also posted at The Nocturnal Library
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Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

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Shelley If you liked Phoenix Rising, you will love this one!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I did, and I did! I can't get enough of these two.

message 3: by AH (new) - added it

AH I just received my copy and I can't wait to read it. I love Eliza and Books! Great review, Maja.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Thank you! These two (Ballantine & Morris) really outdid themselves this time. The book is so exciting!

message 5: by AH (new) - added it

AH Have you ever looked at their blog? They were attending a steampunk convention. That would be so cool!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Just the Ministry blog, yes, but I didn't pay much attention. Ohh, imagine that - the clothes, the inventions, it would be so cool.

message 7: by AH (last edited Jun 01, 2012 05:24AM) (new) - added it

AH Even the food! I downloaded a free Amazon Steampunk drink book. Most of the drinks were mixed in garbage cans and steeped for a while. Industrial quantities.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Haha, okay, as a germophobe, I can't say I'm too thrilled by the idea, but I like the originality!

message 9: by AH (new) - added it

AH (Clean brand new garbage cans - I think they hold 80L)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Okay, okay, I guess I could live with that if the drinks are good enough. :D

Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews) I didn't know Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine were married. How cool is that! I also love this series and characters - though book 1 was harder for to get into. Books is one of my fave male love interests currently and MoPO is quickly becoming my new favorite steampunk series. I can't wait to read book 3.

Love the quote you pulled as well - their banter is so amusing.

message 12: by Jim (new) - added it

Jim This looks great!

message 13: by AH (new) - added it

AH Jim, this is the second book in the series. The first one Phoenix Rising is a lot of fun to read.

message 14: by Jim (new) - added it

Jim Thanks AH! I will pick up the sample right now.:)

message 15: by Natalie (new) - added it

Natalie This one is only 99 cents for Nook and Kindle now. Haven't read the first book yet, but I own it, and I couldn't pass up buying the sequel for that price! :)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Ohh, that's great news! These two are so talented.

Claudia I really liked the first book so I will start this immediately :-)
Good review ... as always

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