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on 2 February 2014
I must admit this book is the first in the MPO series proper I have read: I came to this alternate universe through looking for Steampunk tales set in India and so my first introduction to the Ministry was through finding short story 'The Shadows of Calcutta' about a year and a half ago. (This was by a guest writer and very enjoyable.)

Having read the book out of sequence and still enjoyed it is a very good indicator, as I was able to dive straight in without the need to have read the previous adventures. They are alluded to in such a way that it's very easy to slide into the world presented and you get to know the characters and their backgrounds very quickly.
The characters are lively, the story thunders along at a heady pace (this particular tale being about mysterious events surrounding suffragettes made it extra engaging to me personally).
When things go BOOM, which they do almost immediately, they do so in a deeply satisfying manner!
And the use of devices is great, it is one of the strengths of the story.

The only addendum I have is that sometimes the Britishness of both setting and characters can be a little stilted. But then, I am an incorrigible snob living in Great Britain. Considering this writer duo is not from the UK, they have done a thorough job lifting what made prim and proper Victorians sometimes unintentionally hilarious and ran with it. If you are looking for a perfect escapist steampunk novel with all the classic ingredients, with brave, arch and quippy characters who commit daring deeds, this is the book for you!

I now look forward to reading the rest of the series at some point. Preferably in the right order...
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on 28 June 2012
The janus affair is the second book in the ministry of peculiar occurances, a series that started with phoenix rising. the story follows Eliza Braum and Wellington Books, the proverbial brawns and brains combo in a steam punk victorian England dominated by occult science as these two work for the ministry of peculiar occurances
basically the books version of MI5, this isnt ground breaking stuff and anyone looking for the next cherie priest along the lines of Ganymeade or Boneshaker will be disappointed, however this is still an interesting story with likeable protagonists even if one is left with the nagging feeling that movies such as Mary poppins and My Fair Lady were far more of a influcence in the storys setting then Dickens thats not to mention that the crime solving duo are pretty much a copy of Emma peel and steed from the avengers tv show with a dash of James bond Q thrown in the mix

Disappearing Sufferagitts sets the stage for the story with our intrepid duo out to catch the dastardly villain and with Elizas personal involment its a race to get to the bottom of the mystery

i had hoped after reading and really enjoying Phoenix Rising that Janus Affair would build on that novels strengths as a fast paced adventure and reduce the cliches of american tv/movies britisms unfortunately the opposite seems to have happened, not enough mind you that i wont be buying the next one, and the intersting villains and their motivations does make me hold out hope that the authors will eventually come up with something really unique and oirginal just not here.
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Steampunk is a genre that is not only fascinating but also one that has the possibilities of a world that could have been. It's quirky, the machinations truly inventive and when you add characters that jump onto the page with larger than life attributes, it makes for a setting that can't help but thrill.

Whilst many seek to create the worlds on their own Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine bring together an amalgamation of heroism, humour and also throw into the mix some cracking twists with wicked schemes as the principle characters seek to save the misfortunate of London from those whom are trusted about all others. Add to this cracking prose, top notch dialogue and the stiff upper lip and all in it's a title that really generated an adventure that Quartermaine himself would be envious of.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2013
The book follows on well from their previous work. Developed the characters further. Even the opposition. A good read. Waiting for the next one.
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on 21 March 2014
Very good- came quickly and in good condition (as I would hope!) yep happy with product- series are a fun read particularly for steam punk fans :)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2012
I couldn't finish this. Cardboard characters, predictable dialogue, silly behaviour. Good basic idea, but spoiled by the writing. (And if you removed the word 'quite' from the book it would decimate the word count.)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 30 November 2012
More fun reading with lots of background information on the intrepid duo brought in along with period politics given a new sheen.
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on 31 July 2014
I could not put this down!
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