Book Review #33: Dawn’s Early Light (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences)

Dawn's Early LightTitle: Dawn’s Early Light (A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel)
Author: Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Available Formats: Dead tree, ebook, audiobook
Rating: PG for steampunk violence and enthusiasm

I have been a fan of Ms. Ballantine and Mr. Morris’ Ministry series since the very beginning. Pheonix Rising opened the door of steampunk to me and The Janus Affair firmly cemented my admiration for The Ministry’s duo of Wellington Books and Eliza Braun. When I received my ARC of Dawn’s Early Light, I could hardly wait to see if the third time would be the charm as our adventurers crossed the pond to the United States.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: Working for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, one sees innumerable technological wonders. But even veteran agents Braun and Books are unprepared for what the electrifying future holds…

After being ignominiously shipped out of England following their participation in the Janus affair, Braun and Books are ready to prove their worth as agents. But what starts as a simple mission in the States—intended to keep them out of trouble—suddenly turns into a scandalous and convoluted case that has connections reaching as far as Her Majesty the Queen.

Even with the help of two American agents from the Office of the Supernatural and the Metaphysical, Braun and Books have their work cut out for them as their chief suspect in a rash of nautical and aerial disasters is none other than Thomas Edison. Between the fantastic electric machines of Edison, the eccentricities of MoPO consultant Nikola Tesla, and the mysterious machinations of a new threat known only as the Maestro, they may find themselves in far worse danger than they ever have been in before…

Setting; After being ignominiously shipped out of England following their participation in the Janus affair, Braun and Books are ready to prove their worth as agents. But what starts as a simple mission in the States—intended to keep them out of trouble—suddenly turns into a scandalous and convoluted case that has connections reaching as far as Her Majesty the Queen.

Even with the help of two American agents from the Office of the Supernatural and the Metaphysical, Braun and Books have their work cut out for them as their chief suspect in a rash of nautical and aerial disasters is none other than Thomas Edison. Between the fantastic electric machines of Edison, the eccentricities of MoPO consultant Nikola Tesla, and the mysterious machinations of a new threat known only as the Maestro, they may find themselves in far worse danger than they ever have been in before…

Plot: As the synopsis states, Books and Braun have journeyed to the U.S. in support of their American counterparts and become enmeshed in an international affair the could change the world as we know it. If that isn’t enough to keep even the keenest agent busy, readers of the series might remember (SPOILER ALERT) that The Janus Affair ended with Welly and Eliza sharing a romantic moment. In Dawn’s Early Light this fledgling romance is tested as the stubbornness of our leads and the interventions of a dynamic cowboy and a charming librarian conspire together to put our heroes at odds with each other. To be honest, this second plot device was every bit as interesting to me as the initial.

Characters: Characters from the first two books are reintroduced as members of the cast in the third. Along with our regular players we are also introduced to two American agents of the Office of the Supernatural, MoPo’s U.S. counterpart.

Odin’s recommendation: In my opinion Dawn’s Early Light is a fantastic read. This latest entry into the series is delicious fun that shouldn’t be missed. Each book in the series has improved on it’s predecessor. No small feat when you consider how well written and how much fun the previous two entries were.

Wellington and Eliza have grown into their own skins, so to speak, and have become a tighter unit. This book also flips the roles of our heroes and allows Eliza to play the lead, a role in which she excels. Ace is sure to be glad they picked up this series as I am positive that with Dawn’s Early Light, we have seen the truth birth of a series that will enthrall us for years, and volumes, to come.

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