Steam punk done well

Dawn's Early Light
A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel
Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
Ace Books, New York, 2014, 374 pages

I have long been a fan of this series and have immersed myself into the world by downloading the podcasts as well. Yet I was somewhat disappointed by this book and that was a real surprise.
Our intrepid heroes Eliza Braun and Wellington Books are out of the archives and in the field. They are let loose on the unsuspecting Americans and that makes for lots of fun. There is some unresolved sexual tension being carried over from the last book between Books and Braun but if you have not read the Janus Affair, do not panic, this book does stand alone. Assisting Braun and Books are two American agents Felicity Lovelace and 'Wild Bill' Wheatley and they add some extra dynamics into the story. The action is thick and fast, plenty of humour and an array of gadgets are used. I mean you have to love a gun that has a setting called ‘pub brawl’.  The supporting characters are interesting and the use of historical characters is very well done. There is some wonderful hints/reveals in the last twenty pages or so that set up the next book with a lot of promise.
However there is something just does not click on the deeper levels. The disappointment for me was the lack of character development of Braun and Books. Braun is still gung-ho and hell bent on forcing an issue. Books is remains a stiff upper lip Brit and still not how sure to express himself. Even though they spend quite a bit of the book apart when they came together the sparks just were not there. Both were constrained by not being able to discuss their feelings for a variety of reasons and some of those reasons seemed contrived. When Books and Braun finally sort everything out it was a bit of a letdown.

It is a rollicking tale, fun to read but this one just was not as good as the previous two. 

If you want more on this wonderful world head over to the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences

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