As an archivist Wellington Books is most content when left alone-unfortunately when Miss Eliza D Braun, a field agent for the Ministry with a fondness for dynamite and daring-do, ends up assigned to work with him, his tranquility is forever broken. And when boredom leads Agent Braun to open a long dead case, which drove Agent Braun′s previous partner mad, Wellington Books finds himself in the middle of more adventures and dangers than he would have ever dreamed of.
Secret societies, carriage chases and explosions are so very hard to catalogue properly, after all.
This book kind of starts out in the vein of Colleen Gleeson’s Gardella legacy but soon swings off on its own tangent. Props for one of the main characters being a New Zealander instead of the usual suspects of the Britons or Americans. The beginning is a little bit light on plot but heavy on the action and the steam punk elements. However I really enjoyed Eliza (the heroine) getting to blow things up and use all the nifty guns. I’d hate to get in her way if she had PMS> Wellington being the book as a stuffy librarian type (just don’t let him hear you say that) but evolved to an intelligent, somewhat humorous more than up for the job well rounded character.
Don’t be confused by the lighthearted start to this book. It is not a comedy. As the book progresses you get sucked into a darker world where hedonism is an accepted practice. There is a little bit of a jarring factor with this as I found it very unexpected. I also noted that as the book went on, Eliza lamented the loss of her previous partner more and more even though we knew so little about him.
There is a lot going for this book and I really wanted to fall in love with it. The steam punk elements are front, centre and fabulous but too much emphasis on the gadgets and not enough on the plot. I can see this series becoming better as each book goes on but for now I’ll hold off adding this series to my must buy list