To my regular nonexistent readers it will come as no surprise that I’m reviewing an audio book. And because my fellow editor at Flying Island Press recently reveiwed this book, this will be short, as I don’t feel I need to cross much of the same territory. If you haven’t read his review, you may want to go here, http://flyingislandpress.com/flagship/2012/05/14/the-janus-affair-review/ , because he explains a lot of plot and background that I don’t.
I met Philippa Ballantine at WorldCon last year in Reno. I heard her read portions of one of her books, there. I’ve followed a number of her podcast stories and know she is a naturally tallented, action packed, and more than a little ribald, writer. She has an attractive New Zealand accent that amplifies her personality and individual beauty.
Tee Morris and Philippa write the books of the ‘Ministry of Unusual Occurences’ novels together. As Scott points out, they write seamlessly. Who knows where one begins or lets off. Forgive me if I spell their names wrong, because I haven’t seen them written. In my mind, Eliza Braun, our heroine of the story, is Pip. She may look different, but that has never intruded into my mental image. Initially, with the first book in the series, I was dissappointed that she was not the narrator, but soon found that the narrator is a perfect match for the ‘voice’ of this novel. Wellington Books is the perfect straight man for the ‘saucy pepper pot’, Eliza.
James Langton is the narrator and I think he deserves mention as something more than just the guy who reads the story. I think he catches the real spirit of this novel. Each new chapter begins like a classic radio serial and prepares the reader for what will confront him during the episode. Mr. Langton voices the characters as seemlessly and expertly as the authors wrote them. Each character is consistent, individual and believable.
‘The Janus Affair’ is a non-stop, action packed, adventure with enough twists, turns and surprises to grab a reader and whip them along to the end of the story before they know it. Fortunately, by the end of this story you can see that this improbable pair will be back for more action, adventure, inventions, murder, romantic tension, air ships, pistons and boilers, and all the goodness that comes with 1890’s Victorian, Steam Punk.
(Do you get the idea that I liked it? [Five Stars])
Philip ‘Norvaljoe’ Carroll is a lazy bum who lives in the Central Valley of California. When he is not goofing off at work, he is a husband, father and grand-father who likes candle light dinners and taking long walks on short piers. He is a staff editor at FlyingIslandPress.com and has been practicing his story telling skills for the last four years. He hopes that someday he will get good.