This latest Ministry of Peculiar novel is just OK. It benefits from believable British dialect, but action scenes tend to be confusing and the protagonists aren’t particularly unique (an intellectual bookworm and a sassy, butt-kicking heroine). An uninspired story set in Victorian London with typical steampunk trappings, the book certainly isn’t bad, but it is definitely forgettable.
Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences field agent Eliza Braun performs her duties admirably, but has a habit of blowing up everything in her wake in the process. As punishment, Ministry director Dr. Basil Sound banishes Eliza to the archives to cool her heels with devoted archivist Wellington Books. But when Wellington and Eliza stumble upon a mystery threatening England’s freedom, the reluctant partners team up. (HARPER VOYAGER, May, 416 pp., $7.99)