The Diamond Conspiracy by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris
Ace: March 31, 2015 (Steampunk)*
The Ministry is back in action!
The fourth book in The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences has arrived and the team is being thrown under the bus by outside forces. Forced to go to ground with the Phantom Protocol Eliza Braun and Wellington Books are on the run and ready to save the empire once again, trouble is, the leader of the empire, just might be the problem.
The Diamond Conspiracy takes place just days after the events in Dawn’s Early Light. Welly and Eliza are returning back to England and testing out their new found romantic relationship. However, the pleasure cruise home is brought to an abrupt halt when Eliza receives the signal from her street urchins, the Ministry Seven. Racing against the clock Eliza and Wellington band together with trusted colleagues and former enemies to save both the empire and their own skin.
The latest installment in the series is just as fun as the previous ones. The action starts right away and Eliza and Wellington are thrown into the thick of it, but this time their awesome dynamic had changed. No longer just partners, Eliza and Wellington have to cope with their new status as a couple. They’re not hiding their feelings for one another, but at the same time they can’t let it complicate their mission, the fate of the empire does rest in their hands after all.
What readers are also treated to in The Diamond Conspiracy is Wellington’s dark and tragic childhood. As readers of the series will be well aware, Wellington has secrets skills. He may be a mild-mannered archivist, but he knows his way around a rifle and is a crack shot, all thanks to his autocratic father’s training. Here, readers find out more about that father and what Wellington’s childhood was a like. When the Ministry takes refuge in Wellington’s childhood home, he is forced to confront his upbringing and the mysterious purpose of it. And based on that ending, that upbringing is going to have some serious repercussions going forward in the series. Can we have book 5 now?
If you’re a fan of The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences this addition does not disappoint. It’s a fun, action packed adventure studded with great cameos (i.e. Queen Victoria, Dr. Jekyll) and new steampunk gadgets. If you haven’t read the series, it’s one that I highly recommend. The steampunk elements are fantastic and are actually important to the plot. The alternative London that the authors create is also a lot of fun, as is the secret service that protects it’s shores. Start with book 1, Phoenix Rising.
*Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
If you’re a fan of Dr. Jekyll’s cameo in The Diamond Conspiracy, make sure that you check out Viola Carr’s The Diabolical Miss Hyde, where readers are introduced to Dr. Jekyll’s daughter (or daughters, depending on your take). Miss Hyde isn’t quite as action packed and there is a stronger romance element to it, but it is an interesting read. I’m not sure how I feel about it overall, but I’m reserving judgement until I read more in the series.
If you’re looking for a little something different in your steampunk reading, Jeannie Lin’s Gunpowder Alchemy is pretty freaking awesome. There’s more focus on characters in this one, but I think fans of the steampunk genre will appreciate the fact that the Asian setting and characters offer something new to the genre. Stacey and I did a joint review on this one and we both loved it!