Saturday, April 13, 2019

Book Review: The Curse of the Silver Pharaoh by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris

The Curse of the Silver Pharaoh
Author: Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris
Publication: Imagine That! Studios (September 30, 2016)

Description: While Verity Fitzroy loses herself in magical mechanizations and fantastical science of London, she harbours secrets of the death of her parents, of a mystery she can't leave alone, and of her power over machinery that both excites and terrifies her. Verity is part of the Ministry Seven, street orphans that work for Agent Harrison Thorne of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. Under his guidance, a whole new adventure begins for them all, investigating the strange, the unusual, and the bizarre.

When an Egyptologist from the British Museum is kidnapped, the only clue leads to the Delancy Academy, an elite school for gifted, young scientists. Now the Seven are called upon to go where Ministry agents cannot, and within the school Verity uncovers an ancient evil that could herald the end of the world.

The Seven set down a dangerous path of intrigue, mystery, and murder; and find that ancient curses are especially difficult to contend with when you have Chemistry assignments due the next day.

From the creators of the award-winning steampunk series comes a new adventure set in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences universe.

My Thoughts: This steampunk adventure is a spinoff from the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series. It stars the Ministry Seven who are a group of street orphans who work for Agent Harrison Thorne. The main character in this one is Verity Fitzroy who is noted for her abilities as a "clanker" - an inventor who makes all sorts of machinery. Her proudest achievement is a clockwork mouse. She is also developing a power over machinery which makes her wonder if she is losing her mind.

The story begins with Verity hitching a ride on the vehicle of some bad guys through the use of magnets. We learn that Verity is trying to track down the people who killed her archaeologist father and engineer mother and caused her to begin living on the streets when she was eight. She is keeping her search a secret from the rest of her crew because she wants to keep them out of danger.

Verity learns that her hunt is coinciding with a hunt that Agent Harrison Thorne is on. An egyptologist has been kidnapped and Thorne is convinced that it has something to do with the missing Silver Pharaoh. Legend has it that the Pharaoh had some sort of mystical powers. Verity doesn't believe in mystical powers or legends because she prefers rational, scientific explanations.

Clues lead them to the Delancy Academy for Exceptionals and Verity, Henry, and Emma are tasked to go undercover to see what is going on. Meanwhile, the other four boys are sent to a nearby farm where they do some investigating of their own.

I loved the adventure and all the steampunk gadgets. I loved the setting in a highly fortified school with eccentric teachers and the usual entitled students who looked down on Verity as a charity student. I liked that Verity make friends with another student who had an interesting family situation of her own.

This book begins a series that should be a lot of fun to read.

Favorite Quote:
She stabbed a man who must have outweighed her three times with what amounted to a vegetable peeler.

The profile of his pistol gleamed dully in the gaslight. He was armed with a standard Bulldog. She was armed with science.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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