Dawn’s Early Light By Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris

May 10, 2014 | 2014 Articles, Fantasy & Fangs, Terrance V. Mc Arthur

by Terrance Mc Arthur

Details on how to win a copy of Dawn’s Early Light at the end of this review, along with a link to purchase the book–with a portion going to help support KRL.

The problem with some “steampunk” stories is their museum quality. There are all sorts of gadgets, but they are only for display purposes. The zeppelins and steam-driven computers look pretty, but they just sit there. They don’t do anything to make the story happen. However, in Dawn’s Early Light: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel by Pip (Philippa) Ballantine and Tee (Thomas Earl) Morris, the anachronistic mechanical objects are released from their glass cases, and people scramble over, around and through them.

Imagine chasing a fugitive through the innards of a lighter-than-air ship, thousands of feet above the Atlantic. Think of a death ray aimed at the launching area of two bicycle-makers from Ohio. Contemplate the conflict of Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison (OK that really happened, but here, they’re getting personal!). The steam-powered car with enough weaponry to amaze James Bond is not just a prop; it’s a part of the story and a reason for conflict. book cover

Wellington Books and Eliza Braun go to the United States to keep them out of trouble, after causing much mayhem in the British Empire (The Janus Affair), to consult on the mysterious disappearances of airships and surface ships. Books is an archivist who makes things and Braun is a secret agent in a bulletproof corset who can out-Peel Emma of the 60’s Avengers. Their American counterparts are Wild Bill Wheatley (a cowboy with a shoot first, shoot later attitude) and Felicity Lovelace, a frilly librarian (whose character reminds me a lot of Kristen Chenoweth) attracted to Welly.

Books and Braun shared a kiss in the prior book, and now there is much confusion as to what who feels about whom, and jealousy and anger abound. Who will be the first to reveal their true feelings, and what’s taking them so long? The schoolyard-level romantic antics are rather cute and charming, interspersed with sequences of dire peril and explosive action–nay; one might even call it earth-shaking!

Reading the earlier books would be a good idea, not so much to understand what is going on, as you don’t want to miss a delicious moment of the story this married team of writers have merrily created.

To enter to win a copy of Dawn’s Early Light, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Light,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 17, 2014. U.S. residents only.

Use this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL:

Check out more fantasy book reviews in our fantasy and fangs section.

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a Community Librarian for the WoW! (WithOut Walls) Division of the Fresno County Public Library, roaming the Valley to meet the public’s information needs.


  1. Interesting steampunk book

  2. I love this series and would be thrilled to win a copy of ‘Dawn’s Early Light’. Thanks so much.

    Amy in NYC – life long lover of all things SF & F.

  3. This looks like an interesting read — never having read anything like this not sure if I’d like or not but does look interesting,thanks for info!

  4. We have a winner
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher


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