Sunday, 18 March 2012
The Osiris Ritual
Book Title: The Osiris Ritual
Author Name: George Mann
Why I decided to read this book: I read the first book in the series (see my review of The Affinity Bridge) and really loved it, so included this one on my wishlist at Christmas. And someone kindly bought it for me!
Summary: This is the second in the Newbury & Hobbes series, about Sir Maurice Newbury, agent of the Crown, and his assistant, Veronica Hobbes. They investigate mysterious crimes in an alternate, steampunk Victorian era. In The Osiris Ritual, Sir Maurice Newbury is on the trail of a rogue agent whom everyone thought was dead, whilst also assisting in the investigation into the murders of two men who have uncovered an unusual Egyptian mummy. Meanwhile Veronica Hobbes is becoming increasingly obsessed with discovering the whereabouts of a growing list of missing girls, and whether their disappearances are linked to a travelling magician.
Strengths: Like the first book, this story is well-written and a thoroughly enjoyable read. The characters leap off the page and the action is extremely vivid - involving a sword fight and a rooftop chase! There is a great deal of intrigue as you dig deeper into the book that makes it very difficult to put the book down. I think this is down to the fact that George Mann has an incredible imagination and a brilliant flair for putting his ideas onto paper. I love the setting and I am genuinely interested in the characters and the cases they are investigating.
Weaknesses: Unfortunately, this book suffers from the same problem as the first book: poor editing. I noticed several typos, including one confusing paragraph where character names were mixed up. Also, characters "realised s/he was holding his/her breath" numerous times, which I found irritating - surely this could have been rephrased once or twice? On top of these issues, this book had another weakness, in that I felt the ending was rather anti-climactic: the story started well and built up a lot of expectation for the final showdown which was not met, in my opinion. As I read, I could see several threads being pulled together that I had high hopes would produce an impressive ending; some of these threads were dropped, however, never to be seen again (maybe they'll be revived in later books?). And the final few chapters were all involved in setting the scene for the next book in the series, The Immorality Engine, rather than finishing off this story with a suitable flourish.
Overall Opinion: I have to admit that, whilst I still loved the story, I was disappointed by the ending. However, that's not to say that the ending was bad, but rather my disappointment was because this book started so brilliantly, and also because I had high expectations already, having read the first book. I would still highly recommend The Osiris Ritual and its predecessor, The Affinity Bridge, to anyone who likes crime or steampunk novels (and to anyone else who enjoys reading and will listen to me!) because the characters and the plots are fantastic. But I'm hoping that the next book in the series, The Immorality Engine, improves upon this book and ties up a few loose ends. I'll let you know about that one soon - I went out and bought it yesterday before I had even finished The Osiris Ritual!
Rating out of Five: