|The Osiris Ritual, by George Mann
||[Aug. 8th, 2010|02:38 pm]
Review copy provided by Tor.
This is the second in a series in which I haven't read the first, The Affinity Bridge, and I think it suffers slightly thereby. It provides some background on the setting and characters--it wasn't that it was confusing per se--just that some of the emotional weight/resonance is lessened for not having had the initial introduction to their circumstances. If you're interested in this sort of thing, I'd start with the first one.
"This sort of thing" is steampunk mystery. Victorian London, about an even mix between occult and science-based steampunk, and in this volume Egyptology-focused, but definitely steampunk mystery. The language is intended to be pulp-adventure, although sometimes it veers off in the purplish and imprecise directions. It is squarely in the middle of that sort of thing, and if that is the sort of thing you like, you may well like this thing, but if not, I really don't think it likely.
I realize this is not my most inspired review ever, and I'm sorry for that. Possibly I am not being fair to this book, but here's the thing: it felt to me like it didn't depart from the things that a steampunk mystery with Egyptology stuff might have, like, in any particular. It did not surprise me, and it didn't feel like it surprised the author, either. Not every book has to be surprising, and there are almost certainly a great many steampunk fans who will find this a satisfying example of the sort of thing they want. But if you're not, I'm having a hard time thinking of it as worth the time with so much else out there.