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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Step Forward
George Mann's previous 'Newbury and Hobbes' novel, The Affinity Bridge was a curious mix of riotous entertainment and horrendous cliché, that teetered on the brink of being truly awful, yet managed to remain a book worth reading. So, it was with some apprehension that I settled down to read 'The Osiris Ritual' - which way would Mann go? Would we be treated to a...
Published on 13 Oct 2009 by Quicksilver

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Curse of the mummy
The Victorians were wild about mummies -- they even had "unwrapping" parties where everybody would gather and... well, unwrap the mummy.

So guess what leads to a gruesome string of murders in "The Osiris Ritual," George Mann's second steampunk thriller about special agents of Queen Victoria. Also present: a sinister magician and an undead cyborg agent. While...
Published on 1 May 2011 by E. A Solinas


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Step Forward, 13 Oct 2009
By 
Quicksilver (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Osiris Ritual (Paperback)
George Mann's previous 'Newbury and Hobbes' novel, The Affinity Bridge was a curious mix of riotous entertainment and horrendous cliché, that teetered on the brink of being truly awful, yet managed to remain a book worth reading. So, it was with some apprehension that I settled down to read 'The Osiris Ritual' - which way would Mann go? Would we be treated to a robust steampunk thriller, or a latter-day penny-dreadful?

I'm pleased to report that some of the problems of the first instalment have been ironed out. Mann's characters and settings now feel like artful homage, as opposed to clumsy pastiche (though some may argue there is little difference!), and although there is still some anachronistic dialogue, the editing for book two is tighter, making for a smoother read and considerably less frustrated tutting.

Again the sleuth's adventures are exciting; this time Newbury finds himself dealing with an Egyptian curse, whilst Hobbes hunts down a mysterious magician, linked with the disappearance of a number of women. The story flows quickly, thanks mainly to Mann's fluent writing style, which is a good job, as it hides 'The Osiris Ritual's' main flaw. The plot doesn't really hold up to close scrutiny. On the face of it, the villain's motives and methods seem sound, but on reflection it's a rather half-baked scheme not befitting for the master criminal he is purported to be. There are some nice set pieces in the book, but I was left with the impression that the plot was fudged to fit around them, rather than things being developed in unison.

Despite that, 'The Osiris Ritual', like its predecessor, is so much fun, that its plot flaws are easy to forgive. If you are looking for an easy enjoyable read, and are not upset by loose plotting, then you could do a lot worse than investigating the exploits of 'Newbury and Hobbes'. They are definite Guilty Pleasure material, perfect for lightening a dreary Autumn evening.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 31 Oct 2013
This review is from: The Osiris Ritual (Paperback)
The cover of this book is what caught my eye, because it was beautiful and because of the Egyptian theme. I've always had an interest in History, and particularly Egypt as I found it fascinating so I knew I had to read this book. When I got this book I didn't realize it was the second in the series, and started reading it totally unaware.

George Mann has written this book so beautifully that the descriptions of his creations and the scene and setting come to life and you can immerse yourself in it. He's also written them so that if you haven't read the first then it doesn't matter as there are no points where you have no idea what he's talking about, so you can read them as stand alone if you wish.

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole book, the Victorian setting, the steam punk devices and contraptions, the characters and the mystery or mysteries themselves. Newbury isn't painted to be a perfect hero of the story, he is imperfect but still a hero despite his drug addiction. Similarly Hobbes isn't the swooning, damsel in distress, useless female character you so often come across in books like these. She is instead independent, strong and a hero all of her own, not afraid, and perfectly capable of looking after herself.

For you Romance fans out there, there are slight hints of possible romance between the two, but largely it's a very unusual and different mystery book, set in a wonderful world, and with plenty of Egyptian mystery and myth. I'm not sure what I was expecting from this book, but I wasn't expecting alot, and I was pleasantly surprised with the book, and i'm off to go and buy the entire series now!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, Easy Steampunk, 8 Nov 2012
By 
M. G. Chisholm "chiefengineer3" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Osiris Ritual (Kindle Edition)
George Mann seems to have pretty much nailed the steampunk genre with his novels using the "Newbury & Hobbes" duo. He manages to balance steampunk, a hint of romance, action and Gothic horror into an easy to digest fast flowing book. All of the traditional steampunk accouterments are in place - brass men, steam powered vehicles and Victoriana but not beaten to death at the expense of a good action/crime caper.

The two main characters of Newbury and Hobbes work well as lead players with just enough romantic tension to be believable without turning into a turgid romantic pot boiler.

Overall a very good example of the genre and I certainly will be looking for more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Curse of the mummy, 1 May 2011
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Osiris Ritual (Paperback)
The Victorians were wild about mummies -- they even had "unwrapping" parties where everybody would gather and... well, unwrap the mummy.

So guess what leads to a gruesome string of murders in "The Osiris Ritual," George Mann's second steampunk thriller about special agents of Queen Victoria. Also present: a sinister magician and an undead cyborg agent. While cleverly plotted and well-written, Mann just doesn't draw us into the adventure -- it's a fun read, but leaves you wishing you felt closer to the characters.

London is thrilled by the unwrapping of a mysterious unnamed mummy in a black casket, who apparently was mummified alive. Meanwhile, Newbury has been sent to pick up Caspian, an agent in Russia who unexpectedly returned without warning; andHobbes has been investigating the magician Alfonso the Great, who is connected to the disappearance of several girls.

The Newbury finds out the true horror of "Caspian's" true identity -- it's his predecessor William Ashford, who was horribly killed and then "rebuilt."

And then the man who found the mystery mummy is found horribly butchered and placed in the sarcophagus. Newbury suspects that Ashford is the one responsible, but after an encounter with the man he begins to suspect that someone else is responsible -- someone very interested in the mummy's past.

There are three main subplots in "The Osiris Ritual," and while they seem to be totally unrelated at first, George Mann loosely links them together through Egyptian ritual, mad science, and a few gruesome murders. It's a solid steampunk thriller, neither REALLY AWESOMELY GOOD or HORRIBLY DISMALLY BAD. It's middling.

Mann has a flair for the horrific ("...a shocking assortment of flesh and brass, like a patchwork monster made real, a nightmare marriage of metal and blood") and he has a knack for bloody fight scenes and one wild chase involving a steam-powered tricycle. The scenes of detection aren't quite as gripping, mainly because they don't have that grimy, dank atmosphere -- it's more like reading a novelization for a movie script than a novel on its own.

I have to admit, Newbury is slowly evolving into a more rounded anti-hero -- his affection for a bright young reporter, his revulsion at what happened to Ashford, and his patriotism. I did get tired of the constant "he takes opium!" subplot, since it didn't add much. On the other hand, Hobbes feels like a generic Add-Water-For-Instant-Action-Chick character, and even adding the whole dying-sister thing doesn't make her feel less flat.

"The Osiris Ritual" is a somewhat less engaging adventure than George Mann's debut novel. People who adore Victorian steampunk will want to take a peek, but Mann's writing needs a little more refinement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Second in the Newbury and Hobbs Series, 18 Sep 2009
By 
Sarah Durston (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Osiris Ritual (Paperback)
`The Osiris Ritual' is the second in the Newbury and Hobbs series (if you haven't read it yet, you might be better to go back and read `The Affinity Bridge' first.) The story opens as Lord Winthrop is hosting a party where he will unveil (and unwrap!) a Mummy he discovered whilst in Egypt. Sir Maurice Newbury is at the party and soon becomes involved in a mystery surrounding the Mummy and the untimely death of the men who discovered it. Meanwhile his capable assistant, Veronica Hobbs, is investigating the disappearance of a number of young girls which appears to be linked to a travelling magician.

I had really enjoyed the first book in this series and was really looking forward to reading the next instalment and it didn't disappoint. The steam-punk element of the novels means that the Victorian world we are so familiar with is given a different spin; the portrayal of Queen Victoria isn't as vivid in this book but is still very amusing.

There may be times when Newbury slips a little into being an inferior version of Sherlock Holmes (he even has a Scottish housekeeper and a Moriarty-type nemesis) but this does little to dampen this fast paced and good-humoured sequel!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promising, but once again fails to deliver, 7 Feb 2010
This review is from: The Osiris Ritual (Paperback)
I'm only three-quarters through the book at the moment. Sadly, though I'm a fast reader, I find myself having to put the book down in annoyance fairly regularly.

Despite the lacking prose and jarring inconsistencies, "The Affinity Bridge" was a fun read. The Osiris Ritual's premise is, happily, a little more traditional to begin with: a mummy's curse and the murder of a prominent archaeologist send Newbury off on a hunt for a killer. However, just like its predecessor, the book fails to immerse the reader: grammatical slip-ups, anachronisms in vocabulary, and frankly unbelievable plot twists abound. (Let me just say, without spoiling the plot, that the method of disappearance, once revealed, was frankly unbelievable in a technical sense.) I realise the book is intended to be somewhat kitsch- just look at the cover. However, it must also be an enjoyable read to get away with this, and the author has no sense of how to make his world believable, even in a fantastic sense. One thing that comes to mind is the protagonist's frequent call for Earl Grey. Surely plain tea would do? "Do I smell a fresh pot of Earl Grey brewing in the pot?" was amusing, though.

Once again Sir Newbury and Miss Hobbes' separate assignments turn out to be related. I do wish that the nature of the relationship between the cases hadn't been so ham-handed. And what of Miss Hobbes' sister? You'd think she'd rate more mention than one small reference at the start and a later visit. How depressingly Victorian, haha.

I'd recommend that the author spend a few months reading both Victorian fiction and non-fiction to equip himself with a more engaging turn of phrase. I must say, though, the descriptions of technology in their context are exquisite, although the action scenes tend to drag a little. I'll be borrowing the next book from the library rather than buying it; this novel was lacking in substance and I doubt it holds up to repeated reading.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Light entertainment, 28 Nov 2009
This review is from: The Osiris Ritual (Paperback)
Two-dimensional characters, a predictable plot, and sometimes wooden prose, combined with frankly unbelievable tech, could have killed this book dead. The fact that it is still fairly enjoyable is a testament to the author, but it's still not a great book, just an OK one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Series goes from streghth to strength, 30 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Osiris Ritual (Paperback)
2nd book in the Newbury and Hobbes series and a good read to boot.Interesting plot variation, and heres looking forward to no 3
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5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive!, 5 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Osiris Ritual (Paperback)
I accidentally started this steampunk series with the third book, I bought it at an airport and just wanted something quick and forgettable to read while waiting around. Instead it was enormously engrossing and I was so pleased to find out there was more. The Osiris Ritual has not disappointed yet, it's gripping from the start with the ghoulish unwrapping of a mystery mummy! Strong female and male characters through out and a pleasure to read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another good read from Mann., 14 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Osiris Ritual (Kindle Edition)
Half way through and don't want it to end. First good look at Knox. Another good read from Mann that'll have me buying the next 2 in the series.
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The Osiris Ritual
The Osiris Ritual by George Mann (Paperback - 7 Sep 2009)
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