on 31 October 2013
I loved the first book in this series to another level, then Titan sent me this book, the second one....I was excited. I read the blurb...and I was even more excited because not only another Newbury and Hobbe investigation.....one that involved a freaking mummy and I was like HELL YES! This series, just from these two books, gets better and better. The first book was awesome, and this book is just as good, if not better.
The Osiris Ritual takes everything you love from the first book, and brings it back again for this book....and gives you more of it. George Mann has written this book, and the previous one, so beautifully that the descriptions of his creations, and settings and characters come to life around you and you can immerse yourself in it. I just love the London he's created, not going to lie! If you haven't read the first book....you should read it, just because why the hell not?! BUT, you could, if you really wanted to, probably get away with reading this book without having read the first one. But seriously....just read the first book.
Right from the first page, I was drawn straight back in to the world of Newbury and Hobbes. I was eagerly awaiting the first appearance of one or both of them and I fangirled a little when we finally come across Newbury! Like I said, Mann creates each setting so you can pretty much step inside it. As such, when our intrepid Egyptian explorer started to try to open the sarcophagus...I was right there with Newbury, wincing along and kind of wanting to screech "STOOOPPP".
One of the things I loved about the first book was the characters. Veronica is no swooning damsel in distress, she's independent, strong and a hero all of her own, not afraid and perfectly capable of looking after herself. Maurice, while still being a hero of the book, isn't perfect what with his drug addiction. I love that he isn't at all perfect, for the time setting it adds a gritty feel to it, making the character more believable and more realistic. He's also a bit geeky to be honest. Both characters where created so well in the first book with plenty of depth, and more to them than meets the eye and in this book that's carried on as you spend more time with them and learn more about them.
The rest of the colourful and well written cast from the first book are back. We get more of Charles, more of Veronica's sister who gets a rather nice surprise at the end of the book, and I'm excited to see what's in store for her next! We also get to see the Queen herself again. I'm most excited about Amelia to be honest, right now, after the end of the book and everything, I just want to know so much more about her! I'm also incredibly intrigued now by Dr. Fabian.
Much like the first book there's lots of action in this one, as well as little original quirks. There's a submarine type vessel, the ground train is back, there's mechanical devices all over the place and I love reading all about them. Not to mention what's been going on in the book, that involves automatons and people and yeah. Each is explained in such detail that you can picture if vividly. Although I could have done without certain visuals involving Ashford and the machinery parts and everything. Gross, just gross. Anyway, the steampunk style devices are one of the little things about the book that makes it stand out from the crowd, intrigues you and helps to bring the book to life. Especially as the descriptions are concise, while giving you a clear image of what the author has created. I once read a steampunk book that took pages to describe one device, so Mann's descriptions are completely perfect!
The world and the characters are very authentic, very realistic and really pull you in to the story. Not to mention how atmospheric the settings are. Especially the creepy theatre. Have you ever been in to a theatre when no-ones about? It doesn't matter whether or not there's something going on like in the book, it's still freaking creepy. There are so many things combining to give you an authentic and immersive experience as you're reading and you find yourself completely engrossed in the book and what's going on. Each setting has a different vibe to it, each is created with as much care as the others.
The writing continues to be slick and compelling. The chapters end leaving you wanting more, especially when something's happening to Newbury, and the narrative in the next chapter is Veronica where something else is happening and you're like 'I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM I CAN'T TAKE THIS SUSPENSE'. I love the changes in narrative so you know what's going on with both characters and it adds to the suspense and tension and danger. The changeovers are always smooth as well, and each character has an engaging and distinctive voice.
I love how Mann gives you a couple of mysteries in one go, and then all these little threads. Murders, girls going missing, an agent needing to be tracked down...except he's supposed to be dead. All of these combine together to create a plot that is the right amount of complex, and keeps you occupied as you try to workout who's responsible for one thing, how they tie together and so on. Each plot thread gets it's time in the spotlight as we go through the book, switching between them, and I love how all the different threads throughout the book come together and no matter what you come up with...you're wrong. Plot twists everywhere guys, everywhere.
This book doesn't half leave you wanting more as well! Newbury finally finds out The Thing. If you've read the books you'll know what I mean. Right at the end. He finds out. I'm like.....you can't leave it there...come on...where's the other pages?! Then with Amelia and Fabian and everything. It's a world I've already come to love so much over the course of two books, and I already didn't want to leave it or the characters, and then the ending of the book happened and I'm like...damn. *looks up when book three is out* *screams no Luke Skywalker style*. On the plus.....March is my birthday month, so like...I get my birthday AND new Newbury and Hobbes...that's kind of a win I suppose?!
The Osiris Ritual is a fantastic sequel to The Affinity Bridge, it's the sequel you dream about, perfect continuation. Everything you love is back and better. I kind of ship Newbury and Hobbes not going to lie and this book made it worse! There's more steampunk type devices for your imagination to conjure up from the descriptions, more mysteries filled with plot twists you don't see coming. More of our favourite characters, more atmospheric and vivid settings. There's Egyptian myth and mystery.
The Osiris Ritual is a book you can't put down because you just have to know what happens next. It's original, it's unique, it's just freaking glorious okay?! It's basically perfect, except for the ending and the wait for the next book!