The Osiris Curse (Tweed & Nightingale Adventures #2)
I picked this one up because of the comparison to The X-files, which was my absolute favorite show as a teen. And although I would say this doesn't really seem to be an accurate comparison, as far as the characters themselves go, the general feel of the plot does have an X-files-ish bent to it. Sebastian Tweed is a steampunk version of Sherlock Holmes, albeit with some *minor* altercations (you'll have to read The Lazarus Machine), and Octavia is the very young, naive, but strong and energetic young sleuth who accompanies him on his investigative exploits. The way they play off of each other works nicely, and although I find their banter annoying at times, I felt like they were appropriately ‘aged,’ unlike many YAs I’ve read. They really felt like they were 17. Other characters in the story depend: some are very well-drawn and interesting; others are more shallow and typical. One thing that kept me interested in the story was the validity of the villains, however. They were complex, creepy, and intense. The internal moral struggle that develops within Tweed is much more depth than I’ve seen in a while for an MC, and the conclusions he tries to work out are insightful and intelligent. The dialogue is, I think, what brings the characters down at times. The things Tweed and Nightingale say to each other are often cliché and cheesy, and this element of Crilley’s style distracted from what I see as some great talent.
The world-building is really well-done. I have not yet read a steampunk fantasy, though I have been drawn to steampunk ever since I saw my first steampunk-essenced contraption listed on etsy. Crilley does a great job dreaming up various machinery, and that paired with his talent for description made for a visual kick I haven’t experienced in some time. His imagination is a fun place to explore through his artful inventions and masterful application of realistic yet still out-there technology. This was what held my attention probably the most, since the characters were not truly stellar. I hope that the character development as written grows, but this side of Crilley’s writing really shines.
The pace of the book was excellently done, and there wasn’t much room for ‘down time’ as far as the characters goose-chase is concerned. They were constantly on the go, and each discovery left me if not burning for more, at least very interested. I was not ever disappointed in the plot twists or inventions; each back-story was well thought out and explored.
For my first steampunk fantasy, I found The Osiris Curse to be a fun and imaginative read. Fans of steampunk anything should check it out!