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The Osiris Curse: A Tweed & Nightingale Adventure
By Paul Crilley
Reviewed by Madeleine Maccar
The Osiris Curse picks up where the first Tweed & Nightingale Adventure left off, propelling its seventeen-year-old heroes through new adventures in an alternate-history Victorian London reimagined through the eyes of steampunk; one does not need to have read its predecessor, The Lazarus Machine, to understand the plot, as concise exposition provides both tidy summaries of previous events and the already-established back stories of Sebastian Tweed, a Sherlock Holmes clone in the truest sense, and Octavia Nightingale, a junior reporter whose mother is missing. The two teens, with occasional help from new allies they meet along the way, go up against Nikola Tesla's murderers, board a luxury airship incognito, and learn of an ancient underground society desperately fighting for survival in the nineteenth century. The story is fast-paced and imaginative, populated by likable protagonists who are grappling with their own shortcomings as well as surprisingly sympathetic foes who demonstrate to the book's young-adult audience that the world is not a black-and-white place.
In fact, despite its richly atmospheric setting and multi-dimensional characters, the novel's lessons, cleverly disguised as detail, offer some of the most compelling reasons to keep reading. The Osiris Curse thoughtfully explores gender equality, the pros and cons of empathy, how logic and critical thinking solve more problems than grandly heroic gestures do (but that good judgment can recognize the time and place for the latter), that the good of the many often--but not always--outweighs the good of the few, that even our worst enemies are capable of love, and the very philosophy of humanity; however, it is the attention given to the exception to each rule that wards off any sense of stale sermonizing. The Osiris Curse is a high-octane adventure, indeed, but one that uses its head to get to the heart of the matter.
Out of 10: 8.0