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Danger and mystery lurks under the sands of ancient Egypt. This week, we take a look at The Osiris Curse, A Tweed and Nightingale Adventure by author Paul Crilley out from Pyr Books. Fans of this space will recall our review of book one in this steampunk young adult saga The Lazarus Machine from late last year.
The Osiris Curse sees our chief protagonists Octavia Nightingale and the inscrutable Tweed return to track down the disappearance of super-scientist Nikola Tesla. Tesla was a powerhouse enough in our own timeline, so you can just imagine the technology that he was capable of unleashing into a steampunk universe.
The trail leads Tweed & Octavia to Egypt as they travel by high-tech steam airship tracing the entwining links of Tesla’s murder and the disappearance of Octavia’s mother. Remember from the first book, “soul-snatching” and spirit transplanting into enslaved corpses was a wholesale industry in this historical fantasy realm. Tweed himself was an escaped product of these bizarre experiments.
Their later adventures in ancient Egypt uncover a secret society of the Hermetic Order of Osiris, as well as an ancient and subterranean race that was worshiped by the ancient Egyptians when their empire was at its zenith. Hey, it sure explains all of those animal-headed gods, right?
At stake, no less than the future of civilization. Can Octavia and Tweed discover and stop the unleashing of an ancient terror on humanity, not to mention Tesla’s legendary death ray, before it’s too late? We thought the glamour that was the good airship Albion and the traveling residences constructed inside one of the ancient hollowed out Pyramids of Giza were a nice touch. Hey, it was the Victorian Era, right? Steampunk tech or no, there no need to “rough it” abroad…
The Osiris Curse is a worthy successor of The Lazarus Machine that will keep fans on the edge of their seats right up to the climatic battle. It was great to see Tweed and Nightingale out of their element battling evil in a foreign land while still at their steampunk best. The Tweed and Nightingale series still has lots of places in the alternate universe of the 19th century to explore, and lots of real life parallels to exploit. And heck, it’s just fun to see inventor Nikola Tesla —or at least the imprisoned soul of Tesla— finally get some steampunk airtime! What other inventions might he have produced, with the proper start-up capital?
Read The Osiris Curse for a fun alt-history romp through a rich universe. The diversity of characters makes this one of the best steampunk sagas to date, right up there with Mark Hodder’s The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack. In a genre that’s begging for a flagship series, The Tweed and Nightingale adventures may just fit the bill!
Next Week: Where has the night sky gone? We’ll take a look a new book that chronicles the woes of light pollution and more with Paul Bogard’s The End of Night.