Osiris by E. J. Swift

“Nobody leaves Osiris. Osiris is a lost city. She has lost the world and world has lost her . . .”

Rising high above the frigid waters, the ocean city of Osiris has been cut off from the land since the Great Storm 50 years ago. Most believe that Osiris is the last city on Earth. Adelaide is the black-sheep granddaughter of the city’s Architect. A jaded socialite, she wants little to do with her powerful relatives — until her troubled twin brother disappears mysteriously. Vikram, a third-generation storm refugee, sees his own people dying of cold and starvation. He hopes to use Adelaide to bring about much-needed reforms — but who is using whom? As another brutal winter brings Osiris closer to riot and revolution, two very different people attempt to bridge the gap dividing the city, only to find a future far more complicated than either of them ever imagined.

Osiris [1. provided free by Night Shade Books] is a difficult book. It’s beautifully written, intricately plotted and has a well-imagined setting, but even with all those things, I’m not entirely sure that I enjoyed it.

Osiris is another slow starter, which I’m not opposed to in fantasy books, but it’s almost too slow. I kept finding myself excuses not to read it – not because it was bad, but because amidst the glorious prose and careful plotting, I felt a core of coldness, or lack. An emptyness. I just didn’t care. I didn’t care about Adelaide, I didn’t care about her brother, Axel, I didn’t care about Vikram or the uprising. I just didn’t care.

Which is not to say Osiris is a bad book. I cannot be more clear on this – it is, in fact, a very good book. There are a lot of things that I should have loved about it – decently written female MC! Prose that rises above the merely competent! Interesting and unique setting! Uprising and rebellions! I should have loved it. I should have been using this space to rave about it, to tell you to go spend your hard earned money on Osiris, I should have wanted a physical copy so I could read and re-read until the spine creased and the pages fell out. But I just didn’t.

I did manage to finish it, but it was because I requested the eARC myself and didn’t feel I could just stop. The ending is sufficiently satisfying and powerful – or it would be if I’d had a strong enough emotional connection to the book. It sets up nicely for future books in the series, as well, if that’s something that appeals to you.

This isn’t a great review – all I can do with a review is put across my own personal opinion, and in this case it’s quite simple. Osiris is a good book, but it left me cold.  I don’t think it’s the fault of the writer. It’s not you, E. J. Swift, it’s me.


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