Osiris is a floating city, perhaps the only city remaining on a storm-ravaged Earth. Beset with class struggles between the affluent East and underprivileged West, it can be an unforgiving place to live for someone like Vikram, an idealist Westerner pushing for reform. But he finds an unlikely ally in Adelaide Mystik, socialite and black sheep of the powerful Rechnov family. Hoping to uncover the reasons behind her twin brother’s disappearance, Adelaide forms an unexpected alliance with Vikram that will uncover secrets on both sides of the class divide.
Swift’s debut novel is extremely ambitious, imagining the day-to-day struggles of the last city on Earth and offering a very grounded social and political element to boot. As the first book in a planned trilogy, it has a lot of heavy lifting to do. Unfortunately, Osiris is slow, frustratingly so, even for a piece hellbent on meticulously building not only an unfamiliar world, but the lives of two flawed, complicated characters like Vikram and Adelaide.
Ultimately, this book sets the game board, but doesn’t make any appreciable moves forward. I think the verdict on Osiris will depend heavily on how the second book reads, and if all this preamble proves worthwhile.
|Night Shade Books
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|Science Fiction & Fantasy