I was using "SF" in the sense of "speculative fiction," encompassing fantasy and horror as well as science fiction. I wouldn't want to give anything away about the ending (although I thought it was obvious a long way off), but I think Osama
qualifies as at least one of those three.
You might want to check out The Bookman
, that first of Tidhar's steampunk novels-- it's certainly not about romanticizing the British Empire, and I think it manages to be recognizably steampunk without offering the pat morality or wheezy Victorian-tech that drags so much of the genre down. The ending isn't quite as innovative as the beginning, but overall the book is as fundamentally thoughtful about genre, power, and morality as Osama
, and rather better paced. I indeed to read the other two novels in Tidhar's steampunk milieu when I get a chance. But I suppose this discussion is becoming more suited for the "What SFF book are you reading?" thread.