“Anything can happen, Will Dando thought. In the next five seconds, in the next five years. Anything at all.”
One morning Will Dando woke up with 108 predictions ringing loudly in his mind. They were specific, and seemed to make no real sense. He wasn’t even sure it was real. Except he couldn’t get them out of his head. Then they started coming true.
Armed with this random knowledge, he sets up an impenetrable website calling himself The Oracle. Suddenly, Will Dando is no longer a nameless struggling musician from New York. He is the most powerful man in the world.
This book is a complex web of subtle examinations that make it incredibly interesting. Any book that dives deep into the exploration of fate, destiny, consequences, and other intangibles is going to be a fascinating read for me. The Oracle Year did not disappoint on any of those fronts.
“It was like trying to play chess in a pitch-black room, where you had to determine your opponent’s moves by sense of smell alone. And you had a cold. And your opponent was God. Futile.”
Every twist and turn in this book manages to defy falling into any semblance of predictability or cliche plot lines. Quite brilliantly, Soule doesn’t attempt to answer the large questions he presents in this novel. In fact, Will and most of the other characters also struggle with the questions presented. Would the future unfold in precisely this way if he did nothing? Or did putting the predictions into the world ensure that they did happen? Where does the idea of free will versus fate or destiny emerge? And are these ideas as separate as they seem?
It would be impossible to offer a satisfying ending by attempting to answer these questions. As I was reading I kept wondering what direction Soule would take the plot, and somehow he always managed to provide a twist at just the right place, that furthers the journey without giving the reader any hint at how it would continue to unfold.
“It’s impossible to predict what will happen next. Unless you’re in the future looking back.”
Everything about this novel was surprising and unpredictable. It was a beautiful symmetry in plot, since that is also exactly how the story unfolded. We learned things at the same time as Will. We watched the way information developed and revealed the consequences of those actions. Each action rippling outward, creating a cacophony of consequences, each as unpredictable as the next.
Told in the third person, the chapters alter between a varied cast of characters. Miko and Hamza are far and away my favorites, but I was fascinated with the character of The Coach. The dynamics of people in power and how they would react are spot on in this book, again, without feeling predictable or cliche. Soule nails not just human nature, but human nature in context of power.
“You’ve got both Sunni and Shiite leaders united on that front. That’s impressive. Get a rabbi on board and the Oracle might just get peace going in the Middle East.”
The Oracle Year has a dark, biting humor to it. It’s sharp with fast paced writing that keeps you turning the pages to find out what’s going to happen next. It sucks you in from the very beginning and reads like a good action movie, making it thoroughly enjoyable to read. The characters are all individual and believable. I devoured this book in a matter of hours.
If you’re looking for something fun, that raises fairly deep questions in an approachable and entertaining manner, you’re going to love The Oracle Year. It has an apocalyptic edge while giving you everything good that you’d expect in solid speculative fiction.
Thank you to Wunderkind PR for sending me a copy to read and review!!!
The Oracle Year is released today! Check out the synopsis and links to buy. AND!!! If you’re a member of Book of the Month Club, it’s one of the April selections!!! Use my referral code and get a free book when you sign up HERE or shop with your favorite retailer below:
From bestselling comic-book franchise writer Charles Soule comes a clever and witty first novel of a twentysomething New Yorker who wakes up one morning with the power to predict the future—perfect for fans of Joe Hill and Brad Meltzer, or books like This Book Is Full of Spiders and Welcome to Night Vale.
Charles Soule is a musician, attorney and the New York Times bestselling author of numerous comics titles for Marvel, DC, Image and other publishers, with over 2.2 million individual comics sold in 2017 alone. He is best known for writing Daredevil, She-Hulk, Death of Wolverine, and various Star Wars comics from Marvel Comics, as well as his creator-owned series Curse Words from Image Comics and the award-winning political sci-fi epic Letter 44 from Oni Press. Letter 44 was an official selection of the 2016 Festival International de la Bande Dessinée in Angoulême, France, which recognizes the finest graphic titles published in the French language. Soule also received the 2015 Stan Lee Excelsior Award for Superman/Wonder Woman Vol.1: Power Couple. His series Twenty-Seven (with Renzo Podesta) and She-Hulk (with Javier Pulido and Ronald Wimberly) were included on the “Great Graphic Novels for Teens” list from the Young Adult Library Services Association in 2012 and 2016, respectively.
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