The Oracle Year – Review

‘And how are you so sure? You the Oracle?’
Will hesitated.
‘That’s right,’ he said.
Victoria finally looked away from the television.
‘Uh-huh,’ she said. ‘You know how many times I’ve heard that line in the last few months? But you’re using it wrong. You’re supposed to predict that we’ll wake up together tomorrow morning.’

Will Dando is just a normal guy living in NYC, that is until he wakes up one morning with 108 predictions about the future in his head, and soon finds himself to be one of the most powerful and sought after men in the world. Although he initially abuses his power by setting up a website to release his predictions in dribs and drabs, asking for millions from big businesses wanting to make a profit from his prophecies, he soon finds himself in bigger trouble as he faces off against an assassin grandmother, a warlord with a nuke, a famous televangelist and even the President of the United States himself. Originally just out for himself, Will eventually has to use his power to stop the end of the world.

Most religious groups either denounced the Site or pointedly ignored it. A few embraced it. Politician and pundits incorporated the Site into their rhetoric without a blip. Invitations to the most exclusive events, offers of sexual favours, payments, employment were extended to the Oracle, all of which were, as far as anyone knew, ignored.’

I can’t honestly say what it was I expected from this book, all I can say is that I expected a lot more. The author is a bestselling comic-book franchise writer so perhaps that accounts for the rushed pacing, the erratic plot jumping between different characters and plot threads with no warning, and the sheer wealth of action allowing for very little, if any, character development. I’m writing this review the day after finishing this book and honestly, I remember very little about any of the characters, or the plot for that matter. All I really recall is that I only became properly invested in what was going to happen far later in the book, and even then I knew everything would work out in the protagonist’s favour, despite the author trying to tell us within Will’s inner thoughts that ‘oh no, this is a bad idea, why did I think this would work?’ – you’re the protagonist and we’re a chapter from the end, you’ll be fine.

I picked up this book because I thought the premise looked interesting and expected there to be more of a discussion about the nature of faith, corporations and our current society. While the book did cover these topics, it did so in a very light fashion and was overall more escapist than serious. Considering the premise that’s understandable, and overall this was a quick and easy book to read, but with little substance to it – like having a microwave meal rather than dinner at a restaurant. Disappointing.

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