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The Oracle Paperback – March 4, 2014
The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
From his Southern Italian home, award winning author Michael Sedge has published more than 4000 articles, ten books, and written three television documentaries. His book, The Lost Ships of Pisa, won the President of the Italian Republic's Best Book of the Year by a Foreign Author as well as the City of Pisa's Rustichello da Pisa prize for literature.
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Top customer reviews
The opening of the book had me feeling transported to the ancient past and imagining how it could have been in such a world. Then we are transported into future day and are introduced to David and his family whom are living in Italy. I was intrigued by the character of David. I would have to say he was my favorite character. It shows some glimpse into their life before tragedy strikes the family hard. A tragedy that had me shocked. It was so unexpected for me.
Again we fast forward and meet David's brother and his family and the events that take them to Italy. Where they find much more than they bargained for on what should have been a relaxing and therapeutic trip. Once there event unfold and the truth of the tragedy that struck there nine years before. With it comes a shock that is hard to believe.
In my honest opinion I loved this book. I felt I was actually in Italy by the descriptions of sites. It had me captivated from cover to cover.The story held surprises that I couldn't even guess ahead of time. This is a great book that I would recommend to anyone that loves mythology and some thrills with a bit of a surprise ending.
On a sunny windless day in late spring, summer, or in that period of early fall where one still believes it to be summer, one can stroll around the ruins communing with the ancients. The site overlooks the sea, the setting is bucolic, approaching idyllic, and a place to return to time and again to reflect, learn, and ponder the past.
But when the breeze freshens and the trees begin to murmur, a sense of unease can appear from nowhere. And as the afternoon shadows creep into position to transform day into evening, then dusk, then night, that sense of unease can grow past disquiet to a foreboding that urges you to leave the hill, the ruins, the vista, and go someplace where you can be among people and food and drink because the curses of times long past and the sense of the demons of the ancients begin to hang close in the air…
…if things that scratch the drainpipes and window screens makes you glance about… and the unattached bump in the dark makes you fretful… and things that happen makes you think something might lurk in your closets or under your bed… and if the odd girl down the street makes you wonder if everything’s all right… then you’ll delight as Michael Sedge takes you around modern Southern Italy and pushes you into the past of the ancients in _The Oracle_ … it will fulfill all that stuff that makes you go ….. What was that?
Don’t miss it… don’t miss The Oracle.
The prologue focuses on the Sybil/Oracle and how that came about and it’s a good lead-in to the story but it’s really the only thing holding it all together. Outside of that it’s really a grandiose haunted house story with a psychological twist. The Oracle is effectively a non-entity in its own story. By the time I was about three quarters of the way through this shorter than average book I was really starting to get worried that it wasn’t going to resolve itself. I mean the build-up lasted forever and those strange things mentioned in the blurb don’t start happening until about two-thirds of the way through the book.
The setting is a good one. While I’ve been to Naples I didn’t really explore it beyond the bay area and reading THE ORACLE I felt like I was there. The scenery was rich and it came across that the author knew what he was talking about and I believed him about not only the Naples area but the history. For the most part it all felt naturally involved in the plot (except for when the divers got involved and then it got a little contrived but it didn’t last long).
The story itself is also pretty interesting. Like I said, the oracle concept is really a non-issue for about 98% of the book. As a creepy story it definitely does its job as that. That’s why I’m so torn on how I feel about this book. I liked the story. It kind of creeped me out. But in the grander scheme of the blurb it just didn’t make a lot of sense and was really thinly strung together.
The oracle is mentioned in the prologue, which is a handful of pages long, and then not again until the last few pages. There’s a hint of it leading up to David Jeffrey’s death but, like the rest of the plot, it’s thin. I don’t know if Cumae, the place itself, it supposed to be enough to string this device along or what but it didn’t work for me. There was just too much of a gap to bridge to connect the oracle to the current plot. Even the hint is circumstantial at best. But outside of those elements there’s nothing keeping the Sybil/Oracle at the relative forefront of the story.
This is a weird one. It really is. Not to mention it’s ultimately self-published. The Sedge Group is a separate entity publisher owned by the author that only happens to have this one author in its ranks and has only published said single author’s books. So yeah, self-published. Not much vetting going on here. I really, REALLY, need to start paying more attention when I request books from NetGalley.
Remove the oracle part (which is pretty easy to do since anything of significance bookends the story) and you have a pretty creepy story that I did genuinely like. But within the context of the oracle element I just didn’t see the point. It was shoved out of its own story for most of it so its relevance is insubstantial at best. It lessens the story for me because it’s supposed to be about this BIGGER THING but this thing doesn’t mean much to its own story, so why should I care?
<i>I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.</i>