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Dark Oracle by Alayna Williams

Dark Oracle

by Alayna Williams

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If you fancy reading a cross between Silence of The Lambs and Dean Koontz, this book is for you.

I was pleasantly surprised by Alayna WIlliams when instead of typical urban fantasy I've stumbled onto a gripping psychological thriller. I will have to hunt down the author's other books written under the pen name Laura Bickle and read them as well.

Tara is a psychic whose powers work through Taro, she belongs to a secret society Delphi's Daughters - prophets and sorceresses, and she is an ex-FBI profiler. She quit her successful career when a serial killer she was investigating cut her up and buried her in a shallow grave to saturate his flowers with her blood. Only miraculously she escaped, and is still trying to recover her piece of mind.

However when an old friend asks her to get involved into an FBI case of a missing scientist who was researching the dark matter, she can not refuse. The Delphi's Daughter think that in wrong hands his discovery will destroy the world as we know it, and they want someone on the inside to prevent it.

Damaged and fragile, Tara starts a very dangerous journey along with an FBI agent Li and a missing scientist's daughter. They are facing treachery within Delphi's Daughters and a very powerful enemy within military forces that wants to utilise the dark matter, - the odds are against them...

Tara is not easy to warm up to, but she's got the inner sense of what's right, she is very human and humanly weak, which is refreshing for UF genre.

This is a very good, evenly paced thriller. The paranormal aspect is reduced to a minimum, and instead the book concentrates on character and plot development. I also found different Taro interpretations really interesting and would love to read more. The second book, Rogue Oracle, came out last year.

Very much recommended. ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
"...Once again, I got the feeling that a lot of research went in to the writing of this book; the science behind the dark matter is very interesting, and seems sound. I am no physicist, though, so don't hold me to that. The important thing is that this is fiction, and it seems accurate enough to not cross the line into being science-fiction. Actual physicists, feel free to disagree with me, because you obviously will know more about that part of it than I likely ever will. But my disbelief, it is suspended...the closer I got to the end of the book, the less willing I was to put it down, and I said "oh shit" more than a few times while reading, so I figure that's a pretty good sign that Bickle has a talent for writing stories that I find engaging."

For full review, please visit me at Here Be Bookwyrms on Blogger:

http://herebebookwyrms.blogspot.com/2012/09/dark-oracle.html ( )
  here.be.bookwyrms | Sep 30, 2012 |
Having read the second book in the series first, I'm having a hard time reviewing this one based on its own merits. However, words I'd use to describe it are: creepy, dreamy, hopeful, scary and intelligent.

I liked that Tara is a fighter; she's not brash or abrasive, but determined, focused and loyal. She's spent a few years hiding, licking her wounds from a previous trauma, but she's on her way to recovering and when she's called back into service, she comes--reluctantly, maybe, but she shows up. I liked how the tarot was incorporated into the plot. I can see how it might seem obtrusive to some readers, but it's so deliberately done, so important to the characters and the plot, that I thought it added a really interesting symbolic layer to everything that goes on in the story.

To be honest, the things that bothered me in this story may not have bothered me as much if I hadn't read the second in the series first. I found, in comparison to book two, that the characterization was less complete. For one, the villains were less well developed than I was expecting. For a story that has the thoughtful tone this one has, I prefer the villains to have more nuance. I also found the -- I'm not sure if it's the pacing or the phrasing -- not quite as smooth as it is in book two. (I know this is probably a back-handed compliment, but I actually find my small dissatisfactions with this book in comparison with the second to be an auspicious portent of things to come.) ( )
  thewalkinggirl | Aug 31, 2011 |
Reviewed by http://urbanfantasyinvestigations.blogspot.com/

DARK ORACLE is fast paced, filled with great characters, action, mystery, and science with a touch of romance on the side. The main character and storyteller is Tara who is a Oracle who gets her intuitions and predictions from her tarot cards. She uses her tarot cards throughout the story and everything is explained expertly to help bring you better understanding of the tarot so you aren't completely lost. Tara is also a retired Criminal profiler so there is a ton of law enforcement type investigating. All together a great new Urban Fantasy. ( )
  STACYatUFI | Feb 26, 2011 |
The characters were well drawn especially Tara as she climbed back from an attack from a serial killer that almost took her life to gain strength to overcome her own fears and protect her loved ones. The Pythia steals the scenes and reminds me of the Oracle from the Matrix movies. The most interesting part of the story is how Tara uses her Tarot cards to help her throughout the story. If anything it sparked an interest in me to look into them myself. Besides that, the story was lacking in plot. The bad guys and girl are too obvious and unless your a Science major the info. on dark matter drags on too long. I have read worse and I have read better. So I put this one somehwere in the center. ( )
  bookaphile | Jul 9, 2010 |
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"Tara Sheridan has a gift...and it almost killed her. As criminal profiler, Tara used science and her intuitive skill at Tarot card divination to track down the dangerous and depraved, including the serial killer who left her scarred from head to toe. Since that savage of attack, Tara has been a recluse. But now an ancient secret society known as Delphi's Daughters has asked for her help in locating missing scientist Lowell Magnusson. And Tara, armed with her Tarot deck, her .38, and a stack of misgivings, agrees to try..."--P.[4] of cover.… (more)

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