The Oracle Year

The Oracle Year

A Novel

Book - 2018
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"Knowledge is power. So when an unassuming Manhattan bassist named Will Dando awakens from a dream one morning with 108 predictions about the future in his head, he rapidly finds himself the most powerful man in the world. Protecting his anonymity by calling himself the Oracle, he sets up a heavily guarded Web site with the help of his friend Hamza to selectively announce his revelations. In no time, global corporations are offering him millions for exclusive access, eager to profit from his prophecies. He's also making a lot of high-powered enemies, from the President of the United States and a nationally prominent televangelist to a warlord with a nuclear missile and an assassin grandmother. Legions of cyber spies are unleashed to hack the Site—as it's come to be called—and the best manhunters money can buy are deployed not only to unmask the Oracle but to take him out of the game entirely. With only a handful of people he can trust—including a beautiful journalist—it's all Will can do to simply survive, elude exposure, and protect those he loves long enough to use his knowledge to save the world. Delivering fast-paced adventure on a global scale as well as sharp-witted satire on our concepts of power and faith, Marvel writer Charles Soule's audacious debut novel takes readers on a rollicking ride where it's impossible to predict what will happen next." --Amazon.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. :, Harper Perennial,, 2018
ISBN: 9780062686633
0062686631
Branch Call Number: F SOU NVD
Characteristics: 402 pages ; 24 cm

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Combining the pace of a thriller with the epic, dare I say ridiculous and far fetched plot of a comic book (in the best way possible), Soule keeps it all together with approachable characters. In comic book fashion, readers are given a situation that quickly unfolds, however some readers may be irked that some of world-building or plot devices are not fully explained - you kind of just have to go with it. At one point in the book, Will explains that it doesn't matter where the predictions came from, it only matters what he does now that he has them. Again, this type of set up is pretty common in comic books but might throw off some readers that like to have everything clearly defined.

I think a strong part of the book was how small and large events were seemingly intertwined. Thus everything was important. Additionally, all of the characters were incredibly normal. Will is a musician trying to make ends meet, his best friend Hamza was an investment banker, and Hamza's wife, Miko, was a elementary school teacher. However, despite their ordinariness they're set on figuring out what to do with the predictions. Besides Will, Hamza, and Miko, the other side characters like televangelist Hosiah Branson and the President's right-hand man Anthony Leutchen were awful characters but felt so real!

I blew through the book in a couple days! I think fans of thrillers will love this! If you enjoyed Blake Crouch's Dark Matter (2016) I think you'd also enjoy this! Like Crouch's Dark Matter, Soule contemplates how our choices and 'free will' affect our lives and the world. As mentioned above, Will Dando is a pretty ordinary dude given the heavy burden of know good things and bad things that will happen. He has to decide how he'll wield that power. Will it be for his own monetary gain or will he try to help the world? So while it fits within the genre of thriller, I appreciated the smaller contemplative moments as well.

I'm looking forward to seeing what else Soule writes in the future whether it be comics or novels!

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