Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Dark Oracle Review

Dark Oracle
-       Alayna Williams
Kindle Book
As a 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 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. Tara immediately senses there is far more at stake than one man’s life. At his government lab in the New Mexico desert, Magnusson had developed groundbreaking technology with terrifying potential. Working alongside the brusque but charismatic agent Harry Li, Tara discovers that Magnusson’s daughter, Cassie, has knowledge that makes her a target too. The more Tara sees into the future, the more there is to fear. She knows she has to protect Cassie. But there may be no way to protect herself—from the enemies circling around her, or from the long-buried powers stirring to life within...

A lot of Urban Fantasy books ignore or dismiss science in favour of the magical elements of their world. What strikes you from the start in Dark Oracle is that science is not only embraced but is a crucial plot point to the story. Not only are Tara and her partner Harry investigating an explosion at a particle accelerator lab, but both them and the bad guys are searching for the scientific research hidden by the lead scientist. While there is enough magical elements to keep this is in the Urban Fantasy genre, I liked that it flows from the story and rarely takes precedence. Tara reads tarot cards and even she admits it might not be magical but a method of tapping into her sub-conscience. I don’t really know much about tarot cards, but the way it’s explained here is like another puzzle as both Tara and the reader attempts to distinguish the meaning behind the spread.
However the best part of Dark Oracle, are the characters. Tara feels so real with likes, dislikes, passions, a haunted past and fears – right from the start she jumps off the page and makes you feel for her – even before you learn about her troubled history. Added to that Harry Li is one of the best male leads I’ve come across for a while. He has a distinct personality and doesn’t fall helplessly in love with Tara at first sight – it truly is her personality that intrigues him. I loved how naturally their relationship develops and how they trust each other – despite the differences between them. This was one of the most natural relationships I’ve read in Urban Fantasy and I really want to see what happens next between them. Even the other characters sparkle (I love Martin and Maggie!) and make the action pop. This is a very good Urban Fantasy that makes a pleasant change from vampires, were and other supernatural creatures. And luckily for me - the sequel Rogue Oracle is released today! :)
Recommended for fans of Diana Rowland and Ilona Andrews. 8 out of 10.
And stop by later on today for 60 second quick quiz with the author herself Alayna Williams aka Laura Bickle!


  1. Wonderful! I have the second book in my possession and I can't wait to read it. Granted I need to read this one, but I'll probably dive in the second one first. Hey, I never said I made sense. :) Looking forward to the quiz!

  2. I'm over the moon that you enjoyed it, Mel! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and review DARK ORACLE. :-)

    Melissa, I think you'd be okay to dive into the second one - up to you. I know that a lot of folks like to start from the beginning.

    I try to keep my books as reasonably self-contained episodes so that the reader can jump in anytime without being overwhelmed with back story. But there are always nuggets there for those who have been along for the ride since the beginning. ;-)

  3. Okay, thank you! I will be in my bed room counting pennies if you need me. ;D This really does sound like a great read. :) Thanks!

  4. Melissa, I hope you enjoy it! Thanks so much for stopping by! :-)

  5. I just finished her 2nd book and really enjoyed it so I'm looking forward to reading this one. Glad to hear that you liked it so much. Great review!

  6. Samantha, thank you so much for giving my books a try. As a new author, this means so much! :-)