33 Followers
23 Following
Ayanna

Reader's Discretion Advised

...this confuses me. So...it's like tumblr...for books?

Either way, I'm mainly on Goodreads. I do occasionally come here, and also do periodically import my shelves from GR here, but GR is a more sure bet for contacting me.

Oracle - R.J. Scott It starts off making little sense and, as it goes on, progressively making less and less sense, as impossible as that sounds. Because you can't go less than nothing, right? We learned that from Lewis Carroll.

Maybe I'm not being fair to the book. Popular mythology was never my thing, really, as hypocritical as that statement is. I get too caught up in my traditionalist impulses when I read popular mythology to be able to relax and enjoy whatever story the author concocts.

Now, I know what you're going to say to that. I'm not liking the book, so surely I shouldn't have read it in the first place? I should have been as the Oracle, seen that in the timeline in which I read the book I was significantly less happy than I was before and done my best to avoid even the basest of contact with this book? Surely that's what I, as a discerning individual, should have known to do?

Alas, though, I was not the Oracle, nor was I able to benefit from the convoluted wisdom of an oracle, and also, my cards did not deem fit to warn me of this.

Perhaps, then, I am to take that my reading of this book - while extremely aggravating to me and those who believe this book is gospel - is not, indeed life-threatening, catastrophic, a sign of the apocalypse, or even fate-altering.

This book does a bit better with the popular mythology and adhering to Greek traditions than certain other (*cough cough* that one that did the weird character background gymnastics to explain how Cupid could possibly be gay and thus one of the main characters), although the flashback was kind of pushing it a bit. Actually, no. The entire story pushed it, progressively more so as it progressed.
The one thing I can say about the flashback is that it immitates a bit of Homeric Hymn diction. Like poorly executed pastiche.

The way each disparate part was handled was, in my opinion, tasteless. The author throws out pieces of a puzzle, but as you try to piece them together, you start suspecting that there may actually be chunks from three, five, ten, a hundred different puzzles thrown in. That or the pieces were made not from the whole, but as a disparate component, and by different people, possibly over the span of years. The resulting is something that doesn't quite piece together to create a whole picture. The pieces themselves don't quite slot together and the patterns on them are all just slightly, but noticeably, off from the other.

Things really exploded into clusterfuck after Edward died. For no discernable reason other than Luke, as far as I can tell. He was a means to an end, but was also, in my view, the most - or only - likeable character in the bunch. Alex I was inclined to like until he went 2-D, a point that made me want to *ahem* take issue with the author. A nice, friendly discussion with my fist.

I hate it when authors eviscerate and castrate their characters in the hopes of trying to force them to be likable to the audience. It doesn't work. You end up with a 2D farce of a Mary Sue that just aggravates them. Me, I suppose; I can't speak for the rest of the world.

You don't make a character likeable by starting off with the MC we're familiar with talking about how wrong he seems (through his magical sixth sense).



Aside:
One big thing I took issue with wasn't even the whole "Ooooh Luke feels wrong" thing. (I honestly didn't notice that Luke was apparently supposed to be the LI. I was too busy being pissed off by Edward's senseless death. [I get it; that was the impetus to go to Greece. Bullshit]). It was the stupid-ass thing the author had him say after he saw Alex's tattoo (part of it).
"You should come see me before I leave London,"
Luke started, inclining his head in thought, "I can suggest many more tattoos in the same ancient Greek vein. If you want to re-live your misspent youth, that is?" His voice was colder than the cautious civility he had displayed before, his eyes still in shadows, and his mouth set in a straight line.

Excuse me? What the fuck does that mean? It sounds like the kind of stupid thing people say when they're trying to say something that sounds smart. Except he's saying it coldly. This is followed by a description of how he says it coldly, and how Alex can feel all this stuff (and now I feel like I'm in an Adrienne Wilder story), and the writing style is clunky and unwieldy).
Yes, I am mysterious person. Hear me be mysterious in my cold voice and my purposeful obfuscation. What is it I'm trying to say? Not even I know. I just trying to sound mysteeeeerious. *inexplicable accent*
Also, that line pretty much had nothing to do with what pittance of a conversation they were having and couldn't be even remotely perceived as small talk. Add to that how drastically the author tries to change Luke's image...
What is he, a helpless twink? You making him a pretentious trying-to-be-mysterious fucker and then making him a helpless, clueless idiot who apparently doesn't know how to properly handle ancient manuscripts (seriously? no gloves? I mean, I can forgive the idiot who let him in; "collecting is his [insert mystery relative]'s thing. I guess you can take a look." Him, though? What kind of ancients professor is he? Those jackass ones who want to possess it all? You know, the ones who are villains?

Ahem. Sorry. Got distracted by the tangent.

"Characterizing" him as the two extremes isn't going to somehow average it out and make him a normally socialized person who is at once confident and studious. And being studious and confident and/or conscious of the "real world" are not mutually exclusive. That I feel like I need to point this out is highly frustrating.


I'd also like to mention that I dislike the name "Ed."

As it progresses, it becomes clearer and clearer how very artlessly the story is crafted. Things happen, but as a means to an end and are not ends in and of themselves. We already know what point it's building up to, though, even if the author tried to muddle it with that thing with Chris Samuels.

It's interesting how people describe people by eye color, hair color, and generic build. Lo and behold, a complete physical description.
My mental image is of disembodied eyes and hair floating in a vague silhouette. Isn't that great?

Thanos clearly existed for the sole reason of info dump. Aggravating; he also is merely a means to an end. A Shakespearean flat character. Except flatter, even more interchangeable.

Alex's reaction made no sense. His lack of reaction, I should say.

Lack of any understandable reaction. Clearly, he was an actor, waiting with feigned surprise ready for lines he's already heard rehearsed day in and day out - grudgingly, too, I might add - for the past few weeks, and he is over it.

Stuff happens for no apparent reason, making most of it come off as deus ex machinas. Not very well worked deus ex machinas.

I got seriously squicked out when Alex suddenly starting lusting after Luke. I mean, I know the blurb is telling us they are the match that was Meant to Be, but I didn't find them particularly endearing. If I had a cringe-worthy shelf, this would go there. If I could give it less than 1 star and still have the rating count, I'd do that.

I could be nice and say the author tried to tackle more than xe could handle, but also the author tried too hard to make it an epic and killed anything that might have been good about the story.
It was a clusterfuck.


It took them until page 191 of 303 to figure out that the Oracle was a person.
...I could have fucking told you that. Books and books of Greek tradition could have told you that. Almost every damn Greek myth, even those (especially those) watered down for children consumption could have told you that. The Oracle? Was it ever a question as to whether the Oracle was a person or not? Apparently it was.

Oh, you poor dear. The author went through most of his life thinking the Oracle was a place, didn't xe? That the Oracle was the name of the temple in Delphi and that people went there to consult...I dunno, priests?

Uh, hello? The Pythian Priestess? And here I was thinking this Elysia (*snortgiggles) chick was supposed to be the Pythian Priestess. A very sexualized one (technically a matron, but descriptively more of a maiden and still very sexual, as described by her forcibly quelling her passions [*snortgiggle*]).

I mean, come on. We knew he was the Oracle before we even saw that flashback.

It was so blindingly obvious that the sun can't compare to how blinding it is.

And yes, Chris. You think Xanos sounds like a drug because it sounds like Xanax. Would you like a gold star sticker? A cookie? Because I have as much of those for you as I have sympathy for any of the characters besides the long-dead Edward, which is none, in case you missed the entirety of the preceding review.

And yes, I'm so aggravated that I'm going all-out snark now.


Gah. I felt like Sherlock the entire time. "It's obvious, isn't it?"
"You're all so vacant. Is it nice not being me? It must be so relaxing."
"Dear God, what is it like in your funny little brains? It must be so boring."
"Don't talk out loud; you lower the IQ of the entire street."


None of this is endearing. I tried to like it, but I'm tired of its shit. I've gone past the realm of "gettin' real tired of your shit" and into the realm of "so over it."

And I still have 90 pages to go.


There are some weird things with commas going on. Appositives not offset by commas, for one.

I can't even say this was one of those that read like characters going through the motions of a play, since the writing style was so off-putting and the lack of any real development so complete I couldn't get into the story at all. Story? More like an unfortunate series of disjointed events.

None of the pieces fit together. Added to the fact that there's a book 2...

My disgust towards this story is complete.


Ahem. Perhaps I overreact a tad with the shelves. Ah, well. Sucks to suck.