Title: The Oracle Year
Author(s): Charles Soule
Publisher: Harper Perrenial
Release Date: April 3th 2018
You know that conflicted mental state where you wonder if what is to come is a pleasant surprise or a complete disappointment? Just imagine when one of your favourite singer of all time decides to enter the movie business, or your favourite athlete wants to spice up his biography by fully actualizing themselves through music. It’s how I felt when I got my hands on Charles Soule’s The Oracle Year. Known as the best-selling comic book writer who gave us stories featuring She-Hulk, Daredevil, a classic story arc titled Death of Wolverine as well as many Star Wars comics from Marvel Comics, Charles Soule has now expanded his bibliography with a debut novel that is sure to keep readers hooked till the end.
What is The Oracle Year about? This is the story of Will Dando. Waking up one morning with exactly 108 predictions about the future, he decides to write them all down thinking that they somehow might be life-changing. He wasn’t wrong. With this newly-found knowledge, Will Dando emerges from the shadow and becomes the most powerful man in the world. Adopting the name Oracle for anonymity—I guess maybe the shadows might still be nice place to lurk around a little longer, and with the help of one of his close friends, he builds an impenetrable website through which he unveils his revelations slowly but surely. While some of his predictions seem harmless and mundane, Will Dando also holds some of the most staggering and powerful predictions that would, under the wrong hands, become lethal to the whole world’s survival. And we’re not just talking about surviving famine, we’re talking about everything imaginable that ranges from individual to societal spheres. So what does he do with it? Why, sale them, of course!
It was nice to see how Charles Soule venture into the literary world was fluid and painless. At least he does a nice job making it seem like it. His writing style is clean and straight-forward. This helped tremendously in delivering a fast-paced addictive story that kicked things off in the most mysterious fashion possible. Multiple characters are introduced at first, giving the story a tentacular grasp on the world. Every single point of view seemed random and seperate, but remained connected by one thing: an intense interest in the Oracle. While their thoughts and feelings towards this mysterious figure varies greatly (from those who hate him with every fiber of their body to those who are curious beyond their mind about the entity), it is the fact that they ultimately cross paths along the way that makes this so enthralling.
The Oracle Year isn’t however just a story about a man and his power to predict the future. Charles Soule uses this premise to explore modern society as it is today with much more depth, only if you wish to read between the lines. From the examination of religion and the concept of God to the meticulous analysis of the dilemma that comes with the knowledge of great power, Will Dando doesn’t have it easy throughout this story as he learns that the 108 predictions he woke up with one morning aren’t going to leave him alone until he fully understands their real purpose. If there is any. While the story is littered with secondary characters that are a tad bit cookie-cut, they serve their purpose and help in progressing the story in the direction that Charles Soule wanted. And honestly, I’ll give him a pass for that just because I had a nice time with this debut novel. Now the real question is: Are you going to read it? Maybe one of his 108 predictions has the answer to it. Go find out. 🙂
MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆
Have you read it yet? Do you plan to?
What do you think about The Oracle Year?
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Till next time,