A monster lurks in the house next to the ancient ruins of Cumae where, in 427 BC, a young girl was chosen by the gods to become the Sibyl–oracle of the Greco-Roman people that enhabited the area. Though she lived to fulfill her mission, it is written that the chain of oracles, passing from one young girl to another, will continue forever.

Now, American author David Jeffrey is killed along with his teenage daughter, Angelica, when a fire breaks out in their Naples, Italy, home. When David’s brother, Jake, decides to leave Michigan with his family to visit his brother’s widow, Jennifer, strange things begin to happen in the modeled, castle-like home near the ancient ruins of Cumae. (Synopsis from Amazon)

The combination of history and mythology drew me to THE ORACLE. After finishing I’m left wondering what they really had to do with the story. Maybe I’m missing something but the Sibyl and the mythology surrounding her explains, barely, only one aspect of the modern story.

From ancient history to a modern day tragedy/semi-horror the link to the Sibyl was tenuous at best. Both the modern and the historical were well done and could have easily stood alone. Personally it would have been better to have one or the other. While reading I kept waiting for the AHA moment when it would become apparent what the ancient past had to do with the recent past and present. I think the moment came at the end but it was anti-climatic and unsatisfying. What was the reasoning behind it? What led to her in particular? What about the in between time? Why?

The modern tragedy was revealed and solved but I was left with too many questions regarding the history/mythology aspect.

THE ORACLE is well written. There’s no doubt Mr. Sedge knows his history and Italy but the lack of cohesive reasoning between the two time periods made this an average read for me.
3 stars

the oracle

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