Most fiction about the gift/curse of prophecy focus on how/why the individual can do this, what the prophecies are, and whether or not it's possible to change the future if you know it in advance. While those themes are in "The Oracle Year", most of it doesn't matter. What pulled me into this novel and kept me interested was how different individuals and groups of people reacted to the existence of the Oracle. Greed, desperation, joy, power, love, hatred, fear, curiosity, faith, trust, mistrust, and other emotions and motivations abound as everybody perceives the possibilities differently.
At the end a lot of questions are still unanswered for both the characters and the reader, just like in real life. And I didn't need those answers. Because what matters in this book is what people do, not what they know.
P.S. I read this because I've liked Soule's storytelling in comic books, so was certainly willing to give his first novel a try. I'm now looking forward to reading his second and beyond.
Bookburners continues to be an enjoyable read. The characters twist and turn and grow and reveal new secrets, Grace's change of reading matter had me braced for something having gone occultishly haywire with her, and the nod to Paul Cornell's Shadow Police series in the last episode made me laugh (that team and the Vatican crew would be one heckuva crossover)
I confess that if I'd only had the blurb to go by I most likely never would have read this book ... the description made it sound like a lame low-budget space movie from several decades ago (and not one of the so-bad-it's-brilliant ones like "Dark Star"). But, fortunately, it was listed in the Recommended Books column in the November issue of Galaxy's Edge with enthusiasm and a far more appealing description. And Galaxy's Edge didn't lie ... there's a very good, fun novel hiding behind that less-than-appealing blurb (I don't blame the blurb writer ... it's really not a story that's easy to describe well) and I'm certainly going to be reading volume two in the series when it's published. :-)
Guess I need to cruise through my back issues of Galaxy's Edge and see if there's any other hidden gems in the Recommended Books ...
It was interesting reading this book right after the author's "Sheena and Other Gothic Tales". Instead of the follow-up to the longish short story "Sheena" that I was expecting, this novel turned out to be an expansion of that story into a short novel. A very good expansion, I hasten to add, and well worth reading for the extra depth and detail Stableford has added to this tale.