Friday, July 9, 2010

DARK ORACLE by Alayna Williams

Publisher: Pocket Books/Juno
Date published: May 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4391-8279-6
Urban Fantasy
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Dawn
Obtained by Author

An attack left Tara walking away from a promising job as a criminal profiler, the legacy of her mother, a Delphi Daughter and retreating to a place where no one and nothing can ever harm her again. When the Delphi Daughters ask her to come investigate into the disappearance of a missing scientist, Tara finds secrets and danger at every turn. This time Tara will have to face her demons and the unknown enemies because if she doesn’t, her life is forfeit.

DARK ORACLE is a fast moving story that combines magic, science and action within its pages. This is a unique story that is not your typical urban fantasy. There are no shifters or vampires around and tarot cards are center stage. Ms. Williams is a talented storyteller who delivers complex characters, mysteries and action that will keep you on the edge of your seat till the very end. I really enjoyed finding out more about Tara and the reasons why she left the Delphi Daughters.

Meet Tara, a woman who survived a serial killer and has the scars-physical and mental- to prove it. Turning her back on a career, her legacy as a Delphi Daughter and the powers inside her, Tara retreats into herself and tries to ignore the pain she still feels from all that has happened. When one of the Delphi Daughters shows up at her door, Tara is hesitant to get back into the fold or to the land of the living again. Paired with Agent Henry Li, a man who draws Tara like no other has before; they race against the clock to find out what has happened and to save the one woman who may be the key to the mystery of the missing scientist. Tara is a complex and interesting character. Damaged not just in the physical sense but also in spirit as well; Tara is someone who you can sympathize with even as she takes steps into the world again-one that is very dangerous to her with each step she takes. Unknown enemies, mysteries and the power that lays deep inside Tara come full circle as the climatic ending explodes in a shower of bullets. Will Tara be able to survive in order to see what her destiny is this time?

I really was intrigued by Tara and her unique power in reading tarot cards. I never really saw something like this before in urban fantasy and it made it a fascinating read. There was just one thing that had me frowning and that was the multitude of enemies to choose from. It made it a little chaotic at times since I couldn’t see where one bad guy ended and a new one started but overall in the end it worked out nicely. Some of the secondary characters were intriguing and I am hoping Ms. Williams comes back to them in the future.

DARK ORACLE is a unique book to read and one that will leave you breathless as you try to see what happens next amid all the twists and turns within the pages. Ms. Williams delivers a stunning debut and one that will haunt you after the last page is read. If you enjoy a new sort of urban fantasy to enjoy, then grab DARK ORACLE. I am looking forward to more from this “new to me” author in the future.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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