I think Greek Mythology is one of my favorite things to read about. Whether that be actual history books, or lore individual writers have written, I love seeing how different gods and goddesses inspire different authors. That is no different with The Oracle by Elaine Gao.
If you are looking for a book about gods and goddesses from ancient Greece, this is not the book for you. If you are looking for a book with strong characters that have their lives impacted by ancient Greece and different forms of worship, it is for you. I loved that our main character, Lyra, was an oracle in a sea of fake oracles. That being said, I think the main conflict between her and our hero, Leonid, was a bit awkward and not realistic.
Lyra and Leonid knew each other from childhood, and then as they grew up, they disappeared from each other’s lives. Lyra left because she was essentially kidnapped and thrown into the world of being an oracle, and Leonid never quite new what happened to her.
While most of this book was semi realistic to happen, I think the part that really bothered me was that Leonid was willing to destroy his entire kingdom because of his love for Lyra. I have read a ton of books where the hero (generally a morally gray type person) is willing to burn down the world for the love of his life. And I have no issues with that. However in this instance, most of the book Leonid talked about his duty and his kingdom before everything else. So for him to suddenly change his stance on this was a bit unrealistic.
Where this book truly shines however, is the Oracle Trials. The “Great and Honorable Pythia” was looking for her successor and so she held a trial for other oracles. The last remaining oracle would become the new Pythia. The trials were intriguing, shocking, and honestly horrifying. This was honestly the best part of the entire book, and I kind of wish more time had been devoted to this.
If you do choose to read this book, I also want to warn you that it is incredibly long. A few times I thought I had gotten to the end of the book, only to realize that I was barely 40% of the way through it.
Overall, this was a decent book. I am incredibly impressed that this was written by a teenager, and honestly reading this book while knowing that, you can kind of tell. While this is not the best book I have ever read, I am impressed with the author herself and I am interested to see where she will take us next. I am excited to see how her writing skill grows. Truly, I cannot say I liked this book, but I also didn’t dislike it either. It was a good book to read, but when I wasn’t reading it, I wasn’t thinking about it.
The Oracle – Elaine Gao
Cost* – eBook is $1.99. Paperback is $20.99.
*Cost is based upon what the book cost when book review is published