Alex Sheridan. An empath with no memory of his early childhood. His body is covered in patterns and scars.
Luke MacKinnon. A professor of ancient languages. The US Army knows he is the person to find answers.
Words in an ancient script leading them to a weapon to win the war to end all wars. Others want Luke to find the Oracle for revenge as old as time.
The legend. The power of the Oracle returning after fifty generations, sent by the Gods on Olympus. When Alex and Luke meet there is more than just lust between them. There is a connection they cannot understand but how can they survive the evil that wants the Oracle?
In ancient Greece the person (such as a priestess) through whom a god was believed to speak or the place (such as a shrine) where people went to ask questions of an oracle.
Many moons ago when I was but a wee unicorn I wasn’t into princesses and fairytales, I liked Hot Wheels and got my fantasy fix from Greek mythology. I’d already read quite a few of R.J. Scott’s books when we asked her to be our Author of the Month and I’d been wanting to read Oracle forever. It was an easy pick for me to figure out which book from her backlist I wanted to read and review and man did I pick a winner.
Alex Sheridan is a young man covered from the neck down in horrific scars and he has no memory of how they happened. He washed ashore as a young boy and was taken in by a big hearted Greek Thanos Castellanos who takes him in as a father figure and protector. Thanos is a true believer in the Greek myths and recognizes something in Alex, and knows he must be protected. Others take notice of Alex and well and Thanos sends him off to America to be adopted and to be safe.
When Alex gets older he gets tattoos to cover the scars and his body is a canvas of ancient Greek symbols and words. His illustrated body tells the story of a past life, the life of a young boy, Athanasios, that was taken in sacrifice at Apollo’s temple. There is a splinter group, Xanos, headed by a priest who thrives on greed and power and there is nothing more powerful than that of the Oracle. The boy is spared by the gods, destiny determined that it was not his time and he lives with the gods, for fifty generations, until it is his time to be returned to earth to fulfill his destiny. So, this would be the Alex washing ashore part.
Alex is also an empath who can perform telekinesis. He feels too much and must keep shields up at all times to protect himself. He can also control electronics and move inanimate objects. The only person he opens up to is his lover Edward and even then his boundaries are in place. Lowered, but in place. One fateful night Edward is murdered in what appears to be a random drive by shooting and his last directive to Alex is to return to Greece.
Luke MacKinnon is a professor of ancient languages who is contracted by the Army to translate some documents that have been found. Luke’s discoveries in the documents have his professor’s brain in cloud 9 and his protector and babysitter Lt. Christopher Samuels and he are soon off to Greece for more investigation. What he finds in his translations that he is able to complete with the information he has say,
“They speak of a man who can lead to the Oracle. A man of twenty seven summers who is not of our time. A man who can stop war and bring peace.”
He goes on to say,
“They’re some kind of unseen story, a new myth – a new legend from ancient Greece.”
“They describe this man as impossibly tall, with eyes of the sky and sea, and a body painted by the gods.”
Sound like anybody we know?
For a professor of ancient languages this is like winning the lottery and Luke and Samuels pretty quickly come to the conclusion that this new legend would be of great interest to any government who could find him if the legend turned out to be true. Luke relates it to the Nazi’s going after the Arc of the Covenant in Raiders and we learn a little about Luke’s crush on Harrison Ford in a fedora that I can totally support. Harrison Ford locked in time as Indy in Raiders is a permanent fixture on my desert island, sorry Luke.
This was what was fun about this story, some really good adventure but not so much action that you’re dragged away from the romance or the mystery, the elements were balanced well. I loved this,
" . . . . fifty generations from the last time the Oracle spoke it would rise to be used again, through the knowledge of a soldier, a scholar, and a painted man."
That sentence just sounds all kinds of badass.
Since this is really a book about fate and destiny Luke and Alex meet and to say their connection is explosive is an understatement. Each one had been showing up in the others dreams in the most intimate of ways. Neither completely understands the why’s and the how’s about what is happening between them but as I read about how lonely both men really were, it was so heartening to read about their connection. Alex finally being able to share his whole self with someone enough to be able to lower his shields and truly expose himself to another person for the first time. Then, seeing Luke drag his nose out of ancient texts long enough to become aware of another person. His longest relationships could be measured in weeks and probably were even shorter than he thought. He just wasn’t paying attention enough to know he’d been dumped. The all over tattoo inspection soon after they met was a favorite scene of mine and RJ Scott can really write the sexual tension.
While Alex is the reincarnation of Athanasios, there is of course a reincarnation of the evil priest who sacrificed the young boy so many centuries ago. Alex and Luke are kidnapped and are forced to show the members of Xanos where the Oracle is hidden. The action and ultimate resolution that happens on the mountain is pretty satisfying, wraps up the mystery well and answers all the questions that were floating around.
What happens when Alex and Luke return to real life really needs to be read and not told, it’s too good to be read about second hand. I liked that the changes in Alex after all the action are dealt with and while it throws some new insecurities into the relationship, you do know the Fates had it right for these two.
I’ll definitely be reading Book of Secrets, the continuation of the story and would highly recommend Oracle, it was a great read I really enjoyed.