ORACLE by JC Martin Gets 4 out of 5 Lattes!
“You don’t need eyes to see.” — JC Martin
I would say, “you don’t need eyes to see,” that ORACLE is DANG good book! I’m giving it 4 cups of coffee because you’ll want to be jacked up on caffeine so that you can stay up all night enjoying this great read!
1. CHARACTERS [1 CUP OF COFFEE]
JC Martin puts you right into the driver’s seat of the action with a very vibrant first scene, telling you exactly how things are going down. The opening scene is vivid and risqué, but not over the top, which is a big plus for me.
I found the second chapter to be an excellent contrast to the in-your-face style of writing from Chapter One as our main character, Kurt Lancer (cop and single father), is spending some quality time with his daughter as they are reading through the night’s bedtime stories.
Throughout the novel, I got a strong sense of Kurt’s character as he struggles to balance his family life with his life as a detective. Of course, as it is with all crime thrillers, this juggling act is just out of reach.
I really like the banters that Kurt has with his daughter Meghan, and the two of them have a relationship that is notably adorable, especially because fathers are typically displayed as scumbags.
One issue that I could not really grasp with Kurt was that he is described as having corn rolls, but I found that hard to believe in that he is a detective, and having been a detention officer at one point of my life, none of my coworkers wore corn rolls. Regardless, that wasn’t too much of a setback for me, but it was in the back of my mind.
JC Martin is very patient in the development of her characters, and she exposes deep issues about the team of detectives in natural and fluid ways, tying these issues back into the story very smoothly.
2. WRITING STYLE [1 CUP OF COFFEE]
JC Martin’s writing style is very vivid, the kind of style that you would expect with a police mystery. The lines are snappy, the inner dialogues are sarcastic, and the descriptions of the scenes are brilliant.
She is very keen about using images and analogies at just the right time to really get you, the reader, to come a little closer to the story. Comically, I even found myself “hearing” some of the sounds she made, or “smelling” some of the scents that she referred to. But, I guess I’m just weird like that.
Each chapter seemed to be well-placed, and development of the story seemed to progress in a very linear pattern, not straying too much from the main story line, even when important backstory needed to be inserted.
I will say that I was a bit bothered at one point in the story (and I won’t spoil it), but there is something that the killer says to passerby, and that “something” is not stated in the text. I felt like that was cheating a bit, because all other parts of the conversation were made known to the reader. But, I decided to look past this point and keep reading, and I’m glad I did.
3. PLOT [0 CUPS OF COFFEE]
So this may seem like a harsh assessment here, but hear me out.
The plot itself is good. It’s, as I said before, what you would expect from a police mystery. However, that worked to the book’s disadvantage as well. Many of the things that took place were too predictable, in my opinion, and coming from me, that’s a big deal, because I usually suspend my intelligence whenever I read or watch movies. I try not to figure out plots and the whodunits.
That said, if I do manage to figure these things out, then I feel like the presentation of such events could have been done better.
Keeping that in mind, I was not sure what the heck the killer was going to do next, and there were many times where I was impressed my his motives and schemes, but holistically, I will have to claim that the plot was simplistic.
4. BELIEVABILITY [1 CUP OF COFFEE]
This factor is one of the most important in my opinion. Do characters act out of character? Do situations arise that are unrealistic? Does the author break her own rules?
As I read through ORACLE, I would have to say that there were no glaring plot holes that I saw. The characters made wise decisions; they were afraid when they needed to be afraid; they were stoic when they needed to be; and they resisted temptations whenever they needed to.
To me, this makes for a much more enjoyable read, because I don’t find myself thinking, “But if he had just grabbed the gun, then none of this would have ever happened.” Kurt Lancer thinks of his daughter first in all situations, though he has a difficult time balancing work and home life.
Halloway and Blaize (his partners) also do things that you would expect to them to. They act like real people, not pawns in a story created by the author to do the author’s bidding.
5. GRAMMAR [1 CUP OF COFFEE]
As I read through this book, I noticed VERY FEW typos. I probably could count them on one hand. For this reason, Oracle reads very smoothly!
All in all, if you like murder mysteries with an interesting killer twist, then you will certainly enjoy this!
By the way, before you begin reading and drinking your coffee, make sure there is not an oak leaf in your cuppa.