Oracle Mass Market Paperback – Oct 1992
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From Publishers Weekly
This sequel to Soothsayer concerns attempts by the interplanetary empire Democracy to retrieve the Oracle, a young woman who not only can see into several possible futures but can influence events so that the future she desires will come to pass. She is located on Alpha Crepello III, and it is believed that her influence has kept that planet of aliens out of the Democracy. The Democracy hires an old man with a shady past known as "the Iceman" to pursue the young woman; he in turn hires "the Whistler," a highly skilled assassin. But then the Democracy leaders decide to have the Oracle killed rather than retrieved--so they send in "the Injun," which results in a race among the hired hands to reach the Oracle first. There's just enough action to keep the pages turning, but only just. The preponderance of people who use silly nicknames--including the Democracy agent running this operation, known only as "32"--gets tiresome, and the anticlimactic ending, which brings the Oracle, the Whistler, the Iceman and the Injun all together, happens much too quickly after nearly 250 pages of buildup.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Very, very good space opera! Has very much a feel of cowboys in space, similar to the FireFly series.
**Note: While they are no spoilers for this book in this review, this is a sequel to Soothsayer and there will be some spoilers for that one here. Oracle is sufficiently developed to be read on it's own, but it' much better to read the series in order.**
The Penelope Bailey series is set in the same universe as Resnick's stand alone novel Santiago, a setting where larger than life characters face life not dissimilar to that of the wild west, except that in this case it spans planets. It's been fourteen years since the little girl referred to as the Soothsayer escaped numerous bounty hunters and other dangers and disappeared with the creature known as Mock Turtle, leaving friend and foe alike scorched in her wake. The Iceman, the only survivor, has searched for her on and off without success, until someone comes in with information about a mysterious Oracle, and an offer to hire him to bring her in. But what moves are the right ones when dealing with a being who can manipulate the future?
Oracle has the engaging atmosphere and style as Soothsayer and Resnick's other Far Future stories. Whistler and the Injun are interesting, diverse characters and serve well as central foci for the action and intrigue of this story. And the Iceman continues to be one of my favorite characters ever.
While the third book in the trilogy (Prophet) feels a little tighter and a tad better paced (Oracle slows a bit in the middle), the overall plot and story twists make Oracle my favorite of the three. The entire trilogy is well done and tells a great overarching story, while letting each book contain a complete tale on their own.
The Iceman becomes involved, and he hires an agent, and a third agent also appears after the authorities decide that the Iceman's activities may not be in their best interests.
Suddenly, you get a bunch of these people after the same woman at the same time.