Author: Tina Gower
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Smashed Picket Press, February 2016
Part one of the Outlier Prophecies
Every prediction has a loophole and it is Kate Hale’s job to find it. Kate is a recently promoted actuary of the Accidental Death Department. It his her job to prevent figure when people die but then an oracle shows up with an impossible death prediction and he insists on her help.
Policeman Ian Becker, a werewolves with issues, is her only shot at solving this case successfully. If she fails she’ll not only lose her job but also be responsible for an oracles death.
I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
“Angel’s Peak is one of those Northern California mountain cities that moves slow when I need it to go fast.”
This book is set in present day Northern California in a city called Angel’s Peak. Kate has just been promoted from the Traffic department to the Accidental Death Prediction Department and even though it is no setback, it’s pretty uneventful.
It is on a weekend that an oracle appears at her desk with a Death Prediction concerning not just anyone… but himself. At first eager to give this task to someone more qualified, Kate is ready to follow protocol and takes the oracle, Jack, to another department where they meet Officer Ian Becker. Unlike Kate, Becker is quite willing to take on the case and so with a little persuasion Kate and Becker take the case.
But some things don’t add up with this case and as Kate and Becker put more and more effort into solving the case, it only seems to get more complex.
After reading this book I can’t help but feel somewhat incomplete.
Don’t get me wrong because I did like the concept (I’ll come back to that) but there were some things missing for me.
First of all the concept. I really did like the idea about there being some sort of organisation/society that is able to predict deaths and so, when the mortality rate is high enough, this organisation can help to prevent this death (a nice touch is that some of these high risk deaths can be prevented but the victim might die in another way anyway). In this world there are not only humans but also werewolves, elves, leprechauns, witches, druids, oracles and you name it. The whole living arrangement and the whole being of the oracles was worked out into detail, which I liked, but there were some things missing for me. I know this is Urban Fantasy so as a reader you can assume that the world is much like our own but I would’ve liked to read more about the society itself. Are some things very different from our world because of these prophesies or does this whole complex system exist within our own society?
Then there are the characters. The two major characters, Kate and Becker, were worked out okay but there could have been some more personal information.
So we have the young woman Kate. There is some information about her personal life, for example that she lost her parents in an accident and that oracles are not able to see her in vision because she is a blind spot, fateless. She has a cousin and even though she’s got Indian blood (and more blood of different ancestors) she has no powers whatsoever.
Becker is a werewolf with issues and actually all we know about him is that he had a pack and that they were murdered. He is very eager to take on any case related to the possible murderer of his pack.
SPOILER ENDS HERE
Of course minor characters don’t usually have a lot of information about themselves so their information was sufficient enough. Like I already said the whole oracle topic was quite well explained through the oracle who helps Kate to understand the ‘oracle world’ better.
The overall storyline was good, it was a light and easy read. There was a moment of doubt which I really liked, the who-can-we-trust-moment, but when we got to the point where I expected most of the confrontation to happen it was not all that I had hoped for. Yes, there was a fight but then it was all over and good and as I read towards the very end I was afraid that that was it. Luckily, that wasn’t just it because there was just a small plot twist at the end just to show that fate can happen anyway, an aspect that I really liked. I was left with a cliffhanger at the end, of course, and I am curious about the next book to see if I’ll learn more about the different factions and struggles within this society.
This was an okay book but if there would have been some more details here and there I would’ve felt more complete at the end. I give this book three stars because it could have been better but it was nice to read.