KINDLE ✿ Oracle Author Susan Boulton – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk


  • Kindle Edition
  • 276 pages
  • Oracle
  • Susan Boulton
  • English
  • 05 October 2019

10 thoughts on “Oracle

  1. says:

    I m really enjoying Oracle so far Magic, steam engines, politics, intrigue, madness and love The start is good but for me it really picks up at about a quarter of the way through and becomes really gripping And now I ve finished, a full er review This book is very clever, which is to say in part that it demands a fair bit of attention from the reader in order to follow what s going on and who s doing what This isn t a bad thing the world is rich, the politics interesting, and the auth I m really enjoying Oracle so far Magic, steam engines, politics, intrigue, madness and love The start is good but for me it really picks up at about a quarter of the way through and becomes really gripping And now I ve finished, a full er review This book is very clever, which is to say in part that it demands a fair bit of attention from the reader in order to follow what s going on and who s doing what This isn t a bad thing the world is rich, the politics interesting, and the author doesn t patronise the reader One gets a sense of achievement from following the various strands and keeping on top of everything that s happening Things are often implied they are rarely spelled out.At the start, the writing is powerful and poetic As the POV moves from that character, it becomescontrolled and prosaic, almost I missed the language of the opening, which had done a lot to draw me in, but all the writing was clear and effective which is to say, I didn t really notice it very much after the first couple of chapters.So, Oracle is clever, well written and intricate, and the author has a light touch.That light touch makes the scenes of high emotion almost all of which centre around Claire extremely powerful Possibly because of the time and culture in which the story is set, no one seems to moan or whinge, so it is by actions and by brief conversations that high emotion is expressed.I wept Frequently.The world is fascinating quite English feeling, certainly pre war, though I changed my mind every so often about how pre It felt like I was somewhere in the mid 1800s, after the Charge of the Light Brigade, amongst the chaos of reasonably recent industrialisation, with a vaguely Russian serf system where workers were tied to their bosses That made the struggle to pass reforms fascinating, and the insight into the workings of the factories was also very realistic and nicely done I live in an area which used to be full of jute mills, and I am well aware that accidents happened, just like the one portrayed.Perhaps because of my own interest, and because the sections included were so intense and involving, I would have liked a littleof that side of things, which does, after all, underlie Matthew s actions Having said that, while I would have likedof the factory workhouse scenes, because I found them powerful and effective, they weren t actually necessary to understand what was happening.Insofar as there were weaknesses, they were things that didn t work for me rather than weaknesses overall So, for example, I tend to avoid books with many points of view like those by GRR Martin and many others because I prefer to get to know one or two characters and stick with them through a complete adventure There are many points of view in Oracle, and while I loved some of them Claire s, her father s and Matthew s in particular , I didn t like the switches between them I never do , and sometimes I resented that I had missed experiencing an event and had only heard it as reported from someone else s point of view.Every so often, I got a bit confused about what had happened and how much time had passed between sections Towards the end, two of the characters got married, and their actually being married caught me by surprise because although I knew it was going to happen, it took place off screen and very quickly I was a little sad to have missed it, but Oracle is not a romance or not really it s much cleverer than that.I hope Boulton is planning a sequel I would like to know what happened to those characters The story was intriguing, the world was fascinating I really enjoyed it it raised so many questions I would like answered One tiny addition if I were reading the book again, I would make a character list There are a lot of people and some of them have slightly similar names, which occasionally briefly confused me


  2. says:

    Oracle is an excellent first novel, although it is a bit different so it took me a while to get into the swing of it This comes partly from the setting, roughly comparable to the high point of the British Empire, with all its flaws and hardships although set in a alternative world The characters that come with it also have names that to start with seem a bit odd, but soon settle in, as does the world.The story itself is fresh well at least for me , dealing with politics and religion as much a Oracle is an excellent first novel, although it is a bit different so it took me a while to get into the swing of it This comes partly from the setting, roughly comparable to the high point of the British Empire, with all its flaws and hardships although set in a alternative world The characters that come with it also have names that to start with seem a bit odd, but soon settle in, as does the world.The story itself is fresh well at least for me , dealing with politics and religion as much as action, although this has a fair share too It is the story of a society in the midst of great change, a change that is needed, but one that the old school find hard to accept and resist It is the characters that are caught up in it that drive the story, at the heart of which is the titular Oracle.I always think it is a measure of success on the writer s part when they manage to get you hating characters, or wishing they would get their just desserts, and Boulton has succeeded in this in no short measure There are those that you like, those that you hate, those that you just want to give a good shake There is a feeling that no on is safe, and there is a genuine feeling of loss when some of them inevitably die, in one case almost praying that one particular character will hold on and not die after being severely injured.But as stated the heart of the story is Oracle, formerly Clare and former wife of one of the main characters, Pugh We know that they separated after a terrible event in the past that involved a battle and at some point the loss of a child, but things have changed since then It seems as though there is an illness going around that effects people, turning them into Glimpsers, people that are driven mad by the ability to see the future and Clare has been infected There are hidden truths to this, and it is through the interaction with Clare that events unfold, in at least one of the main story threads It is quite remarkable, and a feat of writing that it feels that she is a consistent throughout the book, but on reflection she does not appear that much, but when she does Clare steals the show, and drives things as they continue In all an excellent read, very enjoyable, complete in itself, but with enough left open for a sequel in the future


  3. says:

    I really enjoyed Oracle Hand on heart, I wasn t sure if I would I m not hugely into political stories,character focused and wasn t sure if I d keep up with the story.Actually, I had no problem There is a large cast of characters but they are distinct from each other, and nicely drawn Claire Oracle draws us in from the beginning, even in the desperate straits she is in Pugh grew as the book went on from someone who seemed a little lost to a fully rounded character However, for me, th I really enjoyed Oracle Hand on heart, I wasn t sure if I would I m not hugely into political stories,character focused and wasn t sure if I d keep up with the story.Actually, I had no problem There is a large cast of characters but they are distinct from each other, and nicely drawn Claire Oracle draws us in from the beginning, even in the desperate straits she is in Pugh grew as the book went on from someone who seemed a little lost to a fully rounded character However, for me, the characterisation of ambitious politician Calvinward was beautifully done and presented a well rounded character who I grew to like The pace is good, rarely letting up The depiction of the world and the descriptions are also good, with some nice showing scenes of the mill working The storyline is complex, with nice twists and turns, and delivers an ending I found satisfying, with enough left open for me to wonder if we might seein this world For me, the characterisation of Mathew let it down a little I found it hard to reconcile the later Mathew with the young idealist from the early chapters I also felt that Emily faded from the story and became rather sidelined just as she was growing as a character and would have liked to have seen heractive For anyone who likes their fantasy a little different, with a grittier setting than some, and well drawn characters, this one is a treat


  4. says:

    I have to admit I struggled a little with Oracle, but it s taken a while to work out why The set up, the opening chase, the definite sense of foreboding that comes with Oracle s prophecies all of that led into the promise of a tightrope walk between political and social revolution and catastrophe, and then seemed to lose its focus as soon as Oracle left the derailed train The biggest problem is that for me at least the sides of the debate that is central to the plot aren t clearly defined I have to admit I struggled a little with Oracle, but it s taken a while to work out why The set up, the opening chase, the definite sense of foreboding that comes with Oracle s prophecies all of that led into the promise of a tightrope walk between political and social revolution and catastrophe, and then seemed to lose its focus as soon as Oracle left the derailed train The biggest problem is that for me at least the sides of the debate that is central to the plot aren t clearly defined That means when the characters are arguing over the potential consequences, there s not much for the reader to grab follow.But Oracle does have a very well constructed sense of place and time The characters are restricted by societal s, and Susan Boulton writes these perils just as well as she does the subtly included fantastical ones She brings to mind the drawing room adventures of Sherlock Holmesthan the whiz bang approaches of modern steampunk adventures if that phrase isn t an oxymoron in itself.A good debut, and I look forward to seeing Hand of Glory released too


  5. says:

    Susan Boulton s Oracle is a fantasy set in an imaginary land with distinct similarities to nineteenth century Great Britain A long time supporter of SFF forums and a keen participant in online discussions etc, this is Susan s debut novel, published by the increasingly successful Tickety Boo Press.Pugh Avinguard is detailed to aid and protect noted political heavyweight Lord Joshua Calvinward Meanwhile, a special bill in the land s Forum is setting the classes against one another, a bill which Susan Boulton s Oracle is a fantasy set in an imaginary land with distinct similarities to nineteenth century Great Britain A long time supporter of SFF forums and a keen participant in online discussions etc, this is Susan s debut novel, published by the increasingly successful Tickety Boo Press.Pugh Avinguard is detailed to aid and protect noted political heavyweight Lord Joshua Calvinward Meanwhile, a special bill in the land s Forum is setting the classes against one another, a bill which will impact upon those suffering bond labour In this respect there are noticeable echoes of class struggle following the Industrial Revolution in Britain, and this makes for an interesting scenario Most characters come from the upper classes, or from a curious Goddess centred religious order, but one noble man at least is disenchanted with the upper classes When a railway accident of dubious origin changes the lives of some of the main characters Pugh and Joshua not least, but also Emily Manling and Mathew Howorth a chain of events is set in motion that leads to social turmoil affecting those at the lowest end of the chain to those in the Forum Added to this mix of class politics are a couple of personal tales, not least the relationship of Pugh with his former wife Claire, who has become a Glimpser the Oracle Returned as if from the dead a situation which intriguingly mirrors the tale of Mathew and Emily , Pugh has to reconcile his feelings for his ex wife, his thoughts on their messily annulled marriage, and the events whirling around him The aspect of Claire and her abilities is particularly intriguing, asking that question what happens to political turmoil if there is someone around who can glimpse the future Can even an assassination be stopped This is a good novel, with lots to recommend it It does have a few flaws that perhaps arise from its debut nature Some of the prose is set in paragraphs with lots of short sentences, which is great for action, and if used sparingly, but which on occasion can interfere with reading Also, the events seem to take place over a variable time period, but there is too little in the prose or speech of the characters to indicate this I would find myself thinking, How many days or weeks have passed since These are small points however, and they can be amended As a scenario, as a tale of events with twists and turns to satisfy the reader, and with a good few intriguing characters, Oracle is well worth a read whether you like fantasy, alternate world fantasy or historical fantasy I myself would class this as alternate world fantasy, but the historical atmosphere does give it a British hue


  6. says:

    It took a little while for me to click with Oracle, because this densely written style requires a little adjustment, and because the book throws you into the action good but also introduces you to a new world, new concepts and a large array of characters several of them POV characters in a very short space of time It is, however, one of the great delights of the book that as you continue reading you start to find order amongst the chaos, and to sort the people in the story out with regard t It took a little while for me to click with Oracle, because this densely written style requires a little adjustment, and because the book throws you into the action good but also introduces you to a new world, new concepts and a large array of characters several of them POV characters in a very short space of time It is, however, one of the great delights of the book that as you continue reading you start to find order amongst the chaos, and to sort the people in the story out with regard to their positions, relationships and political drives This mirrors the journey that many of the characters are also making, as they learn deep truths about their own society and one another, uncovering secrets and lies along the way One clever device that Boulton uses to keep the pages turning are the utterances of Oracle itself, an entity that can sense the future, but can t see or communicate its visions clearly Rather than make the too common mistake of having all the predictions be grandly vague, Boulton s Oracle mixes the big predictions Politics and religion the world turned on its head with the deliciously specific and personal Good Toby, bite hard , keeping you guessing and providing plenty of enjoyable a ha moments.Although I m acquainted with Susan Boulton having spent time with her at several conventions over the past few years, this is the first of her writing that I ve read, and I didn t know when I picked it up that it was the first in a series at least, it had better be, because there are important questions unanswered and Boulton is too skilled a writer to have left them by accident I don t know how long it s going to be, but I can t wait to get my hands on the next volume


  7. says:

    Susan Boulton s gaslight fantasy novel Oracle was an interesting ride I hadn t read any gaslight before, so this was definitely something new for me I was immediately smitten by Susan s prose and her characters, especially the title character Claire Oracle, a women caught in a current she can t always control As Oracle, the character blurts out seemingly random snippets of prophecy at deliciously inappropriate moments, and as Claire she struggles to reclaim her past and come to grips with h Susan Boulton s gaslight fantasy novel Oracle was an interesting ride I hadn t read any gaslight before, so this was definitely something new for me I was immediately smitten by Susan s prose and her characters, especially the title character Claire Oracle, a women caught in a current she can t always control As Oracle, the character blurts out seemingly random snippets of prophecy at deliciously inappropriate moments, and as Claire she struggles to reclaim her past and come to grips with her two sides.The novel tells a tale of political intrigue and religious fervor, of class clashes and an establishment stubbornly stuck in the past and refusing to budge Trapped in the middle of all this turbulence are Claire and her former husband, Captain Pugh Avinguard, and Claire Oracle s prophecies may be instrumental in unraveling the events taking the country of Timeholm by storm Oracle centers around prophecy, but not the well ordered prophecy we often see in fantasy Instead, the messages are disjointed, confusing, often appearing absolutely useless and bizarre I found myself thinking, over and over, that this is what prophecy should look like Something strange and alien that makes no immediate sense, not even to the one who spouts it.The plot had lots of twists and turns and a really great setting I ll certainly be keeping an eye open for future novels by the author


  8. says:

    The pacing was a little off, but a fine read Proper review to come later.


  9. says:

    Oracle by Susan BoultonI must admit that I was drawn to this novel by reading the first chapter and getting acquainted with the Oracle a character who reminded me of another character in something I recently read In Diamond Eyes by A.A Bell there is a blind girl not quite blind who sees the past not the future and rambles on about things and is generally ignored But where Oracle is allowed to roam and live off the charity of others Mira was institutionalized and often kept sedated Both a Oracle by Susan BoultonI must admit that I was drawn to this novel by reading the first chapter and getting acquainted with the Oracle a character who reminded me of another character in something I recently read In Diamond Eyes by A.A Bell there is a blind girl not quite blind who sees the past not the future and rambles on about things and is generally ignored But where Oracle is allowed to roam and live off the charity of others Mira was institutionalized and often kept sedated Both are integral to the plot of the story and both seem to embody the most innocent of characters Though Mira does have the spirit of an imp in her And somewhere around there the similarity ends and the Oracle takes on her own life as I dig into the story.This novel is billed as Gaslight Fantasy and mentions Steam power also on the cover though it is only the vaguest of reference drawn to Steampunk and this book surely does not lean much into the Steampunk Gaslight or Gaslamp as some would have it, seems to be where this story is I m not sure whether to call it Victorian or Edwardian but that is mostly my own deficiency Its historical fiction of a slightly altered world that has a lot that borders onto the Paranormal It is a landscape of intrigue and suspense.We have trains possibly steam trains though there is no real depth taken in their description The train is important, because the first half of the book is a bit of trying to understand the Oracle s fractured predictions possibly to save the day There are two characters that seem to be the main characters in the novel although it took me a bit to finally decide that Through careful elimination as many characters became duplicitous and multifaceted and deceitful Finally it devolved down to Pugh Avinguard and the Oracle who is really his ex wife Claire Pugh is a quite well developed character while the Oracle s development is often stunted by her being two personalities struggling to control one form.One hindrance for me throughout the novel was that the shifting point of view would give me several different explanations of events in peoples lives somewhat based on rumor so that it was often difficult to tell which story was the truth As an example the rumors ran everywhere from Claire being dead to her having eloped with Pugh then running away and having the marriage annulled And finally to her father arraigned the marriage for political reasons and Pugh having cast her out and divorcing her and thwarting his father inlaws dreams And I might not have all of that correct but there were other characters as equally misrepresented this way.This world in which the Oracle exists is one where slavery is practiced under another name and passed off as the best way to take care of the poor There is change in the air and the Oracle is in tune with this though the political climate is still fraught with those who are comfortable with things staying the way they are But rebellion is afoot and foreign interest would love to see the country fracture under the stress of social upheaval.The Oracle has a future that seems to be heading into a dark area of things, but the reader is not to fear as there is some hope of redemption though it may cost the few that are near to her.There is an end to this story that can satisfy the reader, though there seems to be a large number of threads that are left hanging or perhaps left to the imagination It is difficult to tell from this if the author will seek to visit this land again.Overall the novel has solid writing with a fair to sprawling plot that only resolves, at the end, if we look strictly toward this being the story of Clair and Pugh.I would have loved to see Claire come out stronger in the story especially when there were other strong female characters such as Elizabeth who delivered my favorite tongue in cheek statement.Remember, I am just a woman, and you are making my delicate mind hurt.Boulton, Susan 2015 03 31 Oracle Kindle Location 150 Tickety Boo Press Kindle Edition.J.L Dobias


  10. says:

    Sometimes, you know you re going to enjoy a book within the first page This was one of those books Boulton hooked me almost immediately Her characters are likeable and well drawn she avoids the pitfall of making her villains too villainous to believe and the plot is just what I like politics and manoeuvring, rather than a lot of screaming and rushing around OK, I also like violence, but even then I like it to come with actual plot Boulton s world has a lot in common with late 19th cen Sometimes, you know you re going to enjoy a book within the first page This was one of those books Boulton hooked me almost immediately Her characters are likeable and well drawn she avoids the pitfall of making her villains too villainous to believe and the plot is just what I like politics and manoeuvring, rather than a lot of screaming and rushing around OK, I also like violence, but even then I like it to come with actual plot Boulton s world has a lot in common with late 19th century England, just as the industrial revolution is really starting to kick in with the accompanying riots, but with some extra twists a species of villeinage bond servants seems to have survived or been resurrected , but the monarchy has not, although the country is ruled by a hereditary aristocracy This was a solid four star read at times, I thought it might even make five stars which I don t often give There were only two things which let it down firstly, the resolution seemed to come a little too easily to the characters At a cost, yes, but still And secondly, there was a definite feel that this would have done best as Book 1 of a series, or at least a duology There is sufficient world building for an excellent series, and also enough plot is left unresolved for certainly a second book So much so that I do wonder whether that was Boulton s original intention If so, it s a pity that she never wrote a follow up


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OracleFully Realised Characters, Twists, Thrilling Narrative, And A Touch Of The Divine I Challenge Anyone Who Picks Up Oracle To Put It Down Again Without Having Read All The Way Through To The End Ian Whates Political Intrigue And Power Wrangling, Seers And Science, Industrial Revolutions And Grand Engines, Elegant Design And A Whole Head Of Steam Kim Lakin Smith In A Time Of Dangerous Unrest, Captain Pugh Avinguard Has Been Delegated To Protect Lord Joshua Calvinward, Author Of A Controversial Bill That Makes Him A Target For Political Extremists A Train Crash, A Riot, And Assassination In The High Forum All Threaten To Plunge The Country Of Timeholm Into Chaos But Pugh S Own Past Is About To Crash Into His Present, With The Reappearance Of His Beloved Ex Wife, Claire Robbed Of Identity And Sanity By A Mysterious Religious Order, The Inner Ring, Clare Has Been Transformed Into Oracle, A Glimpser , Whose Prophecies Predict Even Tumultuous Events To Come.


About the Author: Susan Boulton

My name is Susan J Boulton and like the song by The Police says, I was born in the 50 s and I had the unusual distinction of arriving into this world 200 yards from where, 37 years before, Tolkien spent time thinking about hobbits I have lived all my life in rural Staffordshire, and have a passion for the countryside, its history, myths and legends, all of which influence my work Married with two grown up daughters, I now put my over active imagination once the bane of both my parents and teachers to good use in my writing I have had short stories published in the following Flashspec volumes one and two published by EQ booksTouched by Wonder published by Meadowhawk Press.Ruthless PeopleAlien SkinGolden Visions.The Dark Fiction SpotlightTales of the Sword published by Red Sky PressMalevolence Tales From Beyond the Veil by Ticketyboo PressNovel Oracle Ticketyboo Press.