Tuesday, March 26, 2013

THE ORACLE OF PHILADELPHIA by Elizabeth Carrigan_Review

Review of The Oracle of Philadelphia
Elizabeth Carrigan
Red Adept Publishing
5 stars

First of all, the Oracle of Philadelphia really is—an Oracle. She likes to disguise that by keeping a psychic around in her diner, so folks think the psychic is the one issuing the pronouncements. She is also an immortal, just like demons and angels and archangels. The only problem is, Cassia is soulless: she had to sell hers to gain immortality, so she has kind of a soft spot for others who have done the same, for whatever reasons. Sometimes it’s done to achieve fame or wealth or perks; other times out of altruism, to save a loved one’s life, for example. Either way, Lucifer seldom agrees to return any soul, and so no matter how good or negative the life of the one who has sold a soul, eternity is going to be unpleasant.

“The Oracle of Philadelphia” doesn’t just throw that information at us and let us dwell with her in present-day Philadelphia. No, it bounces back and forth through history and prehistory, examining Cassia’s past and her very extensive life span, and then spins her through adventures in the present day. She may be an immortal, but as I wrote above, she does have a soft spot every now and then for those who have made the fateful decision to sell a soul.

Elizabeth Carrigan’s approach is delightfully easy to follow, and her explorations of history and beyond are detailed and impressive. Her cozy view of theological constructs is relaxing, yet appealing. For example, Cassia gets a feeling of surpassing peace in the presence of an angel, such as Gabriel; and the handsome and sort of hyperactive Bedlam, demon of chaos, is constantly on the move, fomenting havoc and then getting bored with it. I highly recommend “The Oracle of Philadelphia” and hope it finds a wide readership.

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