Review: The Betelgeuse Oracle by Joseph Macchiusi


Title: The Betelgeuse Oracle
Author: Joseph Macchiusi
Publisher/Year: The Betelgeuse Oracle 11/19/12
Length: 379 Pages


Every civilization has ended in collapse. Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome. All were sophisticated cultures brought low by unanticipated forces greater than themselves.

What forces hasten the collapse of our civilization? Not nuclear war, or climate change, or even an asteroid strike.

For millions of years the supergiant star Betelgeuse has waited patiently on Orion’s right shoulder. Now its moment has arrived. It severs the single thread suspending Western civilization over a great abyss.

Something we take for granted disappears forever. Everything changes now that it is gone. Electronic equipment fails. Aircraft plummet from the sky. Motors cease to work. Distances that seem trifling by car become days-long slogs. Food and water are scarce. Forces awaken that have remained dormant for centuries. In a matter of hours, Western civilization teeters and falls.

James Muir is trapped in the midst of this huge calamity. Struggling to reunite with his wife and young daughters, he suffers bizarre, overpowering visions. A mysterious Voice berates him in ancient Egyptian. Amazed, he comprehends its command to embark on a quest for something it identifies only as “the Stone.”

Hunted by cadres of well armed, highly trained militiamen, haunted by the erosion of his own sanity, James flees urban warfare, riot and pillage. He joins a group of desperate strangers, united to escape a metropolis transformed into a burning, violent wasteland.

But what awaits them beyond the fringes of the city? The further they get, the stronger is the painful tug exerted by the Voice on James’s exhausted mind. As strangers grow into friends and lovers, James comes to realize that the thing called the Stone has a fanatical will of its own. Even if he survives the trek, he may not be strong enough to match the Stone’s baffling power.

The Betelgeuse Oracle is a sweeping saga of loss and heroism, mysticism and visceral horror. Reading this novel will change the way you see the world.

My Thoughts

When i started reading this book, i wasn’t exactly sure what i was getting since the prologue – the introduction to the story was in a different writing style than i’m used to.  I wasn’t sure to be honest that i was going to stick with this book since it seemed a bit more vulgar than i’m accustomed to – a bit more ‘dirty’ than i like, but i think that it was intentional in the sense that if you get past that, then you’ll get into the heart of the story and there’s so much more there.

What we have here is a story of survival – and of sci fi meets dystopia.  (I feel like this and the last story that i read were in the same area).  Anyhow, we have a lead who is put into a position where he’s given power and powers yet all he wants to do is find a way to be with his family.

There’s so much going on here – a lot of personalities and characters that some how become integral to the story without distracting too much from the main flow …in general.  I’ll admit that there were parts that i just wanted to skim through, read rather quickly just to keep the story moving.  don’t hate me – i still got to the same place at the end of the book.

While i usually associate dystopia with places in the US so i can get a full grasp on things, this too a heritage and worldly feel that kind of left me thinking about things differently.  It’s nice to change things up a bit, so i would say that if you’re looking for the next sci-fi dystopia that’s just different enough from what you’re reading, then check this one out.  Enjoy!

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