Oracles of Delphi Keep: The Curse of Deadman’s Forest by Victoria Laurie

I’ve been waiting for this book to come out for almost a year now (the first book was one of the first ones I read when I started reading children’s/YA books). Finally it’s here and I’m a little torn. It isn’t as awesome as I had hoped for and makes me think that perhaps the first one wasn’t as awesome as I initially thought. Not to say I don’t like it, but just that now I have read a lot more books in the same category so I have a better comparison base.

Theo and Ian discovered a silver treasure box that reveals a prophecy made by the last great oracle: they must find six gifted children (in addition to Theo) in order to fight a great evil that is coming. Ian is meant to be Theo’s guardian throughout this journey, but what if it means his death? The prophecy certainly seems to indicate that he will die if he goes to Morocco to help them find a child with the ability to heal. What good is a guardian who cannot be there to protect his charge? Nonetheless, no one wants to risk it, but circumstances leave them no choice. Can they find this child before disaster strikes and can Ian escape his doom?

My two biggest issues with this series are the slightly awkward dialogue (maybe that’s just how British people speak?) and the overwhelming number of characters. There’s Ian, Theo, Carl, Jaaved, the Earl, Professor Nutley, Thatcher and Perry Goodwin, Demagorgon and his four children, the other children with abilities, plus a list of allies and enemies along the way. It’s hard to keep track of everyone and really get to know them. It feels like just as we’re getting to know something about the people, they are left behind in favor of introducing new characters. I think that in some ways, Laurie has simply tried to do too much.

Even with these issues, the story remains intricate and exciting. You never quite know what will happen next and I for one am looking forward to the next book in the series, whenever it comes out.


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