Review :: OASIS :: Katya de Becerra

Katya de Becerra’s latest novel, OASIS, is quite unlike anything I’ve read before. It’s young adult sci-fi (or is it fantasy?) with elements of mystery and thriller in it too. Here’s the synopsis (from the Macmillan website)
Alif had exciting summer plans: working on her father’s archeological dig site in the desert with four close friends . . . and a very cute research assistant. Then the sandstorm hit.
Their camp wiped away, Alif and the others find themselves lost on the sands, seemingly doomed . . . until they find the oasis. It has everything they need: food, water, and shade—and mysterious ruins that hide a deadly secret. As reality begins to shift around them, they question what’s real and what’s a mirage.
The answers turn Alif and her friends against each other, and they begin to wonder if they’ve truly been saved. And while it was easy to walk into the oasis, it may be impossible to leave.

It’s a bit hard to know where to start with a review of this one, except to say that I liked it! It took a chapter or two, but then I was totally hooked, and pretty much read to the end in a day.

This is going to sound weird, and I promise I mean it in a good way, but this kind of reminded me of a cool episode of Star Trek – one of those episodes where the away team lands on a strange planet and its not entirely clear what’s real and what’s not.

The writing style really worked for me in this one – something about it felt to me like Alif was giving an account of what had happened after the fact. This gave it an authenticity that I don’t think a 3rd person POV would have had. I also liked the way that this worked with the sense of confusion around what was happening – Alif wasn’t really sure what was happening, so we weren’t either, and I feel like that gave kind of a shared experience which is one of the things that drew me into the story.

Now I’m keen to go back and read de Becerra’s first book – What the Woods Keep – which has been on my TBR since it came out, and I’m looking forward to seeing what she writes next!

xo Bron

***
OASIS by Katya de Becerra
Release: Out now from Pan Macmillan Australia.
Source: I received a copy of from Pan Macmillan Australia for review. All views are my own.
Category: YA, speculative fiction, adventure, mystery, thriller

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