Oasis by Katya de Becerra Book Review
Is it awesome having an author friend that is lovely enough to gift you their ARC? Yes. Is it even better when their book is freaking amazing? Hell yes. I almost didn’t expect how good this would be and it literally got me out of a book slump.
The oasis saved them. But who will save them from the oasis?
Alif had exciting summer plans: working on her father’s archaeological dig site in the desert with four close friends . . . and a very cute research assistant. Then the sandstorm hit.
With 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, 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 one another, 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 . . .
Katya de Becerra’s new supernatural thriller hides a mystery in plain sight, and will keep you guessing right up to its terrifying conclusion.
The one thing I must say after reading this book is that I NEED ANSWERS. If you’re someone who enjoys books that like to mess with your mind and just be a total mindf#ck mood, this is it.
I still can’t even coherently explain my thoughts on this book because I just loved it so much. It was so freaking easy to read and I fell straight into a groove while reading that I just did not want to stop.
In this novel, Katya introduces to us a bunch of friends travelling to Dubai to help out at an archeological dig and well, things start to take a turn. Our protagonist is Alif, who brings her four close friends to Dubai with her to meet her father, the archaeologist leading the team. Along for the ride is her father’s research assistant, the love interest. Although certain warning signs about the site being cursed and certain mishaps happening from the initial days working on this site, the group trusts that everything will be fine, of course. That’s until a deadly sandstorm hits their camp out of the blue and this close group of friends and the random assistant are catapulted in a situation of life and death in the desert. But then they find this oasis and things just seem too good to be true.
It’s honestly hard to say much more than this without spoiling things because there was so much that happened. The mystery goodness and terror and suspense and the ending were just CRAZY, confusing but also EVERYTHING and completely mindblowing. What kept me pulled into this book was how I kept thinking and changing my mind on whether I knew what was going on because things just kept popping up and changing my perspective. The grasp on reality and topics of morality, survival and trust amongst these people who are supposed to be close friends are some of the amazing topics that were so thought-provoking and speckled throughout the book in just the right amount.
Alif and the rest of the cast in this book were all super diverse and had such distinctive personalities. Although I didn’t particularly like any character including the protagonist, I realised toward the end that the goal of this book wasn’t to make them all likeable either. These characters all go through obstacles and challenges, and when survival comes into play, tough decisions need to be made and it really pushed the question of what makes someone human – what’s right or wrong in this situation? How would I survive this scenario if it happened to me? You start wondering why these people are actually friends and whether romance is even okay in this situation. I’m not one to really get into romances in fantasy books including urban fantasy books like this one, but I thought it was done so well in Oasis that it didn’t overshadow any character development or plot elements. The romance as a much of a character and part of the plot’s mystery in itself. While this book is definitely centred on the plot, we see a lot of character development in Alif’s perspective as she tries to figure out what is real and what is really happening.
I found the world-building or at least the backstory explanations to be so cohesive and succinct. I was never bored because it was never dragged out but rather fast-paced without feeling rushed. The pace of the book was almost a whirlwind because it felt so fast that you did want it to slow down – not because of a lack of quality and development but simply because you felt like you must’ve missed something when you got lost in the mystery and wasn’t sure what was real. It was honestly a real freaking roller coaster reading this book and although it comes out January 2020 in the US (um c’ mon Australian publishers, what’s going on??), I cannot recommend this read enough.
Katya is honestly such a great thriller, horror, mystery, YA urban fantasy author (author in general tbh) – I read, loved and reviewed her debut novel What the Woods Keep (amazing and so underrated) and also interviewed her last year and I’m honestly so glad and grateful that I know her and that she’s my friend. I would’ve had to wait until next year to read this beauty and I seriously feel the need to read it again to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating like half of what happened. That ending…just, wow.
Huge shoutout to Macmillan US for publishing this beauty, I cannot wait to buy my finished copy online once it hits the shelves!
Who’s an underrated author you think I should read from? Let me know 🙂
Until next time,