Rating: 3.75 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
Grayson Muir is the strongest Oracle in the States, probably the world, so it goes without saying that he is asked to work many high profile cases. This one he doesn’t want, however. At first when Andreo Demos walks into his office, Gray is taken off guard by the sheer beauty of the man. Then Gray realizes he’s not just a man, but a demon of lust. Gray has his own reasons for not wanting to work with demons and tries to refer Andreo to another Oracle, but Dreo won’t take no for answer. The Lord of the Underworld has been murdered and Dreo is certain only Gray can assist the Council in finding the murderer and helping to name a successor. The strong attraction between them does nothing to help Gray turn down the job.
Convincing Gray to take the case is easier than convincing the Oracle that they are mates. Arriving in the Underworld, Dreo and Gray are immediately intercepted by a demon who is Dreo’s former lover, Povell. When Gray is drawn into a vision, he takes Dreo with him and they discover a depravity and injustice Povell had unleashed upon the Underworld. Upon coming out of the dream, they have Povell is arrested and taken to the dungeons.
Gray is convinced that there is more going on in the Underworld than he could possibly understand and calls for his team to join him in his investigation. While waiting for them to arrive, Dreo takes Gray to the place where the Lord of the Underworld was murdered, but without his team there to assist, Gray doesn’t want to fall into a vision, so he and Dreo leave only to finally end up in bed together. Gray knows Dreo thinks they are mates, but Gray isn’t convinced. He was raised by humans and doesn’t understand a lot of the paranormal world, especially mates.
Upon the arrival of his team, Gray and Dreo discover that someone has not only been in the room where Lucifer died, but has tainted it so badly there is no way Gray could force a vision of what happened. And the only way that could happen is if the killer worked with an Oracle. In search of the murderous pair, Gray discovers a secret and a plan of revenge dating back centuries that would bring an ultimate evil to the throne of the Underworld and that may end up costing Gray his life before he has the chance to accept his mating to Dreo.
Ask the Oracle is the first book in JJ Black’s Revelations series.
What I liked most about this story was the uniqueness. It’s not often that I see stories about Oracles. And not only has this author brought that element to this story, but there are several creative rules surrounding the Oracles and their worlds, their weaknesses, and their genetic makeup. Not only is the world of Oracles a wonderful one, but the Underworld Black creates is exciting and visually stunning. There is so much happening in this world. This author does a great job at giving new life to a world that is shown often throughout literature. I’m not a huge fan of demons, never have been, but the rules and purpose given these characters is imaginative and held my interest.
I liked the story, although I had a few issues with it. The beginning and end of the story are good. I like the internal struggle Gray fights to come to terms with his attraction to Dreo. I like that he takes his time to make a decision on whether or not to help the demons. One of my biggest issues is the middle of the book. I don’t want to give much away, but there is a significant amount of the story where Gray and Dreo have absolutely no contact. And I see where the author wanted to build parts of the story up, but Dreo is missing from the actual storyline for several chapters, which doesn’t lend credence to the sudden proclamation of love when things go to hell, no pun intended…okay, maybe a little. But it doesn’t make sense and is hardly believable.
I liked Gray and Dreo. I liked not only what they are, Oracle and Demon of Lust, but also the conflict between them. Gray is convinced that all demons are self-serving, arrogant, evil assholes. And Dreo is there to prove him wrong. The beginning of their journey is that of preconceived notions and false stereotypes. What I like about Gray is that he holds strong to his convictions, yet he still has a little wiggle room. When he finally opens up his heart, he gets more than he ever expected, but that doesn’t happen automatically. He’s a little jaded by his past. But Dreo helps him see the light.
There are a few unanswered questions at the end of the book, but I have a feeling that they may be answered further down the line since this is a series.
Overall, I liked the story, but there were just a few niggles I couldn’t get past. I hope to read more of these characters and the secondary characters in the future. Right now, I can recommend this story to lovers of PNR, demons and their soft hearts, and someone looking for unique world-building.