The Betelgeuse Oracle (The Betelgeuse Chronicles Book #1) by Joseph Macchiusi
(Summary taken from the back cover of the book) "Thousands convulse and perish. Electronics die. Aircraft plummet. Food and water are scarce. Trapped in this huge calamity, James Muir suffers bizarre visions. Desperate to reunite with his wife and young daughters, he cannot resist the command of a mysterious Voice berating him in ancient Egyptian. He must embark on a quest for 'the Stone.' Haunted by the erosion of his own sanity, hunted by gunmen, James joins a group of strangers desperate to escape a metropolis transformed into a burning, violent wasteland. But what awaits them beyond the fringes of the city? The Stone has a fanatical will of its own. As strangers become friends and lovers, James realizes that even if the trek doesn't kill him, he may not be strong enough to match the Stone's baffling power."
Wow. What to say, what to say? The character development in this book is fairly good. The characters, although a lot of them are very unlikable, including James, seem realistic and have some depth to them. There are some good descriptions of events that occur and places the characters find themselves in. After that, though, I'm just not a fan of this book. Mr. Macchiusi's writing style is strange and difficult to read and understand, especially because he constantly uses fragmented sentences. It drove me crazy. The grammatical mistakes alone made this book difficult to read and understand. I read the prologue several times trying to understand what in the world was going on. I finally just moved on. And then I found James. And I didn't like him at all. He is a very unlikable character. He has a bad attitude about everything, especially when he is at home with his wife and daughters. Then this event occurs that changes life as we know it, and I got so lost. I kept having to go back and remind myself who the different characters were. I knew James was being led by some unknown force, but it just didn't come together for me. The ending was confusing and very lackluster. It goes back to the characters in the prologue talking about time travel and eons of time, and I was confused and had no idea what had happened. Also, the profanity in this book is awful. There are so many "f" words that I lost track after just a few pages. And that's not all; almost every other profane word is also used abundantly. There is also "intimacy" and lots of violence. It is a very gory and gruesome book. Lots of people die, and they don't die calmly in their sleep. Yeah, this book is definitely not for me. I do not recommend this book.
Rating: R (Lots of profanity, including dozens of "f" words, violence, gore, death, "intimacy," slavery)
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.