Author: Katya de Becerra
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
No. of pages: Hardcover, 320 pgs.
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Date Read: December 26, 2019
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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 the camp wiped away, Alif and the others find themselves lost on the sands, seemingly doomed… until the 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…
Many thanks to Imprint for sending me an ecopy of the book.
One of the first things that stood out to me about this book was the pitch comparing it to Lost and The Twilight Zone. I loved Lost and was super interested to see how it all came together.
Oasis follows Alif and her 4 friends who visit her father’s archaeology dig on holiday before they start university. While traveling, it’s brought to their attention that there might be something weird about the dig site. Locals refuse to work at the site and there have been strange things happening and strange disappearances. When a man appears out of nowhere from the desert, Alif and her friends are shocked. Soon after, a mysterious sandstorm appears. Alif, her friends, and her father’s graduate assistant are stranded in the storm. Once they awake, the dig site has disappeared, their compasses aren’t working, and the sun seems to be moving on a different axis in the sky. It’s not long until they arrive at an oasis, one that seems to be endless, right in the middle of the desert. The oasis has everything that they had hoped for, but soon, things start to happen. Alif, Tommy, Luke, Rowan, Lori, and Minh soon find that not all is as it seems and something is calling to them. The oasis has saved them… or has it… What follows is a story that left me unable to put the book down.
One of the most intriguing things about this story is the oasis. It’s the group’s savior, but it also brings strife and trouble. It gives them everything they need, and everything that they want most, but it also destroys them in the process. Since the story is from Alif’s perspective, we only are able to see the effect of her mind change due to the oasis, but we’re able to see the physical/emotional change of others. It’s really interesting to see how everything that happens on the oasis, and after, takes a toll on the six.
I also really liked the contemporary feel that the story included. It’s modern places, modern countries, and modern teens that their life is then infused with this science fiction element. There was also a slight feeling of horror and it made it all the more interesting. I never could figure out what was going to happen next. There were so many twists and turns that it was impossible to think ahead. Alif’s story is one that I can’t wait to jump into again.
Katya de Bacerra was born in Russia, studied in California, lived in Peru, and the stayed in Australia long enough to become a local. She was going to be an Egyptologit when she grew up, but instead she earned a PhD in Anthropology and works as a university lecturer and a researcher. Katya is a short version of her real name, which is very long adn gets mispronounced a lot. What The Woods Keep was her first novel (our now), which is followed by another standalone Oasis in 2020. She has also authored and co-authored academic articles, book chapters, guest posts and opinion pieces.
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