Review of ‘Oasis’

By Cynthia Bujnicki

Oasis by Katya de Becerra
Image Credit: Edelweiss

What was supposed to be an exciting dig in the desert has turned into a nightmare for Alif and her friends. Swept away in a sandstorm, Alif and her friends struggle to survive, and when they see an oasis with water and food, hope is on the horizon. However, when nightmarish things begin to happen on the horizon, Alif and her friends begin to wonder if they will survive or if the desert will destroy them and eat them alive.

Published by Imprint Macmillan, Oasis by Katya de Becerra is a YA science fiction thriller.

What a weird novel, and not a thoroughly entertaining one.

From the beginning, the biggest issue this novel has is character dynamics. What is wrong is the fact that Alif spends part of her narrative telling the reader how they are the greatest of friends. Except that does not come across at all, which is a huge problem. The reader is supposed to believe that the desert is turning these friends against one another. The moment Becerra introduces the reader to the characters, it is hard to see how they fit together. They are antagonistic with one another, and Alif is very aloof concerning them. She seems not to care what they do or what she even does. Her tone, her personality, it is very bland and does not encourage the reader to believe her. Alif is an unreliable narrator as far as the storytelling goes.

These are not characters worth caring about at the end of the day, and not at one point do they seem like they are the best of friends the author would have the reader believe.

Now, while the dynamics and characterization fall short, that is not to say there is no development. Through the trials of the oasis, the reader sees the characters pushed to their limits.

The saving grace of the novel is the tension. The eerie feeling that follows the reader through the story keeps the tension up; it keeps the reader invested in the story and the evolution of the plot. While Becerra fails with the characterization and dynamics, she excels at creating a spooky atmosphere. It puts the reader on edge, and it keeps them there.

Oasis is a strange novel that is not worth the read regarding the characters, but completely worth it for the eerie atmosphere and gripping tension. (★★★☆☆)

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Product Details:

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

Page count: 320pp

Age Range: 14 & Over

ISBN: 978-1-2501-2426=5

Publisher: Imprint

List Price: $17.99

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Better World Books

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