Saturday, April 14, 2012

Book Review: The White Oak

In The White Oak, the first book in the Imperfect Darkness series, Cora Alexander falls through a sinkhole and enters the underworld still alive. Her living presence threatens the tyrannical rule of Minos and the infernal judges who have hijacked the afterlife and rebuilt it, trapping human souls in a mechanical, computer-controlled city that lies at the core of the earth. To survive, Cora must rely on her untrustworthy guide, Minotaur, an artificial intelligence built by Minos. She is helped by a mysterious voice, and by Sybil, underworld librarian and author of each person's book of life. Sybil's collection holds the key to humankind's intertwined life stories. When Cora's own book is destroyed, Sybil gives her a magical golden pen and sends her to the underworld city to write her own destiny. Along the way, Cora finds the ghost of her dead brother, Lucas, a genius programmer who alone is capable of finding the chink in Minos's armor. But will he be able to get Cora out alive, or will they both succumb to the seemingly inescapable underworld trap?

**ARC courtesy of publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads: 3/5 stars

My review:

If I had to describe The White Oak in a sentence, it would be: Greek mythology meets Tron. I’m a big fan of both, by the way, so I was excited to read the ARC.

Cora and her brother fall through a sinkhole in their backyard. Cora ends up in the Underworld, where she’s helped by Minotaur, Sybil, and an unknown voice. All Cora truly cares about is finding her brother; she’s unsure if he made it through alive like she did. The deeper Cora travels into the core of the earth, however, the stranger things become. The fact that Cora is alive threatens the mechanical system set in place for dead souls, and Cora finds herself in more trouble than she bargained for.

While I loved the mythology aspect of this book and I thought the setting was well-written, the characters didn’t speak to me. It was interesting traveling through different sections of this rebuilt afterlife. Would I read the second book? Probably. This one ended with a cliffhanger, and I’d like to find out whom that mysterious voice belongs to.

Overall, if you enjoy new twists on Greek mythology (or anything involving technology), then you should pick up this book.


  1. Great review, Becca! This sounds intriguing. I'll look into it. :) <3 Greek mythology.

    1. Thanks, Precious! It definitely had very imaginative elements weaved throughout. I think you'll enjoy. :)


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