Archaeology and Hallucinations in an Egyptian Oasis

My mom loves everything to do with archaeology and so I’ve always had a soft spot for stories about archaeologists. Oasis sounds like a fun, supernatural romp for sand diggers and occult fans. Plus we get to travel from Australia to Egypt!

Did Oasis haunt this Fangirl with its horrific dilemma?

I had high hopes for Oasis. First, I assumed it would be a thriller type of the supernatural variety. This was a poor assumption. Then, I assumed there would be this great group of friends that would make me anxious and heart sick as they ripped each other apart. Yeah, not so much. And finally I assumed it would be a stand-alone where, at least, I’d get answers to all the supernatural hijinks in the end. Nope, totally open-ended.

The friendship wasn’t there, nor was it compelling.

At the core of Oasis is a group of friends who’ve been close all through high school. Off for their break between graduation and college this is their last time to be all together. There should be natural rapport between the different friends and their closeness and support of one another should shine through.

  • The first problem was the “friendship” was all narrated to us through Alif, the protagonist.
  • We didn’t even have face time with a couple of the friends until 26%! This is way too late.
  • By this time the group dynamics still felt superficial. They had shallow connections but not enough scenes together for me to care.
  • One friend came on so aggressively that he felt very much like a stalker. And without any background or foreshadowing why it felt contrived.
  • There was very little meaningful dialogue between the friends. Not to show rapport, illustrate bonds or reveal tensions. It barely moved plot along.

While not thrilling, it did deliver on supernatural mental illness.

Setup with thrillers is crucial. Oasis took way too long to introduce everyone let alone develop tension between the friends. However, once the “storm of plot” hit, just after a third of the way through, the supernatural elements made Alif’s experience way creepier than I expected. I will admit that the trek through the desert was something I might not have survived. And I understood the friends secretive and paranoid reactions. Once events in the ruins took their toll on the group everyone got seriously mentally ill. It wasn’t exactly the wild and thrilling ride I as expecting but it was creepy how crazy everyone acted.

Oasis does deliver an experience, but the narrative is boring.

I did like the idea of a group of college bound volunteers getting caught up with supernatural events at an archaeological dig. That it messed with their heads and thus their friendships too. But it was really odd how even when exciting events were happening I still felt bored and restless. There was no tension, everything was written so inside Alif’s head without much interaction with the other friends. When something did happen to a couple of the others their fate didn’t really effect me. They didn’t even seem good friends so when the backstabbing happened I wasn’t surprised and it all felt meh.

The worst thing is Oasis is a first book and not a stand-alone. So we get this open ended ending. No answers. The mythology that was mentioned is so vague and obscure you were left wondering if that’s it. This is the type of book you want complete in one go. Otherwise the odd experience just leaves you unsatisfied rather that tingly and thrilled. I didn’t even feel like this end was a cliffhanger, it felt more like a cop out.

Oasis is a supernatural crazy fest in the deserts of Egypt. When our Aussies play around with powers they shouldn’t it fractures their high school friendship. As long as you don’t need answers you may be thrilled by this creepy read.



  1. It’s disappointing when a story doesn’t measure up to what you had hoped it would be. I can see why the whole friendship aspect of the story was a let down, and it’s hard that you stuck with it hoping for answers, only to find out that the story wasn’t a stand-alone.

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

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