Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review of The Obsidian Blade

The first time his father disappeared, Tucker Feye had just turned thirteen. The Reverend Feye simply climbed on the roof to fix a shingle, let out a scream, and vanished - only to walk up the driveway an hour later, looking older and worn, with a strange girl named Lahlia in tow. In the months that followed, Tucker watched his father grow distant and his once loving mother slide into madness. But then both of his parents disappear. Now in the care of his wild Uncle Kosh, Tucker begins to suspect that the disks of shimmering air he keeps seeing - one right on top of the roof - hold the answer to restoring his family. And when he dares to step into one, he's launched on a time-twisting journey
- from a small Midwestern town to a futuristic hospital run by digitally augmented healers, from the death of an ancient prophet to a forest at the end of time. Inevitably, Tucker's actions alter the past and future, changing his world forever.
[from Goodreads]
Rating:   3.5 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience: Light sci-fi and fantasy fans
High point: 
Low point: 
Reader maturity:  13+

When I finished this book, I paused for a moment and then flipped back through to make sure I hadn't missed a few pages at the end. "What? That's it? No! I need more!" flashed through my mind, mostly because The Obsidian Blade is so gripping but partially--and I have to be honest--because the conclusion felt like the end of a chapter, not the end of a book. Talk about leaving me hanging!

As you may know by now, I'm not a huge fan of male narrators, but I actually didn't mind Tucker (and coming from me, that's high praise). As for the storyline, I was intrigued. I may be totally off base here, but I think this is the literary version of the game Portals, with diskos that transport the user to another time and location. The Obsidian Blade is a nice mix of sci-fi and fantasy with a little bit of historical fiction and suspense thrown in for good measure. It's all blended together nicely to form a cohesive plot.

I wish we had seen a little more of Kosh (I'm not convinced that he is who seems...yet) and Lahlia, but I think this is a great set-up for adventures to come. This is definitely an action and suspense filled novel, and I sped through it, eager to discover the secrets of Iyl Rayne and the Klaatu and maybe something about Tucker...

The ending really surprised me; I wasn't expecting the events that unfolded at the revival. There's more, but I'm afraid that I'll ruin something so I'll leave it at that. The Obsidian Blade is a fast-paced mind puzzle that's perfect for sci-fi and fantasy YA fans who like their reality a little warped.

Title:  The Obsidian Blade
Author:   Pete Hautman
Genre:   Teen Fiction - Science Fiction
Year:   2012
Book Source:  Received an ARC for review from Candlewick Press


  1. Thanks for the review! You may be pleased to know that the second book in the trilogy (I just finished writing it) is mostly from Lahlia's point-of-view, and Kosh will be a major player in Book Three.

  2. I hadn't heard of this book before! Great review! I might need to pick up a copy! :)