14 May 2012

YA Book Review: The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman

Release Date: 10 April 2012
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Get a copy! Amazon | B&N

Goodreads description:
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
My Thoughts...
The Obsidian Blade dives right into its seemingly normal world where we meet the Feye family--Tucker, Emily, and the Reverend.  They seem like a normal enough family, but things change drastically after Reverend Feye disappears one day and returns just an hour later with a strange girl and a changed attitude.  The story takes off from there, catapulting the reader into a fast-paced story that is filled with action and adventure.

The Obsidian Blade is a great time-travel novel that will appeal to those die-hard science fiction readers but fell a bit flat for me in the end.  The first half of the story introduces us to the world and the characters and I was really enjoying reading it. Then, suddenly, in the last hundred pages or so, the story started to feel choppy to me and I lost the connection that I was starting to develop with the characters.  Action and violence take over the plot and left me wondering how the characters I was starting to love suddenly seemed so flat. 

Our main character, Tucker, I really did enjoy getting to know for most of the story and in the end he proves himself brave and loyal to his friends.  The whole noel is almost a sort-of coming-of-age story but not in the traditional sense.  Tucker has to deal with a lot of strange things and I think that it forces him to grow up and start facing reality (or "reality" such as things are).  I especially enjoyed his friendship with Lahlia because they weren't best friends or even really close friends but you could constantly feel the connection between them developing.

In the end, this book was good and one that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to (a) teenage boys (always looking for more of those!) and (b) science fiction/time travel lovers.  However, beyond those two demographics, I'm not sure that the action, violence, and constant jumping between times/worlds in the latter half of the book will hold the attention of many readers. 


Danny Bookworm said...

hm....hm.. I had my eye on this novel since quite some time but I'm not sure this will be for me. Loved your review, Thanks! 

Jenny (Books to the Sky) said...

Loved your review, and I'll probably skip this one for now. I'm not a huge fan of time travel books, I've learned.

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