Day 53: The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman
Summary From Goodreads:
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 time travel to ghost-like beings, from the worst disasters in history to cats that shouldn’t have ever existed, The Obsidian Blade has it all. The cat thing is reason enough to read this if you haven’t already, freaky! Anyway, I received a copy of The Obsidian Blade from the amazing people at ARCycling and finally got around to reading it and I’m very glad I did. If you’ve been following my reviews you’ve seen a TON of fantasy so it seemed like it was time to divert a bit, in this case to sci-fi.
The most interesting and compelling element of The Obsidian Blade is definitely the setting/world-building. Due to the crazy amount of time transportation and dimension jumping it is vital that each new “time” is well developed, often very quickly. Somehow, and I give major credit to him for pulling it off, Hautman manages to make each time frame seem realistic and complex, and most importantly unique. You have forests in the distant future, an ancient city, and everything between. However, while many science fiction writers seem adept at creating these alternate times/realities/worlds, etc. it is even more impressive that Hautman’s writing makes our own seem just as interesting as the rest.
As for the plot, that was understandably a bit scattered. With all of the time jumps you have to make sure and follow closely to where the main character, Tucker is and what dangers lurk in that new place. The main goal of The Obsidian Blade seems to be centered on Tucker’s desire to bring his family back together, but that feeling doesn’t really resonate. While his focus does remain singular the story itself bounces around with seemingly no end in sight. Don’t get me wrong, each new “time” is interesting in its own right, but without having a strictly linear fashion to it the story is just…a bit disjointed.
Tucker as a main character was good if not overly memorable. The Obsidian Blade seems more interested in sharing all of these awesome new times and places with the reader then to create a stellar MC. Tucker is fun, a bit annoying with his incessant questioning, but overall enjoyable. While I enjoyed one of the other main characters, Lahlia, to a certain degree just because of her weird mannerisms and odd sense of humor, she is the only one that stood out. The rest I could take or leave really. Some of the beings in the book though? Really cool.
As this is the first book in the series I feel like there is definite potential in its continuation. The creepy/cool beings known as Klaatu could certainly be expanded on. I don’t really care that much about Tucker, but I’ll gladly give The Cydonian Pyramid a shot in order to read more about Lahlia. Besides, I can’t resist more “time” jumping through dimension holes, what nerd-geek can? Overall I enjoyed The Obsidian Blade and it is a solid read for any sci-fi fans. Thanks as always for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 54!
Genre Variety Reading Challenge #23/30 – Category – Science Fiction; Mount TBR Challenge #41/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #42/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #53/365; Seriously Series Reading Challenge #19/44