Amanda's Reviews > The Obsidian Blade

The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman
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's review
Apr 03, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012-reads, action-adventure, alternate-history, alternate-world, fiction, dystopia, history, sci-fi, religious, ya, time-travel
Read from April 15 to 20, 2012

I stumbled upon this book while browsing the "New YA" shelves and I'm so glad it did. 14-year old Tucker is living a normal life with his mother and preacher father until one day his father disappears off their roof. His father returns a later that day, looking tired and aged with a strange girl in tow. But the strangeness has just begun: the mental state of Tucker's mom is rapidly decreasing and he begins to notice a strange disk appearing and disappearing from atop his home. Soon, his entire family is gone and Tucker finds himself exploring this strange "diskos" - portals that transport their travelers to some of history's most frightening and horrifying events - to not only regain his family but save his world and timestream.

This book was a great mix of action-adventure, mystery, and time travel that subtly asks some really interesting questions about God, destiny, technology, and society. I'm not quite sure where Hautman may be going with all this but I'm more than willing read the rest of the intended trilogy and find out. The story is broken down into small, easily read chapters and the action movies at a fairly quick, constant pace, making this book a really quick read and extremely difficult to put down. (I'd have finished it sooner if I hadn't had so many final projects.) Hautman's writing style is simple, but engaging and I found myself totally absorbed in the story. The story also follows some hero's journey tropes that reminded me of "Star Wars" and"Captain America", but if anything that makes it feel more familiar and accessible. The book features some really neat world-building and imaginative settings. Given the heavy amount of time-travel in this book, Hautman has carefully structured the time-travel action and this kind of attention to detail is applauded (he includes a little bit of paradox humor in one part of the book that was just wonderful since I found myself wondering about this particular instance myself). That said, there's so much going on - past, present, and future colliding and repeatedly being discussed - it can leave the reader a bit confused; I'm still having some difficulty figuring out the different Klaatus' and characters' motives and how they all fit together. That said, the story leaves the reader with more questions than answers, but the ending is so cool and kick-ass - very "Terminator-style" that I don't mind as much as I normally would. I can't wait to read the next in the series.
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04/18/2012 page 112
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Douglas Larson Have you read the 2nd and 3rd installment of this series yet? I have read 1 and 2 but not 3 yet. Book 3 was just released a month or so ago and I am waiting for my library to get it. The stories are compelling and yet a bit confusing as you alluded in your review. About a year ago I emailed Hautman via his website suggesting that he provide a timeline and a glossary to help readers keep the odd words, facts and story straight. He replied immediately ( I was astounded at that) saying he thought a timeline was a good idea and that it would appear in book 3. I am looking forward to seeing if its there. I am not doubting Hautman, but publishers often will nix an idea if they think it impact the sales of a book. He also stated that the glossary, while a good idea in principle, might give away too much of the story line. So I am not expecting to see that. Hautman has written other books outside of this trilogy and I have read one of those. It was not science fiction but had a similar tone and while not superb, was enjoyable (not recalling the title just now).

Amanda I sadly haven't had a chance to resume the series. To-read lists being what they are, a whole lot gets lost in the pile. I'll keep a look out for the sequels.

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