Saturday, March 10, 2012

Early Review: THE OBSIDIAN BLADE:The Klaatu Diskos Book 1 by Pete Hautman

The Obsidian Blade: The Klaatu Diskos: Book 1
Author: Pete Hautman
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pub. Date: April 10, 2012
Category: Fiction – Juvenile: Action & Adventure/Sci-Fi
Source: Netgalley Digital ARC

Kicking off a riveting sci-fi trilogy, National Book Award winner Pete Hautman plunges us into a world where time is a tool-and the question is, who will control it?

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:
This was an interesting read for me. I feel like I need to let the story continue to sink in. I just closed the “cover” (it was actually an e-ARC through Netgalley) of The Obsidian Blade, and I’m focusing on processing everything I just read. For me, the story changes drastically from the beginning of the book to the end and to be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It took some time for the story to really get started. The first half of the book is world and character building, which for me, was a little drawn out. However, the storyline is complex and intricate, and after getting into the second half of the book, I realized that all the build-up was necessary, albeit slightly boring.

Now, you might be thinking, “huh?” Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this book. I would even recommend it, especially for young teen boys. I think it’s an excellent and engaging read for them that would get their minds working. And the idea behind the story is a good one. The main character is a teen guy (13-17), and I think Tucker will appeal to male teen readers.

The second half of the book was much more interesting and engaging. The different “worlds” for lack of a better term, were varied and vastly different, yet had a common thread that intricately wove them together by the end of the book. The time travel and Sci-Fi aspects of the story were creative and original as was the background of the “diskos” and Klaatu, although it was somewhat confusing. But since this is the first book in a series, I would imagine that more information on both of these topics will forthcoming.

In order to tell the story and provide more background information on different aspects of the storyline, the book often jumps to random characters and experiences. This was confusing for me, although it did often provide significant insight into why and how certain events and processes happen in later parts of the book. Also, some of the subject matter, including the crucifixion and religious radicalism caused me some concern. However, I haven’t yet come to a conclusion as to how I feel about the way these subjects are portrayed. I feel like I need more information that will most likely (hopefully) be provided in the later books of the series. As far as re-reading this book goes, if I decided to read further into the series, I think I would definitely re-read The Obsidian Blade. In a re-read, I usually pick up on things I missed during the first read, and I will definitely need to brush up on the confusing storyline so I don’t start out confused in the second book. So a re-read is a possibility.

Overall, I would recommend The Obsidian Blade to Sci-Fi and time travel fans, as well as teen boys, probably not as a first read for reluctant readers though. So I’m giving this one 3.5 stars. It’s not one of my favorites, but it was a good read.

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