The Obsidian Blade
The Obsidian Blade
by Pete Hautman
One of my dearest friends asked me the other day, "Are you ever going to talk about a book you didn't like?" I told her that I wasn't sure. I am in this to increase the amount of time children and young adults spend reading books for fun, and just because I don't like a book, doesn't mean they won't. I subscribe to both School Library Journal and the Horn Book, periodicals that review and recommend books for Children and Young Adults. The Horn Book Guide, which strictly reviews books, gave The Obsidian Blade a 2. They grade books on a scale of 1-6, one being the best. They only give 1% of the books reviewed a 1 and 8% a 2. So, needless to say, because this is a trusted source, I put this book on my reading list.
It started out strong! I immediately liked Tucker Faye. He is a 13 year old boy living in a small town in Minnesota. His father is a preacher and his mother is a lovable woman who is dedicated to family and community. One day while Tucker's father is making a repair to a roof shingle, he vanishes. The only things out of place in that moment are his father's sudden disappearance and a hazy ring, that can be barely seen, hovering over the roof. One hour later Tucker's father is walking down the lane. He has a companion. He has lost his faith in God.
At this point I was hooked. I love a well written tale about time travel. Hautman also spends a good bit of time developing the characters, so I was invested in their outcomes. But, about two thirds of the way through, the story dives into a world (or time) of chaos that is filled with violence. More attention was given to events than characters, and it fell flat- FOR ME! Not only do I want a story to take me on a ride, I want to make new friends and learn something from them.
If you have a middle school reader, who loves science fiction, action, time travel and not just a little bit of violence, they are going to love this book. They will also love that this is planned to be a trilogy. I will give the next book a try, in hopes of learning more about the characters who were just beginning to grow on me. Let me know what you think of the book.