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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

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 proph…

The Obsidian Blade

by Pete Hautman

Overall Book Review:

The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman is a science fiction, time-twisting novel that feels like three books in one.  The beginning of the book is slow-paced and slightly depressing; the middle of the book introduces the protagonist, Tucker, to his renegade Uncle Kosh (a terribly likeable character); the last part of the book is a whirlwind of time-travel and time-jumping.  Hautman takes liberties with some historical religious events for the purposes of his plot and premise and that may bother some.  The boundaries of time have no meaning here and Tucker ages in leaps and bounds as the action accelerates.

Be warned when you pick up The Obsidian Blade that it doesn’t conclude with everything wrapped in a neat little bow.  Hautman has the characters and plot so entangled I don’t know if he will ever be able to unravel them in the next books, but then again, I don’t know if the reader will know the difference.   Hopefully future books will develop more of the character Lahlia.  Ending on a high-octane note, this is a young adult novel with a lot of boy appeal.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  1 Religious exclamation; 9 mild obscenities; 2 anatomical terms.

Violence/Gore: Non-life threatening injuries when a character hits a tree; report of the injuries a character has sustained in the past with his friends; reference to the events of September 11th; a character is presumed to have fallen to death; a character is shocked and then stabbed in the heart; a creature is killed by shocking and slicing; a character is killed in a non-specified violent death; a character is severed in half by a weapon (no details, just stated); some details and mention of blood in crucifixion; on a few separate occasions characters struggle, punch, fight with a sword, and knocked unconscious, etc.; a leg is severed (graphic).

Sex/Nudity:  Inference/speculation that an engaged couple might be pregnant out of wedlock; a characters is said to have the “hots” for a girl; reference to a character being “caught” in a motel room with the preacher’s daughter in the distant past.

Mature Subject Matter:

Mental Illness, parental abandonment, death, religion, faith

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Adults drink at a bar; one man is drunk.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

An accountant and CPA by profession, I found myself a book reviewer for Squeaky Clean Reads by happenstance. When the opportunity came to transform that website into Compass Book Ratings, I was excited to seize it and meld my business background with my love of books. As the mother of three teenage sons, I have read a large number of children and young adult books and I believe that there is great value in a content review service. As much as we would love to read everything our children read, there just isn’t enough time. I also appreciate being able to select books for myself that are really worth my precious and limited reading time. I believe there is a book out there for everyone–they just have to find it!