Great Illustrated Books

The Obsidian Blade (Klaatu Diskos series)

By Pete Hautman

Candlewick, 2012
Pages : 320
Suggested Ages: 12 and up
ISBN: 9780763654030

The Obsidian Blade is heart-stopping both literally and in terms of the frenetic pace of the action.

The actual blade is used by a robed priest to stab the protagonist through his heart. And that horrifying scene is just one tiny piece of the breakneck action that swirls through shifting alliances and constant travel to destinations in the ancient past and the frightening future.

Tucker is a preacher’s kid in a small town. He and his friends fish, swim, ride bikes and survive their various foolhardy schemes. In short, Tucker’s life is idyllic. Both the boy and his hometown of Hopewell seem unlikely candidates for other-worldly adventure. Then, one ordinary day, Tucker’s dad climbs up to their roof to fix a shingle. He mysteriously disappears, returning an hour later with his clothes in tatters and a young girl in tow. He won’t talk about where he’s been or where he found the girl.

Starting there, Tucker’s life veers off into totally uncharted territories. When both his parents disappear, Tucker begins his quest to find them. Around his town of Hopewell, unearthly disks are suspended in the sky. Not everyone can see them, but for those who can, the disks serve as portals to other places and times.

Time travel is just the background for the multiplying mysteries surrounding Tucker. Ghosts, mega-maggots, futuristic medicine, and futuristic weapons add pranormal science fiction to the mix.

There are some who will object to this book’s version of “the death of a prophet” and the story of a preacher losing his faith in God. Others may object to the vision of a future where technology has taken over and is called “The Digital Plague.” But teen readers will be intrigued by these religious and philosophical grenades that are tossed in to the mix.

Yes, Tucker does find his mother and father. No, this doesn’t end his quest. Rather, the discovery of his parents catapults him into even more dangerous times.

Reviewed by : FH


If you love this book, then try:

Chabon, Michael. Summerland. Miramax, 2004.

Gaiman, Neil. The Graveyard Book. HarperCollins, 2008.

Riggs, Ransom. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Quirk Books, 2011.

Critics have said

This might be Hautman��s most daring book yet.
Publishers Weekly

Part science fiction, part adventure, part mystery, but every bit engrossing; be sure to start the hold list for the sequel.
Kirkus Reviews