Friday, August 3, 2012

The obsidian blade by Pete Hautman
308 pgs.
Target audience: Young adult
Rating: Fairy

Tucker, son of the local minister, lives a quiet life in a small Minnesota town until a hazy disc appears floating in the air above the roof where his father is working. Then just as suddenly both dad and disc vanish right before his eyes. Later his dad returns no longer believing in God and bringing with him a strange girl who doesn’t talk and is apparently from Bulgaria. To top it all off, his mom starts to lose her mind. Life goes on this way until a year later when  both his parents vanish and Tucker goes to live with his Uncle Kosh.The strange discs Tucker keeps seeing were created by a discorporeal artist from the postdigital age as a way to travel into the past to witness major events in history. When Tucker travels through one to find his parents, he is swept from one event to the next in a dazzling display of human history including a close up look at the attack on the Twin Towers. Time travel is usually a big draw, but the level of complexity to the origins of the discs overwhelms the underlying story. Tucker is a flat and undeveloped character while the secondary characters pop in and out of the journeys through time without contributing much to the plot. This book will no doubt appeal to avid fans of the author and science fiction, but will not reach a wider audience.
(Book provided for review by Children's Lit

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