The Obsidian Blade - YA Review by Ada B

Reader: Ada B
Age: 18
Title: The Obsidian Blade
Author: Pete Hautman
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pub Date: 04/10/12
Galley: Yes
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: There were elements of the plot that I liked, the sci-fi take on events and the concept of time in the book. I liked the characters, but I wished there had been more between Lahlia and Tuck. There was a dynamic there that I wished had been flushed out more. I felt that I was as lost as Tuck in this book which is good I guess that I can relate to the main character that way. However, I would have liked a little more direction in the book instead of just feeling like I was drifting along in a boat in the ocean with no oars. I did like the twist at the end of the book, involving the Reverend and the Chosen Ones. However, I felt that this book was really a foundation for the next book, and I would have liked a bit more flesh or something in this one. I feel like whatever momentum this book had just completely went dry by the last page and I don't know if others would be motivated to read the next one.
Memorable or Forgettable: This book, while being a good book, was not memorable in anyway. To me, there's a difference between a good book and a great book and that difference is whether or not the book is memorable. The Great Books, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, those books you were sure to remember when you flipped that last page. You remembered the characters and the plot; you knew exactly who Harry was and what he did and how Ron and Hermoine always were fighting but really it was because they loved each other. You remembered all of the details and quirks of the book, like how you thought JK was so clever for naming her characters after constellations that fit their character perfectly (i.e. Draco and Sirius). And when you were done with the book you wanted to dive into the next book or go back and reread it all over because you didn't want to miss out on this great world and adventure. And this book didn't have that for me. There wasn't anything that really turned me off from this book - the characters and plot were fine. I think it was more just the style of writing which I feel guilty saying since it's Pete Hautman who has such a great style in The Big Crunch. Maybe it was the pacing, or maybe it's just me, but the words were almost stale. There would be a conflict and I would feel nothing, no racing heart, no pounding in my ears. The words weren't flying off the page for me. Overall, I would say the words were dry and uninteresting. I just felt completely lost and while I like a book that's unpredictable I don't want to be cast off into an ocean with no map. Maybe once the sequel comes out, the book will seem better and clearer... I just feel that as a stand alone book this left a lot to be desired.
Cover:  I liked the cover very much. It was very intriguing and it definitely did justice to the setting of the plot (Minnesota YAY!) It was the cover that first attracted me to this book.
Age Range: 14-15
Quality: 3Q Readable
Popularity: 3P Some Teen Appeal

tags:  science fiction / adventure / mystery / time travel / ya lit

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