The Obsidian Blade (Klaatu Diskos Series #1)

The Obsidian Blade (Klaatu Diskos Series #1)

3.5 10
by Pete Hautman
     
 

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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… See more details below

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Overview

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 prophet to a forest at the end of time. Inevitably, Tucker's actions alter the past and future, changing his world forever.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Tucker Feye has had a pretty normal childhood in his small, sleepy Minnesota town. As the son of the local minister, he has always believed in God and taken the world pretty much as it appears. Then one day he sees his father disappear through a hazy disk floating above their roof. When he returns, he is completely changed. Not only is he accompanied by a mysterious girl wearing blue rubber shoes, but he also has lost his faith in God. As things quickly begin to spiral out of control and his mother begins to lose her mind, Tucker wonders about the disk. When he ventures through one himself, he begins a journey that takes him through the recent past and into the distant future, causing him to question his faith, his family, and even what he knows about the world around him. While the idea of time travel is intriguing, and Tucker's journeys are interesting and startling, this mind-bending novel moves slowly and feels very much like a setup for the rest of the series. Some characters, like Tucker's father, seem sketchy at best, and the author's explanation of the creators of the Diskos is confusing. This is a compelling read that gets muddled in the particulars but might still be of interest to readers who enjoyed Hautman's previous books and those science-fiction fans who like a challenge.—Necia Blundy, Marlborough Public Library, MA
Publishers Weekly
In this thrilling first volume of the Klaatu Diskos trilogy, 13-year-old Tucker Feye’s ordinary life in smalltown Minnesota changes dramatically when his father, a preacher, disappears through a mysterious disk near the roof of their house. He reappears an hour later, without his religious faith, but with Lahlia, an awkward young woman who he claims is from Bulgaria. When, a year later, Tucker’s parents both vanish, he sets out to find them, aided by Lahlia and his biker uncle, Kosh. Tucker discovers that the “diskos,” which were created by a noncorporeal artist from the distant future, allow travel between time and place. The result is a whirlwind tour of some unpleasant societies and moments in human history, some of which (such as the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers) are jaw-dropping—this might be Hautman’s most daring book yet. Throughout, Hautman (The Big Crunch) raises significant issues concerning family, faith, and destiny. Well-developed and complex characters, a fascinating time travel framework (including dispatches from the far future), and a heart-stopping conclusion will leave readers looking forward to the next book. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jennifer Flannery, Flannery Literary. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
This might be Hautman’s most daring book yet. Throughout, Hautman raises significant issues concerning family, faith, and destiny. Well-developed and complex characters, a fascinating time travel framework (including dispatches from the far future), and a heart-stopping conclusion will leave readers looking forward to the next book.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Vivid imagination and deft storytelling make for refreshing speculative fiction in this time-travel tale... Part science fiction, part adventure, part mystery, but every bit engrossing; be sure to start the hold list for the sequel.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

This fast-paced opener to the Klaatu Diskos trilogy will satiate adventure seekers, and the refined brain candy will be delicious to more thoughtful readers... Tantalizing.
—Booklist (starred review)

Children's Literature - Mary Thompson
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 does not 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 that Tucker keeps seeing were created by a discorporeal artist from the post-digital 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 detailing of complexity 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 be unlikely to reach a wider audience. Book one in "The Klaatu Diskos" series. Reviewer: Mary Thompson
VOYA - Rachel Wadham
Tucker finds his life dramatically changing after he watches his father mysteriously disappear only to reappear hours later, strangely dressed and with an unknown girl in tow. Knowing his pastor father's now-erratic behavior and loss of faith has something to do with a disk-like anomaly, Tucker has many questions. He starts to find answers when, sucked into his father's irregularity, he begins traveling though time. From the hill of Golgotha, where he witnesses the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, to a far future with advanced medical technology, Tucker struggles to escape danger as he uncovers the secrets of the disk, all the while trying to reconnect with his family. Hautman has created a vivid and intricate world that bridges the present to the past with the possibilities of science fiction. The underlying concept of time-travel disks is innovative and used to good effect. The overall implementation of the idea, however, is so complex that it muddies the plot, as Tucker's story and the historical events related to it lack thematic connections. Tucker is a relatively flat character brought to greater depth only though his adventures, and the secondary characters, who could have been integral, tend to lose impact as they disappear and return to the plot frequently. As always, Hautman's work is innovative and interesting; however, this fact makes it very difficult to determine which readers would best fit this awkward novel, so it is certainly not going to be widely popular. Reviewer: Rachel Wadham
Kirkus Reviews
Vivid imagination and deft storytelling make for refreshing speculative fiction in this time-travel tale. Tucker Feye is an ordinary teenage boy, leading an ordinary, near-idyllic small-town American life--but that's before he starts seeing the "disks." Once the mysterious shimmering phenomena appear, Tucker's preacher father vanishes, then returns with a strange teenage girl and without his faith; Tucker's mother loses her sanity, and eventually both parents disappear. After moving in with his (previously unknown) Uncle Kosh, the really weird stuff starts happening. However, after a riveting opening scene the narrative seems to slow to a crawl, but the thorough characterization and careful worldbuilding pay off spectacularly once Tucker discovers that the disks are gateways through time and space. Hautman doesn't make things easy for his readers: As Tucker bounces through historical crisis points past and future, short chapters and steadily ratcheting stakes present life-threatening situations and bizarre personages at a dizzying pace (most of them already-familiar characters with new names or under different guises), That this remains intriguing rather than confusing is a credit to the sure-handed plotting and crisp prose, equally adept with flashes of snarky wit and uncomfortable questions of faith, identity, and destiny. Less satisfying are the climactic cliffhangers, which reveal that the entire story is but a set-up for the rest of the series. Part science fiction, part adventure, part mystery, but every bit engrossing; be sure to start the hold list for the sequel. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763659721
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
04/10/2012
Series:
Klaatu Diskos Series , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
208,004
Lexile:
740L (what's this?)
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
This might be Hautman’s most daring book yet. Throughout, Hautman raises significant issues concerning family, faith, and destiny. Well-developed and complex characters, a fascinating time travel framework (including dispatches from the far future), and a heart-stopping conclusion will leave readers looking forward to the next book.
—Publishers Weekly

Vivid imagination and deft storytelling make for refreshing speculative fiction in this time-travel tale... Part science fiction, part adventure, part mystery, but every bit engrossing; be sure to start the hold list for the sequel.
—Kirkus Reviews

This fast-paced opener to the Klaatu Diskos trilogy will satiate adventure seekers, and the refined brain candy will be delicious to more thoughtful readers... Tantalizing.
—Booklist

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