Sci-fi rocks. I always went around saying I didn’t like sci-fi. But reading The Obsidian Blade, Pete Hautman, (2012,308 pages), and a couple other sci-fi books recently made me realize I do like sci-fi. I only thought I didn’t because I hardly ever read it. This realization opens up a lot of genres.
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.
The disks, which were placed all over the world by an artist from the future, are intriguing and convincing as time travel portals. The characters in the book often don’t know where the portals lead, and at times have to make split second decisions as to whether the present circumstances in which they find themselves are likely worse than what they might encounter if they dive into/through a disc.
Main character Tucker is likeable, and I liked supporting actor, Tucker’s Uncle Tosh even more. The perspective of the girl from the future, Lahlia, that Tucker’s dad brings back to their hometown is refreshing and fun.
I agree with other reviewers such as Charlotte who said the ending is confusing. It seemed a lot of characters from the book come together for a big final reunion scene. It was unclear who was a bad guy and who was a good guy or if I was supposed to be able to tell. As the first book in a planned trilogy by the author, I understand there may need to be some ambiguity at the end of it to draw readers into the second book, but not so much.