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The Obsidian Blade (Klaatu Diskos) Paperback – April 9, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-Tucker's father, Reverend Adrian Feye, was making a repair on the roof of his house when he disappeared. An hour later, he returned looking worn and sunburned, with a mysterious girl in tow. His father is also acting strangely. Although he's a preacher, he no longer believes in God. His mother has also become withdrawn. Are all these events related? Tucker believes his father fell through a shimmering disk that appeared on their roof. Tucker's life takes a serious detour when his father takes his mother away for treatment and arranges for Uncle Curtis to take care of Tucker. Curtis's house also has a disk that appears on the roof. What are these disks? Do they lead to the same place? Can Tucker find his parents by going through a disk? The first title (Candlewick, 2012) in a projected trilogy by Pete Hautman has plot twists and turns throughout, and the scientific, historical, and spiritual issues that are introduced make for a fascinating listen. Joshua Swanson's narration is elegant and smooth, and he employs a variety of voices and inflections. A great addition to school and public library collections.-Elizabeth Kenyon, Merrillville High School, INα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Review

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)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Series: Klaatu Diskos (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Reprint edition (April 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763664448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763664442
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #652,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Okay, here's some miscellaneous personal info. I'll try to be as brief as possible. I was born in 1952 in Berkeley, California, or so I am told (I don't really remember). At age five I moved to St. Louis Park, Minnesota where I went to Cedar Manor Elementary School (also the alma mater of Al Franken and the Coen brothers, and no, they are not close personal friends of mine) and eventually graduated honor-free from St. Louis Park High School. This is so tedious. Why do you keep reading? For the next seven years I attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the University of Minnesota. Contrary to recent news reports, I did not graduate from either institution. After college I worked various jobs for which I was ill-suited, including sign painter, graphic artist, marketing executive, pineapple slicer, etc. Eventually, having exhausted other options, I decided to write. My first novel, Drawing Dead, was published in 1993. Today, I live with mystery writer and poet Mary Logue in Golden Valley, Minnesota and Stockholm, Wisconsin. We have two small dogs (are you still reading?) named Rene and Jacques. There you have it. Fifty-plus years compressed into a few short paragraphs. Feel free to copy and paste for your book report, but don't tell anybody I suggested it. Need to know more? Check out the FAQs page on my website at http://www.petehautman.com.

Customer Reviews

I wasn't sure what the author was trying to tell me.
Jennifer
And it's not just a character's belief...the novel outright flatly states that Christianity is a lie.
Michael P. Long
I'll admit that I was hooked on the book from the very beginning.
kimdcleveland

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Doc C on April 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thought there were interesting ideas here. An odd thing happened, though, as I read. I didn't look forward to picking it up again, but once I would start reading, I didn't have trouble being interested; on the other hand, when I needed to go do something else I did so with no regret whatsoever. I don't know how to explain that. When a book pulls me into it, I usually have that little twinge of regret that I have to close my book. It is this remote feeling that makes me think that I probably will not continue reading the series. On the other hand, I am curious about how how this series will continue.

Finally, I want to respond to an earlier reviewer who claimed this book was "in your face" Christian proselytizing. I don't see how anyone could say that. If anything, this book would call that faith into question.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Evie Seo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Books that engage both your mind and your heart, make you question the real world, and inspire you to ponder the meaning of life, freedom, destiny and faith are many. Not many of them, however, are done right, and even fewer have the power to literally blow your mind to pieces. The Obsidian Blade is one of the best, most intriguing reality bending books I had the pleasure of reading, and not just in YA genre, but in literature in general.

I loved the concept behind this book. Time travel and alternative realities mixed in with a thought-provoking examination of religion and its impact on the history of human kind, and a deeply affecting family drama - all that (and more!) makes for a compulsively readable story, and one that I sure had a hard time putting down. The Obsidian Blade has everything a great science fiction novel should have: a well-realized, fascinating world, convincing characters, intriguing ideas, an exciting plot, and themes that will stay with you long after you turn the last page. It's intensely captivating, often moving, and at times even heartwarmingly funny (especially Tucker's conversations with his wild Uncle Kosh). The concept of Klaatu discos is not only interesting and unique, it is also exceptionally well-developed and well-explained, complete with information about their origin and history. I especially appreciated the encyclopedia-like commentary at the beginning of each part of the book that provided valuable info about the discos and their creators, the Klaatu. These brief notes were insightful and in my opinion quite essential to fully understanding the plot.

As much as I loved the science fiction aspect of this book, what I loved the most about it was the heartfelt, emotionally engaging storyline.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Lydia on May 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
For a book that took forever to get actually moving, I was actually surprised at how disappointed I was in The Obsidian Blade. Here's what my journey through this story looked like.

Confusion: First - a completely strange, utterly alien world was introduced. Fine, that I can deal with. But then it was shoved into a closet and I was thrown into a reality that, honestly, sent me back to the internet to find out what was going on with this books genre classification. It seemed like a typical, young adult, non-science-fiction book. But nope.. after what seemed like forever, I was thrown back into the science fiction realm.

Disbelief: Not only were historical events not sacred (World Trade Center) but religious stories were pulled into the mix and treated with a heavy hand. It's one thing to express disbelief in the stories that are the foundation of a religion, but using them as a catalyst to make the story seem more interesting? Not cool - especially since it completely felt as if the stories were being used for mere shock value.

I was disappointed in this series, and definitely will not be investigating the rest of the trilogy. The science fiction elements seemed to be implemented merely as an excuse to use past events in a novel, and, as a result, were not very fleshed out in and of themselves. There was virtually no world building, no explanation other than a few vague paragraphs about the diskos, and no resolution of any sort. I understand it's the first book of a trilogy, but you have to throw your reader a bone, you know? Make the book worth reading now, rather than having to wait.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jane K. on January 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I'm not sure this book fits into any genre - though that's not its problem. Its main problem is the generic quality of its main character, Tucker. He's very much the "insert character here" boy - and boyish is about all he comes across as. However, there are tons of interesting things happening in this book - odd things - normal mundane things changed by creepy unexplained discs, time traveling into the far future that muddles understanding of "life" and also into the past. I enjoyed the bizarreness of the tale, the hint of greater mystery and perhaps some philosophical questions - but it never came through. Uncle Kosh is more unique, though as a reader you're still not exactly sure of his personal motivations but at least his past and current actions speak for his character and quickly shape him into a dude you want to follow through time and space. A fast read, maybe four stars for originality but less for lack of quality sci fi. Strong characters you care about, a distinctive conflict, a sense of direction... all missing here. If you tackle time travel, I expect you to deliver... and this delivered something, but I think the contents were lost.

I enjoyed Hautman's book "Godless." It was also unexpected and unusual. However, "Godless" gave us some memorable characters, a clearer idea of the intentions and motivations of its characters and a finely crafted end. There are better sci fi books than "The Obsidian Blade" that I would recommend first. And there may be better contemporary novels than "Godless"... but "Godless" stood out for being unafraid to stand out. Much like "Everybody Sees the Ants" and "Where Things Come Back" - other great contemporary fiction novels published about the same time. If you read a lot of young adult lit, you can't overlook them.
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