The Obsidian Blade (Klaatu Diskos Series #1)

The Obsidian Blade - Pete Hautman Some topics are harder to tackle in science fiction than others - - I consider writing about the future, different life forms than human beings, time travel,and major historical events that shape how each of us sees the world are all topics that take a lot of imagination and writing skill to effectively convey the story and get a reader to buy into it. Obsidian Blade begins in modern America, rural Minnesota. The main character, Tucker, has a fundamental evangelical preacher for a father and is enmeshed in the local religious community. Some authors write about rural America and it is obvious they have never lived outside of a big city but author Pete Hautman seems to know rural USA. So rural America, religious bible belt context, time travel and different life forms – that is Obsidian Blade summed up but not really in context. Relationships between friends, “foreigners”, and estranged family members are explored and religious beliefs are questioned. Even though this is an adventure story done in a science fiction format, some high level concepts are introduced in an accessible way. If you had a choice to travel in time, where would you go? I think I would choose to see my spouse or my parents as kids, maybe my grandparents as kids too. Boring I guess, but major historical events are so well documented, my family’s past isn’t as well written about. Well, Tucker doesn’t have a choice but he is sent to some fascinating time periods - -the future of course, but he is also sent to two world changing events, one ancient and one very recent. I realized that many readers to this book may not have a first hand memory of the recent historical event in this book, given that they may have been toddlers when it happened so I think that perspective is interesting in itself. Sorry, I can’t spoil the where and when but the trip there is definitely done from a perspective I haven’t seen done yet. By traveling to these two events, Tucker questions some core beliefs of his own – religious and moral – and they are done in a flashy fight/chase scene manner so the travels are fun to read about. Obsidian Blade ends open and there will definitely be a sequel. This is a young adult story written for young adults, there is no sexual content but there is some violence. The violence is mainly gun or knife fights, but not a lot, and the witnessing of historic events that every modern person in the Western world knows about – likely everyone in the world does. I struggled slightly with the story because I was not the target audience, my 12 year old daughter is definitely in the target audience and once I adjusted my expectations I was able to enjoy it. I think younger teens looking for adventure stories would really like this book.