Allison: The Obsidian Blade | Pete Hautman | Book Review

From time to time you randomly pick a book out from your to-be-read pile because you’re looking for something a little different from what you’ve read recently. Sometimes this is a good thing as you find yourself unexpectedly falling in love with a new book. Unfortunately, this isn’t how it always works out, and sadly this is what happened to me with The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman.

the obsidian blade cover

I really wanted to like The Obsidian Blade but ultimately there were just too many factors working against it for me to. First of all, the book took forever to actually get started, and once it got started I fell into a land of confusion, and never really got out again. I honestly spent a strong majority of my time going “WHAT?” and then proceeding to explain to my mom about this book I was reading, and how it was seriously confusing me. It’s kind of even hard for me to write a plot synopsis.

Why was it confusing? I think some of it had to do with the strange world which was introduced but never fully explained. I believe it will probably get further explained in the other books in the trilogy but after finishing the first book I can’t say that I will be continuing right away if at all. Basically, there are these disks called Klaatu Diskos which allow people to time travel to different dimensions and different places in time. On the surface, it sounds like it has amazing potential. In reality, it just resulted in confusion, and a lack of world building, and explanation.

Because people are able to travel to different times and different dimensions, nothing is necessarily sacred. There are multiple historical and religious events which are pulled into the story, and I couldn’t help but feel as if the events which chosen to be put in the story were being used for mere shock value more than anything. I felt as if the events were placed there to be used as a catalyst to propel the story forward except the story didn’t propel forward for me. Instead it just more and more confusing.

Another reason the story was confusing for me was because I couldn’t relate to any of the characters. The main character is a fourteen year old boy named Tucker who lives with his parents up until the time that they suddenly disappeared. To me, Tucker felt more naïve and unsure then a normal fourteen year old male teenager. I can attribute this to the fact that he has lived a pretty sheltered life in a small town with two parents who are kind of over protective of him. I think this is also why when everything starts falling apart around him, and when his parents disappear, he doesn’t know how to react to it. But while I was understanding of Tucker, I couldn’t help but get a bit frustrated with him, or feel like he was confusing me just like the rest of the story.

The Obsidian Blade had valid potential but unfortunately it did not live up to it for me. While the writing was strong, I felt like there were too many elements that were not fleshed out properly. There was no real world building and no real explanation about the diskos. I also felt that there was no real resolution for the end of the book. I understand that it’s the first book of a trilogy and that the author may have wanted to leave things suspenseful but for me, it was too overwhelming, and left me feeling that if I do read the next book it won’t be for a long time.

Disclosure: Received from publisher

Other reviews of The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman:

The Book Smuggler’s: “If I didn’t know any better, I would think this book was written for me….

Stacked: “The Obsidian Blade is a crazy book, and I mean that in a good way.

Bookish in a Box: “The Obsidian Blade is a fast-paced mind puzzle that’s perfect for sci-fi and fantasy YA fans who like their reality a little warped.

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Allison is 27 years old. She is always looking for new books, good music, quality/epic adventures, and a normal sleep schedule. She currently works with the elderly.


  1. I love the cover. Too bad it didn’t work for you.

  2. I had a similar experience to this-I just did not know what was going on and was so frustrated with the writing and settings.

  3. That’s really unfortunate to hear and I guess it goes to show, you really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover (or synopsis)! It sounds like the real issue here is that there was just too much going on. I think if they had maybe narrowed down all the timelines and events, it could have been a bit more cohesive and easier to follow. Such a shame.

  4. Sucks it didn’t work out for you!! I hate when I’m so confused by the book that I can’t really just not finish it because it might explain everything later.

  5. I think I would find this book extremely difficult to read. I like to have my world and characters and story easy to understand, or at least logical, and this just seems like it’s a bit… scattered.