Title: The Obsidian Blade
Author: Pete Hautman
Content: PG (complex themes)
Level: Middle/High School
Recommendation: Good Read
Summary: The first time Tucker saw the disk, his father disappeared into thin air. The Reverend Adrian Feye had climbed onto the roof to fix a loose shingle -- and suddenly he was gone. An hour later, the Reverend came walking up the road, tattered and sunburned, bringing with him an unspeaking, yellow-haired, dark-eyed girl. He refused to say where he had been, instead declaring that there would be no more prayer in the Feye house: He had lost his faith.
Now Tucker's family is unraveling. The Reverend spends hours brooding in his study. Tucker's once warmhearted and loving mother withdraws from the world, claiming she doesn't care to be watched by ghosts. And, above them, the unearthly disk comes and goes.
Then, one day, both of Tucker's parents vanish.
From the distant past to an even more distant and terrifying future, Tucker desperately searches for his parents -- and discovers the astonishing secrets of the Klaatu diskos.
Review: This book is very innovative as far as the plot line is concerned. Pete Hautman's novels always reflect his innovative imagination. However interesting the plot is, the lack of character development detracts from it. I found Tucker, the main character, to be somewhat flat, and the secondary characters are not developed as well. 60+ pages into the novel, I was still unsure as to what the book was about besides questioning one's faith and the destruction of a family unit. Hautman does his best to keep the reader involved, but I am afraid that the average middle school or high school student would get bored before the novel truly takes off. I would still recommend this novel to any science-fiction lovers or readers who are interested in the idea of a not-so-distant unhappy future.