The Obsidian Mirror (Chronoptika #1)

The Obsidian Mirror (Chronoptika #1)

Featured
 
4.3
 
3.8 (2)
1286   1
Write Review
The Obsidian Mirror (Chronoptika #1)
Publisher
Age Range
14+
Release Date
April 23, 2013
ISBN
978-0803739697
Buy This Book
      
The obsidian mirror. Its power is great and terrible. Men have been lost in it, the dead brought back to life through it, and the future annihilated by it. Or this is what will happen unless the mirror is destroyed. Three people seek the mirror: the first has been sent from the future to shatter its power; the second will protect the mirror at all costs, obsessed with its power; and the third needs the mirror to find a murdered father and save his life. But only one can succeed. The mirror can send you to the past, but it will not bring you back. With superb world-building that includes the real world, the faery world, and a dystopic future, this hauntingly astonishing adventure is the start of a new trilogy from the master of the sci-fi/fantasy genre, Catherine Fisher.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0  (1)
Characters 
 
4.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Mirrors Have Never Been This Detailed or Mind-Bending

Catherine Fisher is at it again with “The Obsidian Mirror,” the first book in a new trilogy that blends science fiction, fantasy, and time travel.

“The Obsidian Mirror” follows Jake, a boarding school student who will do anything to get out of school and confront Oberon Venn, his godfather and mysterious explorer, who Jake thinks killed his father. When I say he’ll do anything to get out of school, I mean anything, including stabbing a student in order to get expelled. Needless to say, that scheme worked, and Jake learns the disappearance of his father is far more complicated than it seems.

What I love about this book is that every character is insane. I’m not using that in a lighthearted, “ha ha” kind of way. I mean that each character is driven mad to some degree by the obsidian mirror, the device that lets the characters travel through time. Jake is starting to go mad with his need to find his father; Venn is definitely crazy, turning into a recluse, with his obsession to find his deceased wife; Sarah, a suspicious stranger, is insane with passion to accomplish a task she was assigned in another time; Janus and Maskelyne, two characters from separate times, are each mad in their search to find the mirror and use it for their own purposes; and Wharton, Jake’s boarding school teacher who has been tasked with delivering the teenager to Venn, is having a hard time wrapping his mind around the fantastical beings and time traveling conundrums he’s been unwillingly thrown into.

Ultimately, this insanity serves a purpose. Fisher tells readers that it’s important to live in the here and now, rather than obsessing over what happened in the past or what could happen in the future. If you’ve made mistakes, realize that you can’t undo them, but you can move forward with life learning from those mistakes and making yourself a better person because of it.

A heads-up as you head into the book: There are going to be parts in the first half of the book where your brain goes “Whaaaaa?” and you think, “Wait, I don’t get it.” It is all going to pay off, I promise! Fisher puts the pieces of this mystery together one by one, and those pieces create one cosmic picture that is definitely worth the wait.

Good Points
A great blend of sci-fi, fantasy, and time travel elements.
Each character, whether major, minor, good, or evil, is compelling.
A multitude of story lines that are intricately woven together to create a satisfying finish.
Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.8
Plot 
 
4.0  (2)
Characters 
 
3.5  (2)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (2)
Already have an account? or Create an account
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

The Obsidian Mirror review

I realized the other day that I, for some reason, always seem to mix up Catherine Fisher and Cornelia Funke. This led to me being a little hesitant to pick up The Obsidian Mirror because I was thinking it was written by Funke and I haven't particularly cared for any of her books. I did, however, enjoy Incarceron and ended up being rather pleased with The Obsidian Mirror as well.

I'm not going to lie. I was pretty darn confused for the first few chapters. Heck, I didn't realize it was set in the present until they were on a plane (and then I only realized halfway through the ride), but then again, I can be pretty unobservant. There's a lot of mystery and dancing around the main story, but eventually things start coming to light and I don't think it took too long either.

I often don't like the third-person omniscient POV because it can be confusing and feel too far removed from the characters and the story, but Fisher does an excellent job with it. Sometimes it will transition from one person to another within the space of a few paragraphs with no warning, but it was so smooth that it didn't bother me at all. And thankfully, I liked all the characters. I wasn't particularly disappointed when it would move from one character's situation to another because I was equally interested in them.

I loved learning all about the mirror, it's past and future. I'm really hoping that we'll eventually figure out the mirror's backstory because even while everything else is going on, there's the ever-present question: where did the mirror come from and what was it's original purpose? On top of that, there's both the past and present strorylines which I'm dying to know more about.

The Nutshell: The Obsidian Mirror has pretty much everything you could ask of a scifi/fantasy. Time travel, a desolate future, a man determined at all costs to get what he wants, interesting faeries, and about a million storylines that manage not to get all tangled and confusing. If you're looking for a story that will capture you with it's mysteries, you should definitely check out The Obsidian Mirror.
Hit

Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Book that will keep you puzzled and on your toes until the last page

If I had to describe The Obsidian Mirror in one word it would be: rebel. No, this book is not about some revolution but it simply rebels and defiest to be labeled. I really had problems tagging it. Should it be young adult or middle grade? Where would you put Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling or The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman? Well, put this book right there with them.

If you try stuffing The Obsidian Mirror into one genre only, you would run into similar problems. Is it contemporary? Yes, since most of the plot happens in present tense. Is it science fiction? Well, you could say so, since there is time travel involved and description of society in distant future... Is it historical? There are excerpts from old journals and some parts of the story happens in 19th century - so yes, it's historical fiction also. Is it fantasy? There are fey and magic and a lot of unresolved plot elements that may turn to be other supernatural surprises, so you can definitely call The Obsidian Mirror fantasy or urban fantasy or paranormal... So there you have it. This is contemporary historical paranormal science fiction/fantasy novel. Ha! Take that Catherine Fisher! You thought you could fool me, but nothing stops my OCD. :D

The Obsidian Mirror is a thrilling adventure set in England at the estate of Wintercombe Abbey. The atmosphere in Wintercombe Abbey is so dark and gothic and one of the big mysteries in The Obsidian Mirror is the house itself and the secrets hidden in it.
"Nothing in the house was straight; everything leaned or tilted; even the floors sloped, and Jake had the unsettling feeling that the Abbey was warping almost as he walked through it."

Story is about multiple characters who all gather in and around Wintercombe Abbey to accomplish their personal, often mysterious goals. Narration is told from third person point of view and jumps between different characters constantly, the more intense the moment, the more switches you should expect. This turned out to be a great tension builder, it does not help for you to really connect to the characters. Although I liked some of them very much, especially Sarah, girl of unknown origin but suspected runaway from mental hospital, and Piers, ever-present all-knowing butler.

The Obsidian Mirror covers a lot of topics. Coping with loss of a close family member, human greed and manipulation, does goal always justifies the means, fight for the better future, lost love, family, friends,... And surprisingly, solution to all of their problems seems to be The Obsidian Mirror.

This is the book that will keep you puzzled and on your toes until the last page. There are so many twists and turns in plot and always something new is happening. The Obsidian Mirror is definitely not ordinary novel full of tropes and cliches. But, for some unknown reason, I had hard time reading it. Or should we better say slow time. I would read and read and read, for ages, and when I check only ten pages passed. This is very strange since I am usually a fast reader, especially with books I like. And I liked The Obsidian Mirror.

If you liked gothic atmosphere of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, scary but beautiful fey from The Iron King by Julie Kagawa or you enjoy reading middle-grade/young adult fantasy novels that revolve around large set of characters and involve mystery, time travel, paranormal and a lot of thrilling action, you are probably going to enjoy The Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher. You are definitely not going to say: "Meh, I read it all before" after finishing this book.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Pirates of Brisa (Wyrms of Pasandir #2)
When young Eskandar leaves his ship with the tough broomrider...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Building a Trade Empire (Wyrms of Pasandir #4)
Trade had been Shaw’s life, her dream, her future –...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Journeys: Young Readers’ Letters to Authors Who Changed Their Lives
Books can change lives — and here are more than...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Moonlight Meeting: The Nocturnals
In The Moonlight Meeting, Tobin, a sweet pangolin, Bismark, a...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Hidden Kingdom: The Nocturnals Book 4
A group of veiled creatures--a chameleon, stick bugs and assorted...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Sight of Stars
Seventeen-year-old Klee’s father was the center of his life. He...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Bokkaners of the North (Wyrms of Pasandir #3)
Against all odds, Eskandar and his bunch of ragtag youngsters...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Road to Kalbakar (Wyrms of Pasandir #1)
Seventeen-year-old...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Air and Ash (TIDES Book 1)
Master and Commander meets Sarah J Maas in a...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Wolf Hour
Welcome, my little lambs, to the Puszcza. It's an...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Dragon Orb
The fate of a kingdom rests on the shoulders...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fragile Chaos
A GOD OF WAR SEEKING RESTORATION. AN UNWILLING SACRIFICIAL...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2)
Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Nice Try, Jane Sinner
The only thing 17-year-old Jane Sinner hates more than...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
I Love You Like a Pig
From the acclaimed bestselling author of Extra Yarn and Sam...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Come Home Already!
From the creators of Goodnight Already! and I Love You...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Kid Authors
 
N/A
"Let me get straight to the point. I loved this book. I love the concept, the writing, the way it’s..."
My Weird School Fast Facts: Explorers, Presidents, and Toilets
 
5.0
"I had high hopes for MY WEIRD SCHOOL FAST FACTS: EXPLORERS, PRESIDENTS, and TOILETS after reading Dan's other book and..."
My Weird School Fast Facts: Space, Humans, and Farts
 
5.0
"MY WEIRD SCHOOL FAST FACTS: SPACE, HUMANS, AND FARTS makes learning more interesting and fun. Using the weird-but-true theme is..."
Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen
 
5.0
"ORDINARY, EXTRAORDINARY JANE AUSTEN takes you into the life of Jane Austen who was an ordinary girl that did an..."
Love, Santa
 
5.0
"LOVE, SANTA was so beautifully written and is the perfect way to tell your little one the truth about Santa...."
A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars
 
4.7
"Honestly, I loved everything about this book. It’s filled to the brim with facts and numbers about the universe we..."
Code It! Create It!: Ideas & Inspiration for Coding (Girls Who Code)
 
5.0
"Interested in coding but not sure what products or activities you could do with it? Look no further than this..."
Let's Investigate with Nate #2: The Solar System
 
5.0
"Felix, Rosa, Braden, and Wendy are investigating with Nate again and this time it's all about the solar system. They're..."
Busy on the Farm
 
5.0
"BUSY ON THE FARM teaches about the different tasks to maintain a farm. The first thing is how to make..."
The Ultimate Guide to Gardening (Craft It Yourself)
 
5.0
"Don’t let the name intimidate you—this guide is as extensive as it is accessible. The book features 111 pleasingly..."
Ranger Rick: I Wish I Was a Lion
 
4.5
"Ranger Rick: I Wish I Was A Lion was a fun, educational, and an interactive book that is perfect for..."
Ultimate Explorer Guide: Explore, Discover, and Create Your Own Adventures with Real National Geographic Explorers as Your Guides!
 
5.0
"I’ve said it many times now, but I absolutely love National Geographic’s books for children. Each one is very different..."
I Am a Secret Service Agent: My Life Spent Protecting the President
 
4.0
" Emmett was a young, impressionable boy growing up in the South when President Kennedy was assassinated. The event made..."
Let's Investigate with Nate #1: The Water Cycle
 
5.0
"In LET'S INVESTIGATE WITH NATE, the doors of the Science Museum become a portal to another world, but only an..."
42 Is Not Just a Number: The Odyssey of Jackie Robinson, American Hero
 
3.5
"Jackie Robinson was an exceptional man, and in 42 Is Not Just a Number, Doreen Rappaport shows readers why he..."
Gobi: A Little Dog with a Big Heart
 
2.7
"I don’t think I’ve ever read a dog story without either crying or grinning through it. GOBI: A LITTLE DOG..."
100 Things to Be When You Grow Up
 
5.0
"This is one of the many “100 things” books I’ve read by National Geographic, and like with all the rest,..."
Laugh-Out-Loud Awesome Jokes for Kids (Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids) Paperback
 
3.7
"This book includes a number of Knock Knock jokes as well as a large number of one liners such as..."
KLUTZ Circuit Clay Science Kit
 
5.0
"Hours of step-by-step projects--endless sculpting and light-up possibilities. This electrical sculpture kit contains four colors of conducting clay (purple,..."
My Clay Critters
 
5.0
"More fun than barrel of sea-monkeys! With six air-dry colors, a carving tool, 49 insert pieces, and an Idea..."