Book Review: The Obsidian Mirror


Book Title: The Obsidian Mirror (Chronoptika #1)
Author: Catherine Fisher
Book Format: Paperback
Published: April 23rd, 2013
Pages: 384

Yet again, another book I won via the First Reads giveaways at GoodReads.com. I was excited about this book as it was touted to be written by a master of fantasy/science fiction.

The story follows a young boy named Jake whose father has gone missing while jake is away at boarding school. Jake believes his Godfather, Oberon Venn, murdered his father. Jake gets himself expelled so he can go live with his Godfather to find out what happened to his father.

This begins a quest filled with time travel, supernatural beings (The Shee), Replicants, and other strange characters. I admit, I was confused for about half the book trying to keep all the different characters straight. More confusing yet was the idea of having time travel and the supernatural beings. It felt as though Fisher was trying her hardest to weave a complicated web, but for me, it felt forced.

I was also not a fan of the style Fisher chose to tell the story in. Jumping back and forth between characters to tell parts of the story that were happening simultaneously got confusing. Just as we started getting into a particular characters story, we jumped to another section. I felt those sections could have been slightly longer and then there wouldn’t have been an issue. I felt the book needed to take some Ritalin to keep itself focused.

The sad part was the story itself was a great concept. A mirror that can transport people back in time is always a good starting point. The addition of the Shee (some supernatural creatures) along with some lady called Summer who is also a Shee I believe, and then some kid named Gideon who was just a regular kid that is now a prisoner of the Shee seemed out of place. That brings me to my final critique. The book was clearly written to build a series. I don’t feel it was done well enough to warrant a series. The story deserves it, but not the way it was written. I got the impression that book one wasn’t really the focus for Fisher, that book one was really just a way to drum up interest for book two and maybe three. I don’t really care for it when a book is so obviously written to be a series.

To conclude, I felt the overall idea was great, but the execution was a little supercilious. As for reading the next book in the series, I guess Fisher did her job as I do want to know what happens next and I want to know more about these Shee characters along with Summer, but if I continue having the same feelings in book two, I will not likely continue the series.

I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars still because the story was interesting and still warrants a positive rating for that.

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