Thursday, 28 March 2013

Brief Thoughts #2 - Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher

The Obsidian Mirror (Chronoptika #1) - Catherine Fisher

ISBN (UK) 9780340970089, Hodder Childrens Books, pub. - October 4 2012
ISBN (US) 9780803739697, Dial Books, exp. pub. - April 23 2013

'Jake's father disappears while working on mysterious experiments with the obsessive, reclusive Oberon Venn. Jake is convinced Venn has murdered him. But the truth he finds at the snow-bound Wintercombe Abbey is far stranger ... The experiments concerned a black mirror, which is a portal to both the past and the future. Venn is not alone in wanting to use its powers. Strangers begin gathering in and around Venn's estate: Sarah - a runaway, who appears out of nowhere and is clearly not what she says, Maskelyne - who claims the mirror was stolen from him in some past century. There are others, a product of the mirror's power to twist time. And a tribe of elemental beings surround this isolated estate, fey, cold, untrustworthy, and filled with hate for humans. But of them all, Jake is hell-bent on using the mirror to get to the truth. Whatever the cost, he must learn what really happened to his father.' - Goodreads

I'm a huge fan of Catherine Fisher which, considering I've only read two of her books, is saying something! I loved Incarceron (I cried when they cast Taylor Lautner, hopefully if the movie ever gets off the ground he won't be in it), liked Crown Of Acorns and I have both Sapphique & Darkhenge on my mountainous TBR pile. There is something about her writing that draws me in but having said that I think I spent three quarters of Obsidian Mirror confused. There were multiple time periods, multiple POV's with snippets taken from documents & diaries interspersed amongst the chapters but this was all quite easy to keep track of. I've no idea why I felt so confused except maybe I wasn't quite sure where the story was going and it very much felt like a standalone novel but then, it seemed to click and things made sense, by the time I got to the end I was desperate to read book #2 in the Chronoptika series only to discover there's no title or expected publication date so it looks like a long wait!

Lots of people don't like time travel because it's not something that could ever happen but I liked this idea, of using the obsidian mirror to go into the past or the present and let's face it if you can't believe in something fantastical then you probably shouldn't be reading fantasy! What made Obsidian Mirror for me was the inclusion of the fey or the Shee as Fisher refers to them. I loved Summer and Gideon, the human boy out of time and am looking forward to reading more about Winter. Her descriptions of the Shee as a whole were breathtaking and I really hope in the next instalment more is made of the connection between Summer and Venn, Jake's godfather and of the Shee themselves. It was extremely refreshing to have a boy as the main protagonist, Obsidian Mirror would appeal to anyone because it has 'fairies' they're not your everyday Tinkerbell type! What hooked me the most though was the secret revealed right at the end of the book, what a cliffhanger! Ms Fisher, I urge you to write quickly because I'm not sure I can wait patiently for the next book. I borrowed my copy from the local library but I think I will be buying a copy, I'm almost certain I will need to reread if/when book two is published.

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