A sharpened rapier substituted for a blunt one during a rehearsal of Hamlet is the final prank that leaves Jake Wilde victorious, seemingly free and clear to start searching for answers about his father’s disappearance. Catherine Fisher’s THE OBSIDIAN MIRROR follows Jake on his journey to find answers about his father’s secret project.
"Fisher does a fantastic job of world building, immersing the reader in a beautifully dark and gothic setting...Catherine Fisher’s THE OBSIDIAN MIRROR touches upon many genres, culminating in a complex and intriguing novel that will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next book."
Jake finally succeeds in getting himself expelled from his expensive private school after numerous attempts to get himself thrown out. His headmaster is no fool though, as he insists that a teacher, Wharton, accompany Jake to make sure he returns home. Jake and Wharton travel to the mansion of Oberon Venn, a former explorer who becomes a recluse after the car accident that killed his wife. Jake’s father is Venn’s only friend, as well as partner in a mysterious project. Jake’s expulsion is no mere act of rebellion; he heads to Venn’s home to accuse him of murdering his father. Venn was the last person to see Jake’s father while they were working together on a secret experiment. The only evidence Jake has is a picture of his father in another time period and mentions of a mirror called Chronoptika.
Wintercombe Abbey is dark and mysterious, and the house attracts a multitude of strange characters: Piers, the permanent butler; Sarah, a hunted runaway from a mental hospital; Gideon, a boy from the Wood; and Rebecca, a girl living nearby. The mystery surrounds the obsidian mirror, otherwise known as Chronoptika. Each character has his or her motive for staying at the house and becoming involved in the ongoing secrecy. As Jake continues to uncover the truth behind the circumstances concerning his father’s disappearance, he becomes entangled in the world of fae creatures and time travel.
Fisher does a fantastic job of world building, immersing the reader in a beautifully dark and gothic setting. Wintercombe Abbey is richly detailed, lending a sense of darkness that is both foreboding and intriguing. Within the first few chapters, Fisher immediately thrusts the reader into a world full of unknown dangers and sinister plots. She takes her time establishing the setting, letting the world unfold around the reader as it unfolds around Jake. The plot takes many twists and turns, as everything is heavily veiled in mystery and intrigue. The mirror, the centerpiece of the whole story, is the most puzzling element of all, with multiple plot lines woven around it. Catherine Fisher’s THE OBSIDIAN MIRROR touches upon many genres, culminating in a complex and intriguing novel that will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next book.
Reviewed by Ashley L. on May 9, 2013
- Publication Date: April 23, 2013
- Genres: Young Adult 12+
- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Dial
- ISBN-10: 0803739699
- ISBN-13: 9780803739697