Sunday, 5 April 2015
Book Review | Obstacles
Author: Christopher Reardon
Series: stand alone
Rating: 4 stars
A child will die. You're afraid to live. Would you go to all lengths to save him? Darkness knows no bounds, as Alcott, an African American doctor sees all too well. The man is petrified by death. His fragile existence rests at the mercy of the universe. This fact is far too much for him to handle. From unyielding nightmares to elevator terrors, he's lost in paranoia.
Assigned to look after an ill child, Alcott's horrors only heighten. Gari is a nine-year-old boy with a fatal disease. He will surely pass on within the year. Alcott bonds with him more and more each day. Part of him knows this grim fate just isn't right.
Alcott befriends a hospital patient. This lunatic forces him to lug home an ancient text on bringing back the dead. Despite the man's obvious dementia, Alcott attempts the scheme. Charging up a cliff, he recites the chant over ocean gusts.
A goddess glides in from the horizon. She instructs Alcott on the trials to save Gari's life. These fearsome Obstacles require true strength. From battling sharks to wielding a flail, he must prove fortitude against genuine danger. Alcott decides his fate at this moment.
Death's claws shall not grasp Gari's soul
I was extremely excited to receive Obstacles because I was really intrigued by the synopsis and I absolutely love the cover! As you can tell by my 4 star rating, it was well worth my time.
The first thing I liked about the book was the varying chapter lengths. I know this might sound odd but often in books I want to stop at a chapter but they seem to go on and on and on! This certainly wasn't a problem here, as the chapters were fairly short and always varied in size.
Another factor which made this book so great was the characters. Each character had different sides to them and some characters such as Alcott and Gretchen had personality attributes that I found inspiring and it was truly magnificent to see them evolve and develop throughout the book. The one problem I found was the lack of description. The book left a lot to your imagination when it came to character's appearances, but in some ways this was a bonus as it let your mind do the working!
The plot was probably my favourite thing about the whole book. The idea of the story in general was really original and imaginative which Chris Reardon deserves much praise for. The plot was excellent, brilliantly thought out and oh my goodness there were such spectacular plot twists, which kept me constantly on my toes! Never once was the book predictable which kept me gripped and hungry for more.
The style of writing was good. Some passages were beautifully written, however, my one major criticism with Obstacles was the overuse of some words. The word "Manifest" and "delectable" in particular, I felt were used rather a lot and it made these wonderful words seem duller and less exciting. Also, I thought that the characters only ever "screamed" or "shouted" or "yelled" and never were described as simply saying things. This made the reading experience for me, slightly less enjoyable as it gave some parts a quite aggressive feel. However, this is probably just me being picky, and this certainly shouldn't put you off!
Overall, as a lover of fantasy, Obstacles was a marvellous read and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for an original story with brave characters, fighting and heroic actions.