Series: Chronoptika #1
Published by Dial Books on April 23rd 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.
I expected a lot out of this book, having enjoyed Fisher's previous books. I was about 60% into it when the action started to pick up, which kept me reading and I'm glad I didn't give up on it like I wanted to. The Obsidian Mirror starts off slow, introducing characters and a bit of their backstory while pushing them all together into one tiny corner of the universe. I didn't connect with any of the many characters right away and I honestly probably like one or two of the side characters better than the main ones. I felt like their characters were lost in the story instead of being central to the story.
Jake is too angry and irrational for most of the book, accusing his godfather of his father's death (or disappearance) and then clutches onto the idea of going back to find him. Sarah starts off interesting but then I started to lose interest in her character as other side stories pulled in. By the end of the book, I felt like I finally had a grasp and realized that Jake and Sarah aren't quite the main characters. I feel that Fisher gave equal footing to at least 6 different characters (if not more), something that took a slow start to pull the reader in. My only worry is that I forget what happened by the time the sequel will be out, as so much happens towards the end and much is revealed about each person's place in the story.
I still feel a bit mixed about this one. I will probably pick up the second as I found myself engulfed in the ending of the first book. The other 80% I strugged through, but it was worth it for the buildup that lead to a stunning end with lots of questions left to be answered.