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The Obsidian Mirror [Paperback]

Catherine Fisher
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

4 Oct 2012

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.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Children's Books (4 Oct 2012)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0340970081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340970089
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 12.5 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 190,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description



'... displays all of her usual strenth of imagination ... she is simply too good to miss.'


'... stands out above all others. Its imaginative scale and gobsmacking finale make it one of the best fantasy novels written for a long time.' (Times, Amanda Craig)

'one of today's best fantasy writers ... a deliciously dark and scary ride.' (Independent)

'... imaginative, rich in texture and vividly realised. Catherine Fisher writes with consummate skill and depth of feeling.' (The Bookseller)

'One of this year's most striking fantasy novels' (Amanda Craig, The Times)


'... a rich, resonant conclusion to the series.'

(Booklist - May 06)

'Vivid, complicated, and thoroughly engrossing, this fast paced adventure keeps readers avidly turning pages until the majestic conclusion.' (Horn Book Review May/June 06)

... an intoxicating world reminiscent of the Arabian Nights. Highly recommended. (The Bookseller)

suspense is constantly built ... rattles along at a dizzying pace ... next volume please. (School Librarian)

A crisp, quick-moving narrative and fully fleshed out characters will keep readers hooked (Publisher's Weekly)

A powerful and very exciting adventure story. (School Library Journal)

'... one of the most skilled and original writers currently working in young adult fantasy' (New Welsh Review)

'Beautifully imagined and realised, this novel of future regression is rich with strong characters, big issues and a compelling plot. It is a barnstorming piece of serious fantasy that doesn't put a foot wrong.' (The Bookbag)

'Catherine Fisher is an artist with words ... An engrossing, intricate story of an extraordinary journey undertaken by ricjly imaginative characters' (Carousel)

'a deliciously dark and scary ride.' (Nicholas Tucker, The Independent)

'a deep and sophisticated adventure story' (Write Away)

'... wholly engaging and rushes along as a breathless and nail-biting pace ... a gripping read that should enthral both young and old fans' (Buzz)

'the most cleverly comples and fascinating novel for teenagers I have read since His Dark Materials.' (School Librarian)

A sophisticated and beautifully written novel with a brilliant climax. (School Librarian)

A genre buster... a great set up for what promises to be a fantastic series. (Bookbag)

A riveting read that will leave you impatient for the next installment. (Peters Gazette)

Time-travelling, historical, supernatural sci-fi thriller, with its replicants, fairies, crazed scientists, changelings, wolves, genies and Dickensian waifs. Don't ask, just enjoy. (Financial Times)

Author of the brilliant Incarceron and Sapphique books embarks on an ambitious new series with The Obsidian Mirror. (We Love This Book)

Time travel and the faery world collide in the first book in a stunning new sequence from the best-selling author. (Western Mail)

A new novel by Catherine Fisher, poet and prize-winning novelist, is always a treat. The Obsidian Mirror is both thriller and science fiction and - being written in Fisher's acid prose - is equally satisfying to fans of both genres. (The Times)

Another fascinating hero can be found in Catherine Fisher's The Obsidian Mirror. Fisher's universe is wholly envisaged. This is bleak, brittle and brilliant. (Literary Review)

Dark and scary with a fast moving narrative and imaginative characters. An intricate plot... a real page turner for teenagers. (Carousel)

Clever, complex and sophisticated. Fisher not only interweaves strands of dystopian Science Fiction with fairy tale fantasy but expertly crafts a story of loss with bittersweet and tantalising prospect of time travel fixing everything. The book is a tangled web and Fisher jumps from scene to scene with cliff hanger moments urging the reader to unlock her puzzle. (School Librarian)

Extremely exciting and interesting, and it keeps you on your toes throughout the book. (Scottish Daily Record)

This book is beautifully written and keeps you wanting more. It's fantasy with a thrill of adventure, and is one of those books that you just can't put down. (Teen Titles)

A well-plotted, gripping fantasy adventure with a touch of wild magic. (Booktrust)

One of the most engrossing fantasy thrillers of last year. (The Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

Time travel and the faery world collide in the first book in a stunning new sequence from the bestselling author of INCARCERON - for which film rights have been sold to the producer of THE GOLDEN COMPASS.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! 12 Oct 2012
By Serendipity Reviews TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Catherine Fisher is truly an inspiration to follow. I have really enjoyed her previous novels, but The Obsidian Mirror blew me away. A mixture of science fiction and folklore that has been seamlessly blended to create an exciting new series to cherish. It was like reading The Terminator meets Tinkerbell but so much better. The way the author writes is reminiscent of the styles of such greats as Philip Pullman and Cornelia Funke. I will admit to having a bit of a soft spot for Catherine Fisher as her books played quite a huge part in my very early book blogging days; I read and reviewed quite a few.
I loved the way the story was structured, the story was evenly blended as it moved from one character to another, where you desperately wanted to know what was happening in the background all the time. Each chapter ended with a cliffhanger, which found you desperate to get back to their strand of the story. As you delve further into the story, you find yourself gathering an assortment of facts,which you need to weave together in order to find out the truth about the mirror, which in itself is a character within the book; a strong, dark presence, ominously waiting to create havoc within the lives of the characters. The mirror plays a game similar to Russian Roulette, where you never know if the outcome will be favourable or not.
The characters had very strong personas and even nondescript ones such as Rebecca, who appeared as excess baggage in the story to begin with turned out to be valuable to the plot. The author fooled us with their initial presence; a sign of excellent writing.
The scenery was breathtaking as the characters stood simultaneously in between seasons. I loved the December setting, making this a fabulous contender for a Christmas reading session.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very readable. 18 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Jake has just been expelled from his boarding school in Switzerland so he is going to be sent home to live with his Godfather, Oberon Venn who, he believes, killed his Father. Obviously as a minor, he cannot travel alone so his head of Humanities teacher, Mr. Wharton travels with him back to England and to the strange house of Oberon Venn.

Wintercombe Abbey is not exactly a welcoming place and neither is Venn very welcoming either. Jake is determined however to find out what happened to his Father. In the events that follow, Wharton decides to stay on to help Jake and also to try and protect him.

The story centres around a centuries old black mirror which supposedly you can time travel this where Jake's Father disappeared to? You will have to read this really quite good book to find out.

It is very well written although I did notice two teeny mistakes.....1) The Shee should be written as The Sidhe although it is pronounced as the former and 2) Mortimer Dee is incorrect. It was John Dee who was Elizabeth the Firsts Astrologer. Leaving these two niggles aside, I would recommend this book thoroughly for adults and children alike.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As gripping as a cold winter 27 Oct 2012
By Sheenagh Pugh VINE VOICE
Catherine Fisher's many fans will be delighted to hear that her latest, "The Obsidian Mirror", is the start of a sequence. Fisher works differently, I think, in standalone books and sequences. The standalones, like "Crown of Acorns", "Darkhenge" and "Corbenic", tend to focus on some deep-seated trauma in the young protagonist's mind; he or she will, via the medium of fantasy, find some way of living with reality. The journey is essentially a foray through an individual mind. In the sequences, Fisher can show her immense craft at world-building (as in the two Incarceron novels, where a misguided attempt to halt change and development has resulted in a world of fake surfaces and hidden realities rather like a film set). In these sequences, though the protagonist will still have his/her own issues to work out, there is also a whole universe of equally fascinating minor characters with their own journeys, sometimes parallel, sometimes interlocking. They are already emerging here as they did in "The Book of the Crow", her last work on this scale, and I'm already particularly invested in Molly, a Victorian street urchin of immense character and resourcefulness of whom we shall surely see more in the next volume.

The workings of time have always been a fascination of Fisher's; in "Corbenic", Cal gets off at the wrong station and finds himself in Arthurian times, while in "Crown of Acorns" three stories, from different times in history, run parallel. But this is the first book of hers I recall in which the possible mechanics of time travel have played any part. The mirror of the title is a way of travelling in time, and both a man, Venn, and a boy, Jake, are trying to use it for personal ends, while another character, from a different time, is trying to destroy it for altruistic reasons.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kept me engaged ... TOTALLY 19 Oct 2013
By Shazjera TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Straight off I have to say The Obsidian Mirror is AMAZING! I was so caught up in the story that my notes are minimal! Why haven't I heard of this author before?

The blurb is a good representation of the story.

Beginning with a scene of an angry student at Compton College in Switzerland, we follow Jake and his Humanities teacher, Wharton as they travel to Wintercombe Abbey in the search for his father.

Next we're introduced to Sarah. I had so many questions about her and the replicants. What is it? Who is it? Why is Sarah important? What impact will she have? Is she from the past? From the future? How does she know Wintercombe Abbey which has been in Venn's family for generations?

The scenes in London felt so real! I was with Jake as he climbed that rope and locked in the musty cellar.

The author captures the `Shee' (Sidhe) perfectly. Everything I've ever read about the mythology came to life on these pages.

With a great cast of characters (most of whom are not what they seem) and fast-paced action at every turn, The Obsidian Mirror is a story that will totally engage your imagination. There is not one place where I could put it down because I just HAD to keep reading.

The threads started to come together and I got some answers. I can't wait to see what happens in The Box of Red Brocade ...

Whether you're a YA reader or an adult! if you love fantasy, folklore/mythology, dystopian/sci-fi then I highly recommend you read this.

The Obsidian Mirror is awesome. Did I say I loved this?!?!?!

I bought The Obisidian Mirror a long time ago, and so glad I found it recently while browsing on my Kindle!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent series opener
The Obsidian Mirror drew me in, entangled me within its web, and left me wanting more, much more - which is good, as it's part of a series! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Joanna Gawn, Author of The Lazuli Portals
3.0 out of 5 stars Different elements squeezed in - didn't work for me
I seem to be flying in the face of popular opinion here, but to be honest this book just didn't do it for me. Read more
Published 6 months ago by A. Milne
5.0 out of 5 stars Through A Glass Darkly
Catherine Fisher has come up with a winner here as she blends sci-fi and fantasy in a tale of random time travel and rescue. Read more
Published 6 months ago by M. J. Saxton
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting.
Imagine, if you will, a blend of science fiction (in this case, time travel) and fairies. This is it. Read more
Published 6 months ago by T. Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars Fairies and time travel, couldn't ask for more!!
I am an immense Catherine Fisher fan, ever since Incarceron (so excited this is being made in to a film!!), Sapphique and Darkwater Hall. The Obsidian Mirror did not disappoint! Read more
Published 10 months ago by DaisyDaisy
5.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable read
Too many books these days seem to be unfinished, as if having a series of books means that no individual one can hold a complete story. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mrs. L. V. Love
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable first instalment.
I get quite fed up with the current trend for turning every story into a series of books, as it often feels like one story stretched across several books simply for the purpose of... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Fiona Millar
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting ...
Very good read thoroughly enjoyed the storyline. As usual finished leaving me wanting more of the world conjured within. Sequel please
Published 12 months ago by Hilmw
4.0 out of 5 stars very good
i picked this up because i had nothing to read not really thinking it would be my sort of novel boy was i wrong. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Ms. B. E. Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good
Loved this book, brilliant for all ages. I hope there's a second book, as good as the first was!!!! :)
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
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