I’ve just read Chris Reardon’s debut novel, Obstacles. In this action-filled fantasy, a doctor, Alcott is tasked with the care of a boy named Gari. Gari has just days to live and in order to save his charge, Alcott agrees to exchange his life for the child’s. After summoning a Goddess by using a spell from an ancient book and agreeing to her terms, he is taken to another world where he must compete in the Obstacles. Alcott must pass three of the obstacles if Gari’s life is to be spared.
As I read, I couldn’t help but think a little of The Hunger Games, because of the way in which other competitors (who also want to save a life) are pitted against one another. The concept was a good one and I thought, very clever. The novel, as a whole is a good first attempt by a budding author with a promising future.
Obstacles is an action packed fantasy story. A young Doctor is faced with watching a young patient die, slowly an elderly man in a nursing home gives him a mysterious book that magically offers Alcott the chance to meet several challenges, if he wins young Gari will live but he will not remember the Doctor. But winning means that Alcott must give his life for Gari's. Each obstacle is more challenging than the last and more dangerous. There is no guarantee Alcott will survive these challenges. He knows if he doesn't survive Gari will still die. Should he try to beat the challenges? Will he have enemies or make allies along the way? A truly unique plot and a beautifully written story.Ask yourself if you would give up your life to save someone elses? I look forward to reading more books by Chris Reardon
I think this was a great first novel for Chris Reardon. He is a talented author with a bright future ahead of him.
A young doctor has a nine-year-old patient who is dying and he's frustrated that there is nothing he can do to save him. Then another patient steps into the picture and offers the doctor an ancient tome. Inside is a possible solution to saving the dying young boy. All he has to do is follow the directions and call a powerful god down for a favor, a god who has the ability to alter destiny. The catch, young doctor Alcott has to give up his life so the boy can live. But there's a sub clause involved. He must pass three seemingly impossible obstacles in order to proceed. But Alcott isn't the only one who must pass these obstacles. There are four others, each of whom wants to save the life of another person. They will work together and help one another in their quest to save another person's life.
This is an action-packed story, the pace super-fast and the characters easy to become emotionally involved with. Though I wanted to score higher, I couldn't justify more than three stars because I did struggle at times, especially in the very beginning, to believe Alcott was a real doctor. His word choices and actions didn't always come across as realistic. As I read I kept seeing a mid-teen type in my mind. But I could feel the young doctor's pain over the thought of losing his patient and understood why he took a chance and followed the directions found in the tome for calling down a god. Word choices were awkward at times, not fitting with what was being said, though on a positive note, was never bad enough to stop me from reading and enjoying the story. I think this author has a bright future ahead of him. I know I'll definitely be watching for the next one to come along by Chris Reardon.
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