Wednesday, August 27, 2014


18743462A 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 god woman 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.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Obstacles is a paranormal fantasy novel, by Christopher Reardon, that examines what one group of people would do to change the fate of someone else. When Alcott is given an ancient tome that presents a chance to change a young boy's death sentence, he decides to take it. 

The novel shares the evolution of Dr. Alcott. He begins as a frightened man suffering from unexplained nightmares who focuses his waking hours on saving lives. Alcott is immediately respected by readers because of his profession. Even more so when he decides to try to save the sick boy's life. By agreeing to the challenge of the Obstacles, he also agrees to take the place of Gari if he succeeds. Through the story, Alcott's character is revealed. He is brave, strong, loyal, inspiring, and faithful. Readers will root for Alcott's success while he faces terrifying situations that seem impossible to overcome. 

The story line of the novel begins with the introduction of Alcott and his patient, Gari. Shortly after, Alcott is given a book that contains a way to challenge fate. To save Gari, Alcott must face six obstacles. If he wins three of them, he'll take Gari's place. If Alcott loses four, then he'll return to his life with no memory of ever being in the paranormal platform. Teamed up with four others who challenged fate, Alcott must fight for his life as he battles for Gari's. The story line is engrossing with a simplistic writing style, though the word usage was repetitive. Overall, Obstacles was both intriguing and creatively entertaining but I struggled with forming a full connection to the main character. 

Rating: 3/5 Cups

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