320 pages; published April 2012
Tucker is just being raised by his preacher father and organ-playing mother in little Hopewell, Minnesota, until one day his dad steps into a blurry spot hovering above their roof and disappears. He returns an hour later, looking a few years older and trailed by a strange yellow-haired girl. He announces that he no longer believes in God, yet continues working and preaching at his church. Things spin out of control for Tucker’s mother. Then, both his parents disappear and Tucker is pulled bit by bit into his own close encounter with the blurry spots that hover over roofs until he is leaping and cavorting through a series of unpleasant and potentially deadly adventures that disregard the usual rules about time and space.
I’ll be honest. I’m not entirely sure I completely understand what just happened here. The action focuses around a series of portals or “diskos” placed by a mysterious non-corporeal race called the Klaatu. Tucker is just a kid when his father gets sucked into a disko while trying to fix a loose shingle on their roof. Their close encounter with the Klaatu instruments costs Tucker’s father his faith in God and his mother her sanity. As Tucker begins to explore the world through the diskos, he discovers this adventure may cost him his life.
Along the way, Tucker must figure out how to handle some strange relationship – with Lalia, the girl who returned with his father from the diskos and seems to hold the key to many great secrets; and with his biker uncle, Kosh, who is consumed with fear after his own face-off with Klaatu technology.
It is intense and strange and really, really cool.
Still, I’m glad this is identified as Book 1, because Mr. Hautman still has a lot of explaining to do.
The Quote I Can’t Get Out of My Head
“Do you know what I miss about God?” the Reverend asked.
Tucker shook his head.
“I miss having someone to blame things on.”