The Klaatu Terminus: The Klaatu Diskos, Book 3

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
The Klaatu Terminus: The Klaatu Diskos, Book 3 Book Poster Image
Multiple time lines converge in rewarding sci-fi finale.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

The Klaatu Terminus mixes elements of science fiction, religion, and history, from time travel to the kabbalah to Amish traditions. Its non-chronological structure invites discussion about causality and free will.

Positive Messages

The Klaatu Terminus emphasizes loyalty to family and friends, even across great spans of time. It questions whether technology and religion are always forces for good.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Tucker and Lia are brave and resourceful throughout The Klaatu Terminus, protecting each other in the face of great physical danger. Luckily, there are more adult characters in this volume willing to help them, from Tucker's Uncle Kosh to the mysterious woman Awn.

Violence

The main characters of The Klaatu Terminus are in almost constant physical danger from shootings, stabbings, a gas explosion, and an attack by a time-traveling leopard. However, because of time loops and advanced technology, the characters are able to survive injury that would otherwise be fatal. There's plenty of mayhem, but nearly everyone is eventually healed or resurrected.

Sex

Kosh falls in love with his brother's fiancée, and the paternity of a child is revealed. Lia and Tucker are romantically interested in each other, but they don't develop a real relationship until they're older.

Language

"Hell," "damn," and "bitch" are used one or two times.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One of the adult characters drinks at a local bar. A minor supporting character attempts to sell marijuana to college students.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Klaatu Terminus concludes the science-fiction saga begun in The Obsidian Blade and continued in The Cydonian Pyramid. Time travel plays a big role in the plot, and the resulting paradoxes can be confusing. Constant physical danger comes in the form of shootings, stabbings, a gas explosion, and an attack by a time-traveling leopard. However, because of time loops and advanced technology, the characters are able to survive grave injury. The language is generally mild, with one or two uses each of "hell," "damn," and "bitch." One minor character is a low-level drug dealer, and Tucker's Uncle Kosh begins a romance with his brother's fiancée.

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What's the story?

In THE KLAATU TERMINUS, Tucker Frye and Lia seek answers atop a crumbling pyramid in a long-abandoned city in the far future. As a teen in the Midwest, Tucker's Uncle Kosh finds himself falling in love with his brother's fiancée. Meanwhile, crazed priests wreak havoc in the present and in the future. Tucker, Lia, and Kosh must puzzle out the purpose of the mysterious gates known as "diskos" before they're destroyed forever and the three are trapped separately in deadly circumstances.

Is it any good?

The climax of The Klaatu Terminus proves to be worth all the mind-bending and head-scratching action that precedes it. Throughout The Klaatu Diskos series, author Peter Hautman has juggled a large number of characters, settings, and time frames, surely leaving some readers wondering whether he'd be able to catch everything neatly at the end. But Hautman acquits himself well, developing his characters while concocting some outrageous plot twists. Readers who persevere through all the paradoxes will feel rewarded.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why time travel is such a common theme in science fiction and fantasy. Where in the past or future would you like to visit?

  • If you could change the past, would you do so? How might changing the past affect the future?

  • How are religion and technology sometimes connected? In what positive and negative ways do science and technology affect society? 

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