Iris Jongler-Jinks–a music dork–and her annoyingly smart twin brother, Arky, were busy preparing for their senior year of high school, along with prom and college applications. But with their mother Octavia lost in time for the past year and a half, the siblings are understandably worried. When the cor anglais, a musical instrument which is also a magical heirloom with the power to transport the Jongler-Jinkses through the ages comes to life on its own, the twins are suddenly transported to Paris in 1894 at the height of the Moulin Rouge’s fame. Following clues that their mother may well be there, Arky and Iris search Paris, their fears that their mother has forgotten them and found a new family in the past growing as the mystery of her whereabouts deepens. Back in their hometown Belleplain and their “hometime,” Howard, their father, is frantic to figure out what has happened to his family. With the help of Matt, the twin’s teenage friend, Howard tries to save his family in the present. But Matt suspects Howard may be responsible for his wife and children’s disappearance.
With a cast of characters including the Jongler-Jinks’s drunken cousin James, famous artists Toulouse-Lautrec and Edward Degas and their long-lost mother, Brian Meehl’s BLOWBACK ’94 is full of fun, imaginative dialogue and unforgettable personas. Dancing between past and present builds suspense and makes for a startling contrast between the modern world and the old Paris of gaslights, sidewalk cafes, insane artists and the debauchery of the Moulin Rouge. Even after the teen twins find their mother in the past, will they be able to return to the present? And what will happen to their father during their unexplained absence? The answers will keep readers racing through this story, enjoying every clever plot twist along the way. Though part of a series, BLOWBACK ’94 fully stands on its own.
Billed as a novel in the “young adult” genre, Brian Meehl’s BLOWBACK ’94 is a witty and engaging tale that readers of all ages can enjoy, especially those with an interest in seeing history brought to vivid life. Lush and gritty descriptions of past Paris, well-researched history, quirky characters and family drama, make this a hugely enjoyable and fast-paced adventure.
~Royal Young for IndieReader