cover image Backward Glass

Backward Glass

David Lomax. Flux, $9.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-7387-3751-5

A dead baby and a decades-old list bearing Kenny Maxwell’s name and birthday impel the 14-year-old on a quest through time that teaches him about sacrifice and justice. Luka, a girl living in 1987, visits Kenny in 1977 to explain how he can travel backward and forward in time via a mirror in his new home. The novel’s quest theme involves standard elements of initiation (Kenny’s initial ignorance about time travel) and purity of purpose (the travelers attempt to prevent the death of the infant), but the inclusion of a dialect-spouting Scotsman from the 17th-century and the inanely named Prince Harming provide a knockabout adult presence. Although the somewhat arbitrary rules of time travel (e.g., “From an even-numbered decade, you can go back on even-numbered days”) complicate the narrative, debut novelist Lomax handles the plot’s complexities with skill as the story builds toward a satisfying resolution that offers the hope of redemption and the promise that, while much of life is beyond one’s control, it’s still possible to influence one’s destiny. Ages 12–up. Agent: Katie Grimm, Don Congdon Associates. (Oct.)