cover image Blowback ’07: When the Only Way Forward Is Back

Blowback ’07: When the Only Way Forward Is Back

Brian Meehl. MCP, $12.95 paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-6350-5185-8

In this time-bending first novel in a planned trilogy, Meehl (Suck It up and Die) creates a fascinating dichotomy between past and present. North High junior Arky Jongler-Jinks, a sharp-witted cross-country runner, is best friends with his high school’s star quarterback, Matt Grinnell, and defensive back, Danny Bender. Arky’s twin sister, Iris, prefers making music—especially playing an unusual antique English horn that her mother left to her in secret, before vanishing—to sports and partying. The extent of the woodwind’s powers are revealed when Iris’s playing accidentally sends Matt back to the year 1907. Sports, music, and science collide as Iris and Arky attempt to retrieve Matt while wondering if their mother could be found, too. Meanwhile, Matt must adjust to his new century (and playing for the Carlisle Indian School’s football team, coached by Pop Warner) and figure out a way to get back to “hometime.” With propulsive pacing and an entertaining mix of witticisms, historical lessons, romance, and poignant moments, Meehl’s SF adventure hits all the right notes. Believable characters infuse energy into each scene—readers will eagerly await future installments. Ages 12–up. (BookLife)