Title: Backward Glass
Author: David Lomax
Publisher/Publication Date: Fluxx, Pub. date Oct. 1, 2013
I was really intrigued when I picked up Backward Glass. The idea is that this mirror exists that allows certain people to travel forward or backward in time 10 years. Lomax sets up a excellent little set of rules that control how the mirror operates that prevents people from moving back and forth willy nilly and help to drive the plot along. The main character, Kenny Maxwell, lives in 1977 and happens on the mirror inadvertently after his family moves into an old house and he and his father discover the corpse of a baby inside a wall. Shortly after that Luka arrives from 10 years in the future and helps Kenny understand how the mirror works. Luka leads Kenny to some of the others who can use the mirror. Kenny is convinced that he and the others can find a way to save the baby that was found in the wall.
Of course, as with all good and well-intentioned ideas, something has to go wrong. Enter Prince Harming. A child’s rhyme unique to the local area references the backward mirror and a boogeyman of sorts that kills teenagers. Think Jason or Freddy Kreuger but a little less creepy. Despite the possible danger though, Kenny remains committed to his plan to find a way to save the baby. A lot of the book revolves around watching this group of teenagers from very different times and very different lives come together and develop friendships regardless. Making new friends can be difficult and it’s often impressive how even the smallest bit of common ground can be the basis for a friendship. But as with all friendships, especially those built on more tenuous connections, tension and fallout is inevitable. The group struggles to stay together and stick to the mission but nothing seems to go according to plan. Once Prince Harming does arrive, things go from bad to worse and Kenny finds himself stuck in the past.
I really enjoyed this book. The premise was interesting to me. Lomax does a great job adhering to the rules he developed for the mirror to ensure that the plot remains consistent. The characters are believable and even flawed still have you rooting for them to succeed. Some of the bumps in the road aren’t surprising considering the main characters are all teenagers but by and large the mysteries of the plot aren’t obvious or predictable. A good read and definitely worth a look for those interested in YA lit.