ARC Review: Backward Glass by David Lomax

Pub. Date: October 8th, 2013
Publisher: Flux
315 pages

I’m a chronic note taker when I’m reading something that I will review. A subconscious tell that I absolutely love a book, is when I become so engrossed, that I completely forget to take notes. I didn’t write down a single word while reading Backward Glass.

When Kenny Maxwell’s home flipping parents buy the old Hollerith house – a home notorious for the disappearances of the kids that live there – an entire series of events that have both not happened, and that are decades old, are set into motion. In a broken down wall, Kenny finds a long deceased baby, along with a note written specifically to him. The note asks Kenny to change the past, by stopping Prince Harming from killing the baby. It takes a girl, from ten years in the future, to step out of the Backwards Glass – an old mirror that came with the house – for Kenny to get an idea of how he could possibly prevent a death that already happened.

Backward Glass is constructed the way a seasoned storyteller tells a story. With a clear voice, and engaging tone, you are instantly drawn in and kept in suspense about what will happen next. The entire time I read Backward Glass I was working overtime to solve a puzzle whose pieces were revealed in
such an expert way, that there was no chance of figuring everything out until you are supposed to. I had such a strong emotional response to this story and especially the ending because of how involved I became in the characters lives. On the surface the concept of the novel seems very complex – a mirror opens for one year a decade, allowing one kid the chance to travel back and forth through time – but the way its presented is straightforward, giving the illusion that the concept is simple.

The way time moves, and how time travel is approached, was very smartly done. Kenny’s travels through the mirror are always the central focus. Even if the setting is anything but linear time wise, Kenny’s story moves linearly. I really liked the select looks at what life was like for the past and future time traveler kids. Each traveler was relatable, unique, and played a specific and significant role in the outcome of the story. Everything and everyone was connected, even if it didn’t seem like they were in the beginning. Finding out the connections was extremely satisfying for me as a reader. I have a perpetual need to solve the puzzle whether I’m reading or watching a movie, but I almost didn’t want to solve the mystery or make the connections early, because I just wanted to savor the story, and not have it end.  

Backwards Glass is a perfectly paced, completely engrossing mystery novel that I absolutely adored. The story is unique, the characters interesting, and the setting familiar, yet ever evolving. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

Rating 10/10

** I received a copy of this novel from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was in no way compensated. 

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