Blowback ’63 is the continuing story of Arky and Iris on their quest to rescue their mother from the past. It’s been five months since Matt returned from the Carlisle Indian School and 1907, but the twins haven’t made any progress toward finding their mother. Iris is determined to figure out the secrets of their family’s magical cor anglais, or English horn, that has the power to send people back in time. She is certain that the magical instrument is the key to finding their mother.
Arky, on the other hand, tells Iris that finding their mother is impossible and that it’s time to give up and move on. His determination to move on is seriously tested after his best friend Danny’s baseball game. When Danny does something by accident during the game that makes all the opposing players want to kill him, Arky helps him hide. They try to hide in a barn, but the persistent players keep coming. Just when it looks like Arky and Danny are about to be found, they see tendrils of white mist coming towards them. The mist wraps each of them in a cocoon, and they soon find themselves in a very unfamiliar grassy field nowhere near the barn in which they hid. To where did the mist transport them, and will they be able to get back home?
Honestly, I was a little skeptical when I first looked at this book. I thought for sure that it would be completely based on sports along with bits of sports trivia and stuff. Then I thought, “How would the author be able to incorporate time travel into that?” The time travel aspect really piqued my curiosity, which prompted me to read it. When I got into the book, I realized my fears of a completely sports-based book proved to be unfounded. It does have baseball as one of its many themes, but it isn’t completely a story about sports. At its heart, this book is about twin siblings putting aside their differences and trying to save their mother, and some of their friends get dragged along for the wild ride.
Another relief to me was that this book worked well as a stand-alone. A few aspects of the story would be improved by reading Blowback ’07 first, but it can still be easily understood and enjoyed by reading it alone. The characters were developed amazingly well, and I was able to connect with every one of them. The plot kept me on the edge of my seat with plenty of twists and turns, but it didn’t have so many that I got lost along the way.
I look forward to the next and final book in this series, as this one ends in a cliffhanger, and I have to know what happens next. I would recommend this book to anyone ages 12 and up for some language and violence.