In the third and final installment of the Blowback trilogy, we join Arky and Iris Jongler-Jinks as they continue their search for their mother, who is trapped in the past. Mere hours after Arky and his friend Danny returned from their time voyage to 1863 and the American Civil War, Arky is off on his second time voyage, this time taking his sister along for the ride. Now, the cor anglais has transported the Jongler twins to a brand-new continent, in addition to a new time. Specifically, the cor anglais has blown them back to Paris in 1894. Startled by the alarming circumstances under which the cor anglais transported them there this time, the twins are concerned about the magical instrument’s intentions. Even so, armed with multiple clues that point to the fact that they’re closer to finding their mom than they’ve ever been, they set out on a journey through 19th-century Paris.
Soon, though, the twins find themselves deeply embroiled in many of the events of Paris’s interesting past. Amid the turmoil of the 19th century, the twins are left wondering how they can possibly find their mother and take her back home before their friends discover they are missing and the police are alerted to their disappearance. Meanwhile, after watching his kids disappear into thin air before his eyes, the twins’ dad, Howard, is distraught. Having already lost his wife over a year earlier, he resolves to find a way to help his family, both his children and his wife, return from the past. Join the Jongler twins on the adventure of a lifetime as they work to finally be reunited with their mother!
I tremendously enjoyed reading Blowback ’94. It has been a while since I've liked the finale of a book series as much as I do this one. The book’s plot is great, and it managed to reel me in and keep me on the edge of my seat. I especially love the use of intrigue and suspense that serves to keep the reader guessing at what is going to happen next. Another thing that really impresses me is the amount of research that clearly went into the creation of this book. Due to the remarkable use of historical figures and events, I feel the author succeeds in making an amazing historical fiction novel that stays true to many of the events of the past.
In addition to the skillful placement of historical events, the author does a great job with character development throughout this tale. I especially love seeing Arky transform from a cynical teen to a kind, generous adult as he experiences the cor anglais and the mysterious trip it sends him on. Finally, although I enjoyed the series' focus on sports in the previous books, I appreciate seeing a new aspect of the story in the music and performances of 19th-century Paris. I recommend this book to anyone, age 12 and up, who enjoys a great story that combines suspense and intrigue with time travel. Although this book can still be appreciated by those who haven’t read the previous two installments in the series, satisfaction would be much improved from having read those books first.