Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT



From the The Blowback Trilogy series , Vol. 3

A family-centered time-travel adventure with a lot of heart.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

This YA novel concludes a time-travel trilogy with a trip back to belle epoque Paris.

High school junior and music nerd Iris Jongler-Jinks has already accidentally used her family’s heirloom cor anglais (an English horn) to send people back to 1907 and 1863. The latter trip, taken by her twin brother, Arky, was supposed to help them find their mother, the missing astrophysicist Dr. Octavia Jongler. But Arky came back empty-handed. Now it’s finally Iris’ turn. When the so-called Horn of Angels begins to play on its own, the mists that flow from it carry her back to Paris in 1894, at the height of the belle epoque. The only problem is that Arky has somehow traveled back with her: “It wasn’t fair. He’d had his time voyage; why did he have to spoil hers?” Luckily, they quickly get wind of a Madame Jongler who performs as a spider woman at the famous Moulin Rouge. They are finally reunited with Octavia, but bringing her back to the present is not so simple. “While a Jongler can use the cor anglais to send a troubled soul to the past,” goes the legend, “the voyager must discover what’s needed from the past on their own.” Stuck in one of the past’s most colorful locales, the twins must find the lesson that they’re all supposed to learn before they can go home—if they even want to go home at all. Meehl’s prose mixes humor with sumptuous period details: “When the out-of-control bicyclist just missed an elderly man in the street, the old man shook his cane at the two-wheeled terrorist and yelled, ‘There should be a law against those damn machines!’ ” The novel features the requisite appearances by period figures like Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec, and fans of the series will enjoy watching Iris excitedly imbibe the culture and music of the City of Light. Though the pace sometimes feels a bit slow, the world is rich enough—and the characters entertaining enough—to carry this tale to a conclusion that should satisfy those who have been with the indefatigable Jongler-Jinkses all along.

A family-centered time-travel adventure with a lot of heart.

Pub Date: March 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-9857114-2-9

Page Count: 409

Publisher: Twisko Press

Review Posted Online: March 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020


Ideal for readers seeking perspectives on war, with a heavy dash of romance and touch of fantasy.

A war between gods plays havoc with mortals and their everyday lives.

In a time of typewriters and steam engines, Iris Winnow awaits word from her older brother, who has enlisted on the side of Enva the Skyward goddess. Alcohol abuse led to her mother’s losing her job, and Iris has dropped out of school and found work utilizing her writing skills at the Oath Gazette. Hiding the stress of her home issues behind a brave face, Iris competes for valuable assignments that may one day earn her the coveted columnist position. Her rival for the job is handsome and wealthy Roman Kitt, whose prose entrances her so much she avoids reading his articles. At home, she writes cathartic letters to her brother, never posting them but instead placing them in her wardrobe, where they vanish overnight. One day Iris receives a reply, which, along with other events, pushes her to make dramatic life decisions. Magic plays a quiet role in this story, and readers may for a time forget there is anything supernatural going on. This is more of a wartime tale of broken families, inspired youths, and higher powers using people as pawns. It flirts with clichéd tropes but also takes some startling turns. Main characters are assumed White; same-sex marriages and gender equality at the warfront appear to be the norm in this world.

Ideal for readers seeking perspectives on war, with a heavy dash of romance and touch of fantasy. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-85743-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023


A dark and gripping feminist tale.

A young woman faces her past to discover the truth about one of her nation’s heroes.

When Effy Sayre, the only female architecture student at her university in Llyr, wins the competition to design Hiraeth Manor for the estate of the late Emrys Myrddin, national literary figure and her favorite author, it is the perfect opportunity to leave behind a recent trauma. She arrives to find the cliffside estate is literally crumbling into the ocean, and she quickly realizes things may not be as they seem. Preston, an arrogant literature student, is also working at the estate, gathering materials for the university’s archives and questioning everything Effy knows about Myrddin. When Preston offers to include her name on his thesis—which may allow her to pursue the dream of studying literature that was frustrated by the university’s refusal to admit women literature students—Effy agrees to help him. He’s on a quest for answers about the source of Myrddin’s most famous work, Angharad, a romance about a cruel Fairy King who marries a mortal woman. Meanwhile, Myrddin’s son has secrets of his own. Preston and Effy start to suspect that Myrddin’s fairy tales may hold more truth than they realize. The Welsh-inspired setting is impressively atmospheric, and while some of the mythology ends up feeling extraneous, the worldbuilding is immersive and thoughtfully addresses misogyny and its effects on how history is written. Main characters are cued white.

A dark and gripping feminist tale. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2023

ISBN: 9780063211506

Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023

Close Quickview