Iris Jongler-Jinks is about to make her greatest discovery yet. If you want to rescue someone who’s lost in the past—DIY—do it yourself.
In Blowback ’07, Iris discovered her family’s ancient cor anglais—the Horn of Angels—that sends time voyagers to the past to heal their destinies. She’s certain it’s where her mother is—marooned in the past.
In Blowback ’63, Iris discovered that her twin brother Arky is the worst time traveler to ever century hop, much less return with good intel on where their mother might be. Now it’s Iris’s turn.
She is hurled to a time that dreams are made of. A place where her quest to find their mom throws Iris into the company of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Edgar Degas, and the most scandalous performer the Moulin Rouge has ever known.
But Iris’s mission isn’t all legends and the City of Light. Her time-travel trashing brother crashes the party. And the siren calls of the past that seem to have bewitched their mother begin to work their spellbinding magic on Iris…and even Arky.
Who will make it home? Who will find home in the past?
Meehl skillfully depicts Iris’s encounters with 19th-century chauvinism and Octavia’s angst as she struggles with the implications of her experiments and plans involving the instrument. Less believable is the romance between Arky and Chloe, a young ballerina whose mother hopes she will become a courtesan. Arky’s shy thoughts about Chloe, especially when she is posing naked for Edgar Degas, feel a little too coy for a modern teenager, and the villainy of Chloe’s wealthy protector, the ironically named Sansfaute, too loudly foreshadows that subplot’s conclusion.
Paris comes alive as the twins interact with historical figures such as Degas, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and one of the Moulin Rouge’s most unique talents: the famous flatulist Le Pétomane. There’s plenty of excitement as hidden agendas are revealed. Fans of the series will love this final installment, in which adventure is the spoonful of sugar that makes history and science go down easily.
Takeaway: Teens with a yen for historical adventures will delight in this tale of 21st-century American twins visiting 1894 Paris.
Great for fans of Lisa Tawn Bergren’s River of Time series, Julie Cross’s Tempest series.
Design and typography: B
Marketing copy: B