Where do I start? This book had so much going in it that oftentimes, it was more confusing than it was entertaining. Time travel is not an easy subject to write about, but I think it’s safe to say that David Lomax did a fairly decent job with the whole “backward glass” concept and the idea of kids from several different years grouping together to figure out the chilling myth of Prince Harming, as well as to save an unknown baby.
Backward Glass was surprisingly original. I expected this to be more of a science-fiction read rather than a suspenseful mystery, but it turned out that the latter worked just as well. One of my favorite aspects was how everything seemed like a whole mess in the beginning — and trust me, it wasn’t very easy to navigate through that mess at first — but then Lomax began to reveal the puzzle pieces bit by bit, and everything started to fall into place. I applaud Lomax for being able to spin such a complicated and complex story that made sense in a twisted kind of way.
But here is also where the book’s biggest fault lies. I felt that I was kept in the dark for most of the book. I had no idea what was going on, other than the general gist that Kenny and his friends were supposed to save a certain unidentified baby, but that was it. While this may be a positive thing in certain cases, there were several instances where the explanations were too rushed, or too jumbled up for me to understand, and I wound up having to re-read several pages over again — and still not get what the characters were talking about, or how they came to that conclusion. That took away a lot of the enjoyment, because it got so bad that I wanted to give up on the book right then and there.
Fortunately, that’s the only big problem I had with Backward Glass. The characters were all realistically fleshed-out, and the many plot twists definitely helped a lot with the suspense that was already coursing through its pages. Honestly, by the end of it all, I was feeling a little emotionally overwhelmed because Kenny wouldn’t get to see his friends for another decade (the mirror only opens on years that end with a 7), and there’s nothing sadder than having to return back to a normal life and leave all your adventures and fond memories behind. Overall, definitely a recommended book for those looking for a time-travel book with a spin!
After that fantastical cover, I have to admit that I was looking forward to a kickass story with dragons. Dragons set in the modern world, just in case it wasn’t clear enough. But what I got instead was a story with bland characters, insta-love, and a very cliche plot.
The characters were… boring, to say the least. I’d expected more from both Connor and Caleb, since they were people sent from the future to stop a horrendous apocalypse from happening. That meant that they had all kinds of fancy gadgets which made appearances when it was convenient, but other than that, remained absent for the drama. Caleb was supposed to be the bad boy: “cocky, undisciplined, and obsessed with saving dragons.” Only the last part is true. Once he was introduced to Trinity, any traces of cockiness and indiscipline he might have had — which I never once saw — vanished and he turned exactly into an almost exact replica of Connor. It’s a wonder I didn’t get them mixed up. The two boys spend so much time marveling over Trinity’s beauty, but the author never truly described her, or what made her so alluring. And to be honest, I found her a little annoying. The book says she’s selfless and strong, but all I could see was a weak character who had a thing for lip biting. Ew.
The romance wasn’t that much better either. Within hours of their first meeting, Connor and Trinity ended up kissing each other, and Trinity started experiences all these cheesy thoughts and feelings for him. A virtual stranger. Who supposedly came from the future. If that doesn’t scream “untrustable!” then I don’t know what does. I wasn’t surprised when the romance developed into a full-fledged love triangle that was totally unnecessary.
The plot, too, turned out almost as I’d expected: cult group does something stupid > Trinity finds out the truth > misguided love interest realizes that he’s been misguided > book ends with the cult group on the loose > sequel time — yay! (No.)