Falling BAKward is another of YA sci-fi author Henry Melton's novels.
Jerry isn't the most social, athletic guy at his high school. But he has recently begun an interest in archaeology and exploring. That why when he notices an oddly perfect round patch of darker soil in his father's farming fields in a satellite image, he's curious. Soon enough he is digging - but what he finds isn't what he expects. Instead of Indian artifacts, he finds bones. But the bones... they aren't human. And they aren't from any animal he recognizes either.
This discovery is one Jerry quickly becomes obsessed with. But his obsession may put him in danger as he digs deeper and deeper - unearthing, perhaps, even answers to family mysteries that have been lingering for years, such as why his father's right hand is fingerless, why his uncle and dad rarely speak, and why the local Sheriff is always seeming to spy on him and his family.
But Jerry's going to find a whole lot more than that. Trust me.
Right off the bat, small-town intrigues and family secrets seem to be simmering below the surface of Falling BAKward. And Henry Melton spotlights this story around yet another underrepresented group in YA literature - the farming community. With a sci-fi spin, of course.
Though Falling BAKward starts a little slow, I was intrigued enough by the hinted mysteries to be patient. Not to mention I have read enough Henry Melton books to know that patience is usually rewarded. And it was.
I am truly astonished by the intricacy of Melton's writing - intricacy that could be taken as tedious to some or fascinating to others. I tend to be far closer to the fascinated end of the spectrum. I think most science fiction fans would be.
Falling BAKward has an interesting mix of survival and exploration in its plot and smart characters that make understandable decisions. Though it might not be as big of a blockbuster to me personally as some of Melton's other books, it is expertly plotted and intelligently written.
But as the novel began to reach its Jurassic Park-level tension in the climax, my questioning of it being a blockbuster was silenced. With its shades of the black-and-white, classic television series The Outer Limits and shock of unexpectedly heartrending moments, all of that focused detail lead to a surprisingly satisfying read!
Falling BAKward became quite exhilarating as I got farther and farther into it - another winner for sure! I believe you will find Henry Melton's ability to create aliens that are terrifying, violent threats and aliens that are utterly adorable to be as amazing as I did. Find out for yourself, bookworm!