Author: Myra McEntire
Genre: YA Paranormal/Science Fiction
Series: Hourglass (Book 1)
Publication Date: June 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 400 Pages
ISBN-10: 1606841440 (EgmontUSA)
ISBN-13: 978-1606841440 (EgmontUSA)
Reviewed by: Macie
One hour to rewrite the past . . .
For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.
So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.
Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?
Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.
Quick and Dirty: While I loved the premise for this novel, the evolution of the characters, and especially the ending, are not as well developed as I would have liked.
Opening Sentence: My small Southern hometown is beautiful in the haunting way an aging debutante is beautiful.
Hourglass starts strong with the first person narrator, Emerson, describing her hometown and life as she is currently living it with the added factor of being able to see ghosts. She’s on the outskirts of society, and lives with her brother and his wife after the accident that took her parents. Emerson hasn’t had an easy life, but she comes across as a strong, independent teen who is trying to find out who she is despite being back in a town where she publically humiliated herself. Emerson is a likable character until she meets Michael.
Michael is a consultant from the Hourglass organization. He was hired by Emerson’s brother to help her with her ghost-seeing problems. Predictably, Michael also just happens to be the most attractive guy anyone has ever seen. Or at least it seems that way. I understand a guy being attractive, but I don’t understand Emerson’s driving need to constantly fawn over Michael.
Michael tells Em that her abilities are familiar to him, and that she could help him locate a missing member of his organization. Her ability to see ghosts, or rips as he calls them, makes finding the missing man intriguing, and not what I expected. I was pleasantly surprised. Not only do Emerson and Michael have supernatural abilities, but others who work with Hourglass do as well. Maybe finally Emerson has found a place where she could fit in. Emerson finds complications with her newfound role at Hourglass because of another girl there named Ava who is phenomenally pretty, has a past with Michael, and must hate Emerson, of course. While I totally understand creeping insecurities with a new guy when confronted with a beautiful girl from his past, Emerson only sees Ava as opposition, instead of giving her a chance, which is petty coming from a girl who is tired of others judging her unfairly. I feel that this contrived melodrama distracts from the story, even if it’s supposed to be a teen “romance” novel.
The one character that I thought was well written was Kaleb, the son of the missing man. I am leaving out certain parts of the plot because I don’t want to spoil it, but the chemistry between Kaleb and Emerson, as well as his character development that we learn through Michael talking about Kaleb’s past, and Emerson interacting with Kaleb, was the most realistic character interaction in my opinion.
The betrayal at the end of the book was certainly a cliffhanger, but it was so out of left field that I didn’t expect or really believe it. I’ll have to read the book again to see if there are any signs that would have logically lead to what happens, but it just didn’t flow well with the rest of the book. That being said, I thought the premise was interesting, and I will probably read the next installment.
My upper lip trembled, and I had an irrational desire to cry. What was my problem? I considered unloading my frustration on Thomas, but he was saved when Dru came running into the kitchen from their bedroom, waving something in her hand and screaming.
My brother jumped up from his chair, cereal forgotten as he scooped Dru into his arms. With all the laughing and crying, I couldn’t understand a word they were saying.
“Put me down, Thomas!” Giving him a smacking kiss, she wiggled until he placed her feet tenderly on the ground. I finally realized what she held in her hand.
A pregnancy test.
Several emotions passed through me as the truth hit. Gratitude, because I knew they had wanted this for a very long time. Joy, because I knew my family was expanding in the best possible way. And finally, my familiar nemesis, anxiety, because where would I live once the baby was born?
Dru must have read the concern in my face because she pulled me into a tight hug.
“Don’t worry! We’ve been holding out on renting the third loft for this very reason—in case we needed to expand. After all this time, we didn’t want to set ourselves up to be disappointed, but we couldn’t help it. Auntie Em isn’t going anywhere. Unless you want to.”
“No! No, I want to stay.” It was true. “As long as you’ll have me.”
“We want you here with us. All three of us.” Thomas reached out for my hand and gave it a quick squeeze. I hadn’t seen him this happy in a long time. And the way he looked at Dru made me feel the need to disappear.
The Hourglass Series:
FTC Advisory: EgmontUSA provided me with a copy of Hourglass. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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