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Monday, August 22, 2011

Review: HOURGLASS by Myra McEntire

I'll admit -- I was spellbound by the cover and by Myra's sweet personality, so I've been itching to read this book for a long time even though I had no idea what a "time slip novel" was.  It was another awesome read that I got to soak up on my vacation and I really, really liked it.

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.

Emerson wasn't a character that I immediately loved.  She was a little too grumpy and didn't seem to enjoy her cool gift of being able to see people from the past.  Then we find out why, and Emerson grows into this girl who I wanted to be friends with.  She's smart and sassy and has some really cool people in her life who support her.  Her biggest fault IMO was how headstrong she was -- if someone asked her not to do something, she barely paused before doing it anyway.

Then Michael enters the picture.  Now I know, that whole "electric charge" running between them might seem cliche, but you've not seen it like this before -- a real, light bulb-breaking charge that pulses to life whenever they touch.  I'd say break out the candles (since the light bulbs have all exploded), but Michael continues to push Em away even as we as readers sense that he wants to be with her.  We know he's keeping secrets, but we still inherently root for the two of them to get together.

I don't want to give away any spoilers, so it's hard for me to really get into the plot too much.  The bottom line is that Em is the last key needed to time travel into the past to stop a murder -- and that not everyone we meet along the way is as good or as bad as they might first appear.  The plot has some major twists at the end and while your heart will be wrenched out at times, the novel concludes wonderfully.

Even if sci-fi isn't your thing (it's not typically mine), if you like UF or paranormal, you should really enjoy Hourglass.  Since the time travel aspects are embedded into each character's personality (much like magic would be for a witch or shifting would be for a were), this novel doesn't have a back-to-the-future, load-up-the-time-machine feel to it at all. (Rejoicing!)
I give this novel 3 out of 4 Greek coins -- a URA* rating.  I'd heartily recommend it to anyone who loves paranormal YA.


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