Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review: ‘Hourglass’ by Myra McEntire


“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?”
(Amazon.com Blurb)

First off, this book has the most amazing cover! 


The author must have been ecstatic when she saw it. 

Secondly, the story held up to my already high expectations.  Yay!  Hourglass is the coolest mix of ghost story and time travel.  The beings from the past that seventeen-year-old Emerson sees are not dead so much as ripples from another time period.  Such an original idea!  Of course, Emerson doesn’t know this until her brother hires a consultant, Michael Weaver, to try to help her deal with the visions. 

I liked Emerson as a character.  The combination of her visions and her parents’ deaths sent her in and out of mental institutions from the time she was thirteen, so by the time the story opens with her returning to regular school, we can see how lonely and damaged she is.  When Michael is able to see the same visions she can, Emerson finally feels a connection with someone. 

Which leads us to the love story...  Honestly, I liked it, but something was lacking…sexual tension maybe?  I totally got why Emerson would be so into Michael, but I didn’t get enough on his side to make it fully believable.  One minute, he would act indifferent to her and the next he is wanting to kiss her.  I wish there had been just a little more to make the romance go from good to great.

My biggest problem with the story—and this is really more of a comment on the whole genre than just this book—I hate it when one character tells the main character not to do something because of danger and the person does it anyway.  In this story, Michael warns Emerson not to follow him several times, but she does anyway.  This has the predictable outcome of making the situation worse and causing Emerson to seem like a stalker.  I get that authors do this to move the plot along, but it’s getting a bit cliché.  Sorry, it just is.

Now, I don’t want you to think that this one thing turned me off on the whole book.  I actually liked this book a lot!  It was smart and exciting, had a bit of mystery with the murder of Michael’s mentor.  The ending had a twist on it that I didn’t see coming.  I’m sure there will be a sequel, and I plan to be first in line at my local bookstore when it comes out!

Overall, I give Hourglass

Plot – 4 ½ bookmarks
Character Development – 4 bookmarks
Love Story – 4 ½ bookmarks (could easily been a 5 with a little more spark)
World Building – 4 ½ bookmarks (Very smart & inventive)
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) – Taylor Swift (Emerson), Grey Damon (Michael), Alexis Knapp (Ava), Beau Mirchoff (Kaleb), Shenae Grimes (Lily)

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