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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass


Friday, May 20, 2011

Review: Hourglass

Hourglass (ARC) by Myra McEntire
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Pub. Date: June 14th, 2011
Pages: 397
Series: Hourglass, #1
Age Level: 14+
Source: For review from publisher.


Synopsis via Goodreads
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.

Review
From the very first pages, Hourglass completely sucked me in with it's charming Southern locale and sassy wit. I knew then that I was going to thoroughly relish this story.

To start with, I absolutely loved and adored Emerson. Here are just a couple of brief reasons why. She has a rock awesome name. She's short. Girlfriend has got some serious spunk. As a fellow short person in arms, I'm always delighted to see a strong, feisty heroine with a less than average height. Em has also been through a lot and one of the things that I loved about her was that she didn't simply tough it out and persevere. No, she fell apart first, lost it, and had a long road of pain and healing to get through before she could even begin to feel whole again. After all, isn't that how this stuff is supposed to work? For this, Emerson felt so real and her emotions raw and tangible, a character anyone who's suffered loss, or even a brush with crazy, could relate too. Don't get me wrong, she had her flaws too, such as being stubborn and impulsive, but she was all the better for it. Now for the guys. *waggles eyebrows* First is Michael and he and Em share not only an instant connection, but an ability as well. I liked Michael pretty well, he was usually sweet, sometimes funny, and, let's not forget, had dashing good looks. However he occasionally felt a little...lacking to me and he annoyed me some when it came to how he was with Emerson. Then we have Kaleb. Can you say YUM? His connection with Emerson felt more grounded in something substantial, the loss and pain that they've experienced. That and Kaleb has personality and charm in spades, not to mention I felt he was more adequately layered with a perfect balance of flaws and attributes. When he first truly took on his role in the story I was like, "Forget Michael." Hourglass also boasted some wonderful supporting characters. Two of my favorites were Em's supportive and caring brother and sister-in-law, Thomas and Dru. Then there were others like Cat, Lily, Ava, and Jack.

It isn't often that I come across a book that I feel is truly unique and unlike anything I've ever read before. They are out there though and Hourglass just happens to be one of them. In this story I'm presented with people who not just have what at first appear to be paranormal abilities, but there are also scientific explanations behind them. Throw in some time travel for good measure and you get a harmonious combination of sci-fi and paranormal elements. There was a consistent level of mystery and suspense throughout the entire book as well as background information and important details being revealed at well-timed intervals so as to further the plot without making it drag. Also included were some excellent twists, a couple of which I saw coming, the thing with Cat, and a few others I so totally didn't, the thing with Jack and with Michael.

From the very first paragraph, McEntire's gorgeous writing style completely captivated me. Seriously, if you have Hourglass in your possession, pick it up and read the first paragraph. McEntire's descriptions are beautiful, poetic even, and her dialogue is impeccably witty and well crafted. The story flows smoothly at the perfect pace and the short chapters had me going, "Just one more chapter." time and time again.

In general, I felt pretty satisfied with the ending as it left me craving more but it wasn't a jaw-dropping, claw-my eyes-out cliffhanger. Here's the thing though, earlier on there's this major twist in the story and I remember thinking how gutsy of a move it was for McEntire to do that. However, Em then goes and fixes said thing and I'm like, "No! That's just too easy. Why?" Honestly, I think I could have liked the twist if it had stayed the way it was. What? Yes yes, I'm sure those of you who've read Hourglass are glaring at me like I'm the most awful person in the world. Well guess what? *glares right back* Seriously, it would have been a very different and bold move, in my honest opinion, but ah well. The ending still worked out to my content.

All in all, Hourglass is a stunning, refreshing debut that should by no means be overlooked. I highly recommend this one to everybody desiring something new and different from the usual paranormal or sci-fi story and to anyone who just wants to read something terrific. McEntire is a very impressive and talented creator of stories and I expect wonderful things from her in the future. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book!

Grade
Characters: B+
Writing: A+
Plot: A-
Ending: B
1st in Series: B+
Enjoyment/Likability: B+
Recommendable: A-

Overall: B+/A-

Cover: C+
(I know everyone loves it but just kinda eh for me. Love the concept but feel execution could have been a bit better.)


Buy Hourglass, like, NOW:
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6 comments:

Taschima Cullen said...

Love this book! <3 Very glad you liked it too!!

scarletkira said...

I so want to read this book now. And about the cover, at first, I didn't realize she was walking on the run and when I did, it just made me love the cover.

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

I wish I was one of those people who could glare at you, but I haven't read Hourglass yet :(

I was instantly captivated with the description for this one and I cannot wait to read it. Emerson sounds like my kind of gal (short girls unite!) and the boys, oh the boys! I'm not gonna lie, I love a book with some sexy boys and I'm very thankful to Myra for including two. Great review!

Lizzy said...

I really enjoyed this one, too! I definitely agree about Michael, it always annoys me when characters push their love interest away "for their protection."

Suzy Turner said...

WOW... its startlingly clear how much you enjoyed this book. I added it to my TBR list a little while ago and I still haven't had the chance to buy it but after reading your review and think I'll have to bump it to the top!
Thanks for such a great review.
Best wishes
Suzy Turner, YA urban fantasy author
http://suzyturner.blogspot.com

Shannon the BookStalker said...

Oh my gosh I'm such a dork, I just commented that I couldn't wait to read this review and here it is, LOL! I'm so glad you enjoyed it and now I'm desperate to know what the twist in the story is! Great review!

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Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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