What the back of the book says:
Seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole has been plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death. 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.
Here’s what I say:
I’ve been looking forward to reading this book ever since it came across my radar. I love time travel as a plot device, and Hourglass has a great premise–girl with a special talent, gorgeous guy with the answers, secret organization of secretly talented individuals…
This was a quite enjoyable read, and I think that readers of light paranormals like Hex Hall or Paranormalcy will really love it, especially if they like a strong dose of romance with their SFF. Emerson was a likable heroine with a compelling backstory, and McEntire has a nice touch with the world building (the timey-wimey stuff, to quote Doctor Who), giving enough to convey understanding and internal consistency, without weighing things down.
The main focus in this book is on relationships. I really liked Emerson’s brother and sister-in-law and her friend Lily, but of course, the big draw here will be the love interest, Michael. He’s mysterious and infuriating and compelling, as a romantic interest should be. I think teen readers will find that most enjoyable.
The science fiction-slash-mystery-slash-adventure part of the plot picks up in the second half, and for me that’s where I was drawn in. There were some very nice twists and surprises, and I appreciate that McEntire gives a satisfying ending here, even though there are a number of threads that will obviously continue into the sequel.
I do feel like more time could have been given earlier to learning about the Hourglass and how you actually travel through time. If you don’t like the romance stuff, you might get frustrated in the middle, where more time is spent worrying about boy-girl stuff, past the point where I thought they should be training for the big dangerous thing they needed to do.
That said, the boy-girl stuff was nicely done, and WILL satisfy those who DO like that sort of thing. And I admit, not everyone loves ye olde training montage like I do.
A highly readable high concept novel that will please lovers of romance and light paranormal adventure.
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