Monday, August 8, 2011

Review: Hourglass by Myra McEntire

By: Myra McEntire
Published By: Egmont USA
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Series: Hourglass (#1)
Pages: 397
Genre: Paranormal / Sci-Fi
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads Summary: 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.

The possibility of time travel is always fascinating, but it raises a lot of questions. What would the rules be, and would anybody be able to travel? These are some of the questions Myra McEntire explores in Hourglass, all within the confines of a small southern town, an institute designed to protect the secrets of time manipulation, and a budding romance.

Ever since her parents died, Emerson has had a rough time. But even before the accident, she had begun to see people from the past, people who would disappear if she touched them. After being hospitalized and spending two years away at boarding school, she has to come home to live with her brother and his wife. Her brother has hired a new consultant from the Hourglass Institute, Michael, who is supposed to help her with her "gift." But not only do Em's visions of people from the past get stronger, but also she finds herself attracted to Michael, and the tension between them is hard to ignore. As she learns more about herself and her gift, she becomes caught up in the world of Hourglass and all of the people there. She discovers that she isn't alone; other people have time-related abilities, and yes, time travel is possible. When Michael asks her to help him change the past, Emerson has to decide if she's willing to risk her life so that others can live.

First of all, I loved the premise of Hourglass. It is fresh and inventive, and it explores science fiction in a way that isn't overly technical. I enjoyed delving into this world and learning about the different abilities that McEntire created. I also loved Emerson's voice. She's smart, sharp, and snarky, which was by turns amusing and frustrating when she used her razor tongue to keep people away. Then there were the guys - Michael, the Hourglass consultant, and his best friend Kaleb. Michael was the obvious hero, with his brooding nature and devastating looks, but I actually found myself more drawn to Kaleb; he had a much more interesting history, and he made no secret about his feelings for Emerson. Kaleb was at times the bad boy and at other times the boy next door, and I couldn't help but feel sympathy for him.

However, as much as I wanted to love this book, I didn't. It may have been because of the hype, but I wasn't blown away like I thought I would be. The last 100 pages were riveting, with constant surprises and intense emotional scenes, but before that I was at times confused, frustrated, and left wanting more. While I liked Emerson, the relationship between her and Michael didn't come alive for me. I wanted their relationship to grow instead of jumping from tension and avoidance to love. That being said, I am curious to see where McEntire will take this story in the sequel.

Hourglass was an inventive debut novel that brings a new voice and a different story to the paranormal genre. Complete with romance, secrets, and time travel, Hourglass is definitely worth the read.


  1. Oh! Sounds like I've got to make time to read this ASAP. Curious about Emerson... but will probably hate having to wait for the next one.

  2. Thanks for the review. I have been wondering about this one.

    Andrea @ Reading Lark


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