Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hourglass - Myra McEntire

Title: Hourglass
Author: Myra McEntire
Publisher: Egmont, 2011 (Hardcover)
Length: 390 pages
Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy, Science Fiction
Started: September 16, 2011
Finished: September 20, 2011

From Goodreads.com:
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.

I have to admit, I picked this book up purely because of cover-lust, it's absolutely gorgeous. Sadly, the actual book wasn't quite as satisfying even though I really really wanted to like it.

Emerson is 17 years old and since her parents passed away 4 years ago, she now lives with her brother and his wife. Since her parents' death, she's also been able to see what she thinks are ghosts from past time periods, and her brother has been trying to find someone to help her deal with this ability. When her brother hires Michael for the job, Emerson falls for him hard and fast. He belongs to an organization called Hourglass, and explains to Emerson that what she's seeing aren't actually ghosts per se, she's seeing time rips, images of people from the past while they were still alive, kind of like poking your head through into an alternate universe while still walking around in ours. He also drops the bomb that she can see these rips because she can travel back in time, just as Michael can see time rips from the future. When the two are combined, in a very cheesy "we were destined to be together" cliche, they can travel to the past or the future. Michael convinces Emerson to help him save the life of his mentor, who was killed 6 months ago, but there are risks they need to face...

This book has a decent enough concept, I'm all for a unique spin on time travel, but this whole plot seemed rushed from the start. Since it felt rushed with not a lot of information given or fleshed out, the plot seemed unrealistic and unbelievable. You have some decent powers that relate to time travel but then lead in with a cheesy romance where the girl and guy fall for each other way too quickly for it to be believable, and the guy is obviously hiding things from the girl and she knows it and she doesn't kick him to the curb for it! Plus the 'special powers' school screams 'X-Men', which, although I love X-Men, I hate it when every special school portrayed in fiction falls into that cliche without some personality of its own to stand on.

However, there were a few things I did like. Emerson seemed like a pretty good character at first, but she suffers once the romance element is introduced, she completely turns into that YA spineless, senseless heroine that I hate, which is unfortunate, I thought she was pretty spunky in the beginning. I also was really intrigued by Kaleb, not necessarily by his role as the other guy in the love triangle, but just himself as a character since he is an empath and was portrayed very sympathetically (plus he's a bit of a playboy, but a goodhearted one, so he's okay in my books).

Not as good as I was hoping for, but there were some good points. I will probably pick up the sequel to see if things improve in the next installment.

Thoughts on the cover:
It's sad the book itself was disappointing, 'cause the cover is freaking beautiful. I love the curve and angle of the cover model, how it looks like she's suspended in motion as a gust of wind whipped through her hair and clothing (I had to turn the book around to "get" the clue in the picture).

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