by Myra McEntire
Original Publication Date: June 14, 2011
Length: 390 pages
Publisher: Egmont USA
Obtained Via: Won
Format Read In: Ebook
Purchase on Amazon:Hourglass
View at the Traffic light:
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 also 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’ve happened?
It’s no secret around these parts that I love time travel novels, but I have to admit that Hourglass started off quite slow for me. I think a lot of this had to do with Emerson, or Em, the main character. Em is often bratty, oblivious, and sarcastic in a mean way. She tends to alienate the people around her, and only really has one friend at the start of the novel. These traits are understandable, given her history–her parents died before the book began and she’s been institutionalized for her ability–but it doesn’t make her character any easier to read about on paper. Once we met some other people in Hourglass, things definitely picked up and more of Em’s good traits–like her intelligence–came to the surface.
I really loved the sibling dynamic between Em and her brother. Sibling stories are my favorites, and while the relationship between Em and her brother is different than most since he’s her legal guardian, it’s easy to tell how much Thomas and Em love and rely on each other. For part of the story, Em’s brother is out of the picture, but it was clear to see how much Em really cared about her family and friends.
The actual time travel in Hourglass isn’t quite my favorite system of time travel that I’ve read, but it seemed complicated enough to be realistic(well, as realistic as we get when we talk about time travel), but simplistic enough to wrap my brain around. There’s definitely some real theories in Hourglass, which I found interesting. Despite one of the plot points being terribly convenient, I didn’t mind or even notice until after I finished reading. Em realizes early on in the story she can time travel with Michael, the agent from Hourglass she meets first. It’s a pretty simple system(though a little more complicated than that), and their experiences were exhilarating and heart-pounding.
And talk about twist I didn’t see! If you’re read my reviews before, you probably know I don’t mind predictable plots because I tend to see twist pretty early on in the story. Well, there’s really two major twists in the story I can think off of the top of my head, and while I saw one very early, the other took me by surprise. We’re talking jaw-on-the-floor type of reaction, and what made it even more perfect was that once it had been revealed, it was a twist that made sense. Hourglass toyed with my emotions and my mind, and at the end I thanked the book for it.
However, there were a few things that bothered me in Hourglass. One was the tension between Em and Michael. Because their basically two halves of a time travel pair, there’s an attraction to each other right away. This is explained in the book as being a normal thing for people with this abilities, which, okay, I get. But that doesn’t mean I as a reader buy their chemistry. They had never really had to work on that, and I lost out as a reader because of that. I want to see the slow-burn stuff up to attraction, not just BAM, these characters like each other. I will say I thought Hourglass did a good job of not making this annoying insta-love, but it does sort of border on that. The second thing was that there’s a hint of a love triangle I thought was totally unnecessary.
Hourglass took a bit to get me hook, but once I was invested, I was all in. I wanted to know what happened to Em and Michael and if they would succeed. I did have a few problems with the romance, and I wasn’t the biggest fan of Em at the beginning, but the way it all came together in the end made my minor annoyances totally worth that. 4/5 cupcakes.