Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Review: Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Series: Hourglass (#1)
Pages: 397
Publisher: Egmont USA
Published: June 14th, 2011
IBSN: 9781606841440

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?

Hourglass is Myra McEntire's debut novel, a contemporary timeslip romance that felt aptly reminiscent of the past.

Emerson's been seeing strange nostalgic apparitions, of southern belles and jazz bands and the like. She's tried everything to stop seeing these things that aren't there, but nothing seems to work, until she meets the mysterious Michael, who sees them all too.

Emerson was a relatable as a protagonist -- feisty as front against all she's endured, but caring and kind beneath it. Though she could get annoyingly in-your-face at times, it was easy to understand where she was coming from. The ordeals she suffered through, revealed in parts, disposed us to feel sympathetic for her, and especially after the ending twist.

The beginning was slow, but it eventually gained momentum and reached a fast-paced climax. The time-travelling component to this story was cleverly done, and most of the strict rules and guidelines to using their talents the characters made were understandable. Some of the characters' concerns about manipulating time were things I never would have thought of -- they were remarkably level-headed about the situation.

Though, some of their self-imposed rules were frustrating -- like the boundaries Michael put on his and Emerson's relationship, seemingly without reason. Their romance was great, and their chemistry strong, and I was rooting for them the whole way, but I couldn't see what was stopping them.

The ending came with a twist awkwardly revealed but intriguing none-the-less. The conclusion achieved the right balance between problems solved and problems left to be addressed for a first book in a series. It leaves us anxious for the next book without employing a cheap cliffhanger.

Overall, Hourglass was an engaging and unique paranormal romance, though frustrating at moments. I do look forward to the rest of the series.

I give Hourglass a 3 out of 5.