Sunday, May 29, 2011
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.
Beth says 4 Stars…
This book had a relatively normal concept initially that then mutated into something completely different than I expected. I found the change refreshing since I’m always a fan of unexpected directions. There were large portions of the plot that I expected… the arrival of a mysterious, yet attractive stranger. Really? I felt that it also was a bit slow to start, but definitely got into a good flow in the early middle. As far as writing style goes I thought this was a very nice first outing, with a solid base and room to grow. The settings were delightfully lush and well thought out; I could easily picture them with the vivid details given. I liked how McEntire managed to slip in the details without making them obviously placed; they felt natural.
Finally, a heroine I loved reading about! Emerson walked the line between being terrified and courageous extremely well, showing both of those sides in her personally. All of the freaking out that happened tended to the side of completely understandable and never moved into excess. She took things well and in stride, changing when it behooved her without fundamentally altering her personal identity (well, other than her concept of herself and her abilities). Of course Emerson gets into a bit of a love triangle, but it doesn’t take over the story so how odd and silly it is never becomes a major issue. Then there’s Michael, who fills about half of the stereotypes for men in paranormal romance type novels, but has a bit of something extra. Whether it’s the slightly unexpected plot turns or just something about how McEntire writes him, he evolves from the ever-so-obvious tall, dark, and broody male lead into a more interesting character. His interactions with Emerson always managed to entertain in some fashion, no matter if they were silly and casual or intensely revealing. I didn’t want to look away from the page if the two of them were on it together. The peripheral characters seemed interesting enough, and I think that over the course of the series they will deepen and become more of a presence.
Overall I thought this was a solid debut; nothing unbelievable, but very good. The pacing could have been better, but there’s a nice foundation of writing and a fantastic set up (the premise, characters, and setting) to launch a series. There’s some serious potential for epicness here, which makes this a series to watch. This is for people who like paranormal romance, but are tired of reading about vampires/werewolves/whatever else. If you’re in the mood for something that’s just inventive enough this is the book for you! I for one can’t wait for the sequel.