Review: Hourglass by Myra McEntire


Title: Hourglass

Author: Myra McEntire

Publisher: Egmont

ISBN: 978-1606841440


May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

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 wanted to like Hourglass better than I did.  I had high, high hopes for it, and to be honest, I don’t think anything could have lived up to the hype I had planted in my brain.  I was thrilled to be reading a book that was a little different, one without vampires or shape shifters, but one that still had paranormal elements, and one that might be the tiniest bit scary.  Emerson does see ghostly apparitions, and what’s not spooky about that?  I built this book up so much that it fell a bit short of my expectations.

Here’s what worked for me: Emerson is a wonderful character.  Since she can see things that nobody else can, she gets a big old crazy label slapped across her forehead.  After spending time in a mental institution, she weans herself off of her medication because she is tired of feeling like a zombie.  She is stubborn and determined, and she tells herself that she will just have to deal with the ghosts that she sees, without letting her brother and his wife know that she’s not taking her meds anymore.  While less than wise, it showed that Em is brave and that all she wants is to live a normal life like every other 17 year-old.

When her brother hires Michael to try to help her with problems, Em is surprised to learn that he’s only slightly older than she is, and that he works for the mysterious organization called Hourglass. When Em tries to dig up some information on Hourglass, Michael is less than happy with her.  In fact, he gets a little irate.  Here’s one of the things that I didn’t like: Michael.  I just never warmed up to him, or thought that he was the right guy for Emerson.  He put his own agenda ahead of helping her, and he didn’t hesitate to lie to her and manipulate her to get his way.  It is disheartening when you don’t like the soul-mate of the protagonist, and wish she would get together with his best friend instead.  Even if his best friend is a player.  Sigh.  That was one love triangle I didn’t mind, though I was hoping for a different outcome.

Without giving away too many spoilers, I will say that I loved the time-traveling aspects of the story.  Michael wants Em to help him right a terrible wrong, and save the life of a man who was murdered by going back in time and changing history.  The end result certainly wasn’t what they had hoped for, but playing with the past should never be an easy accomplishment.  There should be a price to pay, and an extremely heavy one at that.  Emerson learns the hard way that changing the past shouldn’t be undertaken lightly, and that there are worse circumstances possible, both for herself, and for her friends.

While I thought that parts of the story were sluggish and the pacing was uneven, the last 150 pages rocked out.  I couldn’t put the book down.  That was bad, because I was supposed to socializing with friends while on vacation, but all I wanted to do was disappear for a bit to polish off the rest of the book.  While I didn’t totally love this book, I am looking forward to seeing what happens next, and I hope that the momentum from the end of this installment carries over to the next one.

Grade: B-

Review copy provided by publisher

One thought on “Review: Hourglass by Myra McEntire

  • June 23, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I always have such a hard time when I have high expectations for a book because, 99% of the time, I’m let down. Happily, I did get to read this one before all the rave reviews started pouring through the blogosphere and really enjoyed it. Still, I’d agree with your grade and I’m interested to see what happens next!
    Happy reading,
    Mary @ Book Swarm

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