Hourglass (Hourglass #1) by Myra McEntire
Published: 14 June 2011 by Egmont USA
Pages: 387 (hardcover)
Genre/s: YA, Paranormal
Source: Own Library
Check it Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ The Book Depository
More Info: Myra McEntire's website
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?
The cover of Hourglass is undeniably pretty. And the synopsis doesn't sound that bad either - ghosts, a dark mysterious guy, time travel?
Seventeen-year-old Emerson has a difficult past, her parents were killed in a tragic accident, she suffered a series of halluciations and was sectioned after concerns over her mental health. Upon her release she is sent to live with her brother and sister-in-law, and her brother seeks help from Michael, who belongs to an organisation dedicated to helping teens.
I really liked Emerson - she was sarcastic, smart and courageous, although at times it was more stupidity than bravery, but that made her more likeable as she isn't perfect. Her personality reflects her troubled past - her sarcasm is a defensive wall and her habit of latching on to anyone that shows her attention is a side effect of missing a large chunk of her teenage years.
My biggest issue with this book was Michael - yes, Emerson goes a little ga-ga over his looks, but he has the personality of a wet fish. That was caught three weeks ago. There was no point in Hourglass when I felt any time of connection, sympathy or admiration for him - he was simply a catalyst for Emerson, nothing more.
The supporting characters really needed some more fleshing - Emerson's best friend fades in and out of the story, rather than being a big part of Emerson's life, and the baddies are not really all that threatening. The exception to this rule is Kaleb, who Ms. McEntire has written perfectly - the bad-boy-because-of-trauma character with a smart-arsed but endearing attitude, who just needs a good woman to take care of him - typical but not cliched.
I also found the lack of creepiness from the ghosts quite disappointing, as there was some potential for some serious freaky moments that just seemed to be glossed over. This would have given the book more body and a more wide-ranging appeal.
The storyline itself is fairly simplistic and easy to read - there is some science behind the time-travel abilities that some characters possess, but not enough to bog down the story. The writing is the same - simplistic but effective, and Hourglass is a quick read.
Despite my reservations over some of the main, and secondary, characters Hourglass was an enjoyable read.