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Review: Hourglass

June 14, 2011

Title: Hourglass
Author: Myra McEntire
Publisher: Egmont USA
Pub Date: June 14, 2011
Pages: 397
Format: Fire & Ice ARC Tour (Thank you SO MUCH!!)

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?–Goodreads

With Hourglass, debut author extraordinaire Myra McEntire balances science fiction, romance, and a coming-of-age story in one seamless, effortless package. McEntire’s prose are conversational, funny, and completely packed with Southern colloquialisms—something that makes my little Southern expat heart go pitter-patter—and she crafts and develops characters so fully that they seem to transcend the page.

The fabulously named main character, Emerson, is quite possibly one of my favorite female protagonists, oh, ya know, ever. (Really, she’s right on up there with Elizabeth Bennett, Anne Shirley, and Georgia Nicholson.) She’s sure of herself despite not knowing what she’s capable of, she’s full of a soft Southern toughness that proves she can take care of herself, but also draws people to her, and she is sarcastic and witty in a way that is endearing and not alienating. The mystery surrounding her ability to see things from the past just makes her all that more intriguing, even if it does mess with her head and make her go a tidbit bonkers from time to time.

But Hourglass isn’t just about Emerson—in addition to some very Doctor Who-esque sci-fi stuff, there’s also a boy. Michael Weaver, the Hourglass consultant that Em’s loving and attentive brother, Thomas, hires to help his sister work out her visions of things from the past, is a little, well, disarming. He’s young, handsome, mysterious, and has a more-than-professional interest in our (awesome) main character. AND he’s a man who knows how to apologize. Ladies, take a lesson from this book—a man should always bring flowers, preferably pink peonies, when apologizing.

But the great thing about Emerson is that, though she admits to her only friend, Lily, that she and Michael have an instant chemistry and that he is very attractive, Em doesn’t even think about her romantic feelings for him until the book is almost over. In fact, Em kind of avoids him for a good bit of the book because she’s a little freaked out by him. Because of the intensely traumatic things she has been through—and often sees—Em finds it hard to trust people, and refuses to let herself succumb to Michael’s charms despite the fact that she wants to. She’s a smart girl, that Emerson.

Now that’s not to say that there aren’t any steamy, sexual tension laden passages—there definitely are. Michael will have you all swoony and on his side, and then BAM. McEntire introduces you to Kaleb, another member of the intriguing Hourglass organization.

Oh Kaleb.

Where Michael is level-headed, careful, and self-less, Kaleb is. Mmm. He’s the bad boy. Me likey the bad boys. He’s everything a girl shouldn’t want in a guy—the exact combination of troubled, reckless, charming, and physically intimidating that just makes a girl lose her head, let down her guard, and get her heart trampled on. But Emerson seems to be just the girl Kaleb needs to get him out of his downward spiral, which makes for some delicious sexual tension between the pair.

When we realize exactly what it is Emerson can do—and how she fits in with the Hourglass organization—we also realize that Michael has a secret agenda that involves our lovely Miss Emerson. A secret agenda that involves some very large, very severe risks, and that requires a lot of sacrifice on one person’s part.

By the end of Hourglass, not only will you be BLOWN AWAY by the intricately plotted story, but you’ll be so in love with the characters that you’ll miss them. McEntire leaves Emerson in a place where she has both learned more about herself and is more confused about herself than ever. You’ll be satisfied with the story, but yearning for the next book in the series . . . which doesn’t come out until next year.

It’s going to be a loooong year.

Y’all. I’ve really refrained from writing this entire review in all caps and exclamation points and random characters to convey my excitement. So now I’m going to allow myself to freak out a little.


*dances around the room, with book*

I want to kiss it. In fact, I have kissed my finished copy of it. Several times. Perhaps I should marry it.

So now I will re-read Hourglass until I have it memorized, and will pimp this book until you have ALL read it. Because it is THAT good.


In fact. I love it so much that I’m going to guy buy a second copy and do a giveaway!

If you want to WIN A COPY of Hourglass (and you do), fill out the form below!

[Giveaway is now closed. But if you want a copy (and you do), you can purchase Hourglass here.]

9 Comments leave one →
  1. June 29, 2011 10:59 AM

    "I REALLY FREAKING LOVE THIS BOOK WITH A DEEP, DEEP, BURNING PASSION!!!!!!*dances around the room, with book*"-now I gotta read this!!! 🙂 Great review!

  2. June 20, 2011 10:32 PM

    I want this book on my shelf!

  3. June 20, 2011 5:59 PM

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway. Your enthusiasm for the book has made me want to read it!


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