Author: Myra McEntire
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Publisher: Egmont USA
To Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there, like Southern Belles and jazz trios that vanish in an instant. Plagued by these apparitions since the death of her parents, Emerson just wants them to stop. She wants to be normal again. So when her brother brings her a consultant from a secret group called the Hourglass, Emerson is willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael might change her past as well as her future. Who is he? Why does her believe every word she says? Why does electricity fill the air whenever he's in the same room? And why does he need her help to prevent a death that never should have occurred?
An intriguing debut, a surprising mix of certain parts of paranormal, science fiction, and romance. Emerson herself is an interesting character. She complains about rules and consequences like any other teenage girl, but she also sees ghosts and attempts to live her life around them. Even when it doesn't work and she can't help but stare at someone no one else can see. She wants answers, she wants to be better, but that doesn't mean she'll believe everything Michael tells her. That's not how it works, which is good. She shouldn't just blindly believe the new super cute guy just because he understands what's happening to her. The skepticism still belongs.
There was a familiar taste in my head as I read this book. Memories of Kirsten Miller's The Eternal Ones sprang forth in terms of memories and the past. It's not past lives we're talking about in Hourglass, but the past and the future, time travel, how time works and the science behind it. It had the same rather vague 'something about things that happened in the past that somehow we know about but no one else does' feeling.
What makes this book stand out is the time travel/timeslip aspect, as well as some of the characters. I like wounded, ragged robins like Emerson, ones who defend themselves against cute guys and close friends and domineering brothers with sarcasm and avoidance. She's ballsy and so imperfect and takes things the wrong way and it works.
And I love the sci-fi time travel bits. It's not overwhelming enough to put of readers that don't like science fiction. It's not so futuristic that everything's different. The world as we know it is tweaked just enough to be different. It's just time travel, back and forth, saving lives, changing destinies, attempting to right wrongs. What's so wrong with that? With any luck, readers will appreciate the vague similarity to X-Men and the Doctor Who one-liner. It's almost like a book for readers of YA who are also pop culture geeks. ;)
There's something about this book that felt magical, that felt a little stuck in the past but still modern. It also felt rather lush, snippits of romance here and there that had to wait for time to pass. I look forward to the next book in this exciting series.