Tuesday, September 18, 2012

On Ripples: A Review of Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Hourglass (Hourglass, #1)This was a book that I tried because I kept seeing it everywhere, and having tried it I decided to read it entirely. That was a month ago, so technically it took two attempt to actually read this book. Nonetheless, I did really enjoy it.

Emerson Cole is used to seeing people from other times. She's not sure if they're hallucinations or ghosts--she just knows that she sees what no one else does, and that it makes her feel crazy. Her brother calls in Michael, a consultant from a place called The Hourglass, to help Em manage her ability. Emerson is surprised to learn that Michael is an attractive college student with a similar ability, and that he needs her help. Together, Emerson and Michael have the ability to save a life and restore the world...or possibly destroy it.

Positive Comments


The characters are well written. Emerson is tough and smart, but has her vulnerable points too. Her abilities make her feel isolated. When she finally finds a purpose for them, her determination and her courage make her unstoppable. We don't get to know Michael quite as well, but I did like what I saw as far as he's concerned. I liked his sense of honor and his willingness to make sacrifices. I liked the connection between Em and Michael, and while I felt the relationship building needed some work, I did find the overall tone to be romantic.

I both love and hate the plot. I love the teens-with-superpowers gimmick, I think Michael and Emerson's specific abilities are intriguing. I loved the idea of trying to alter a really unpleasant reality. I loved that the author brought up both the logical and moral implications of trying to change one's circumstances. Just because you can change things, doesn't mean that you should. The consequences of altering things are very real and unpredictable. And so forth.

Critical Comments


Okay, now I have to get into a tiny

Spoiler, Shield Your Eyes!


This turns into a time travel book, with our heroes going back in time to save a man's life. We are specifically told that this is okay, only because certain circumstance mean that they can effect what happened without creating a paradox. At this point, I got nervous as a reader, because I know very well that time travel books tend to be (by their very nature) riddled with plot holes. The author of this book does a pretty good job,  and avoids some of the common plot hole pitfalls, but then at the end she kind of ruins it. She tears open some holes and creates some time lines, and now I'm concerned about how she'll explain it all in future books.

End Spoiler.

Mainly, my issue is that the author has been deliberately vague about how the powers work and what the rules are. I'm concerned that things will either remain vague (which would be annoying) or that upon further explanation, things will stop making sense.



If you like light science fiction, with a touch of romance and a great deal of heart, I recommend this book. It's a well crafted and enjoyable YA novel. 4 stars.

1 comment:

  1. I have it on my Kindle, but I've been reluctant to pick it up, mostly because I've heard other reviewers have the same complaint as you. Will see how it turns out :)


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