Sunday, June 12, 2011

Review: Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Tags: YA, paranormal, time travel, romance


Emerson has been seeing visions of times past since just before her parents’ death. These visions have affected Emerson’s day-to-day functioning, and nothing she’s tried has helped her. When Michael Weaver arrives at her brother’s recommendation from an organization called the Hourglass, Emerson reluctantly decides to give the Hourglass a try.

Neither Emerson nor Michael can deny their seemingly fated attraction to one another, but as they unravel the mystery behind Emerson’s visions, and what the other people in the Hourglass can do, it becomes clearer to them that something life-threatening is at work…


HOURGLASS is an atmospheric and witty debut that combines bad-ass female attitude with time travel and mystery. While sometimes the plot felt a little rough, I was thoroughly engrossed by the characters and their predicaments.

I like Emerson, the protagonist. She has the kind of snarky narrative voice that always attracts me, and which in this case actually helps her a lot through her ordeals. Emerson has built up this armor of snark because of all that’s happened to her: we see that, and understand it, and empathize with her for it—not to mention it made her a fun protagonist to follow.

HOURGLASS feels a little like “sci-fi lite”: we don’t get much explanation into the time travel and other concepts that the Hourglass deals with, which didn’t detract from the plot but will probably make a science nerd like me raise an eyebrow in dissatisfaction. The pacing is a little on the slow side, and it took a long time for the story to finally get around to talking about the secrets behind the Hourglass. The slow pacing didn’t bother me in the beginning—probably because I was too busy being distracted by Emerson’s shininess to notice—but more than once I did find myself beginning to wish that the book could be shortened.

The climax and resolution of HOURGLASS happened so cleanly, so unambiguously, that I couldn’t help but feel a little let down, especially after I had grown to like Emerson so much. The villains are caricatures, and the romance is a lot of “I like you but we can never be together due to circumstances”—not really my cup of tea.

Myra McEntire’s “sci-fi lite” offering deserves to be read, however. It defies traditional genre lines and offers readers, particularly paranormal lovers, their beloved romance type set in a world with different enemies.

Similar Authors
Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures)
Rosemary Clement Moore
Jeri Smith-Ready

Cover discussion: I might be in the minority in not liking this cover. Does that model's pose strike anyone else as being awkward?

EgmontUSA / June 14, 2011 / Hardcover / 400pp. / $17.99

Received from publisher for review.


  1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't care for the cover!

    Excellent review. I haven't read this yet but the description did remind me of Shade a little bit and it also reminded me of Deception by Lee Nichols (especially where you talk about the romance-same thing between Emma and Bennett). I have a review copy and I will be reading Hourglass soon. I am not a huge scifi fan so maybe the lack of explanation won't bother me but I do have some concerns now after reading your review. At least it reminds you of Beautiful Creatures so it can't be all that bad. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one.

  2. Sounds like a really good read and you posted a wonderful review of the book! Can't wait to read it when I get a copy of it!

  3. your opening line of the review had me hook, line, and sinker!

    i love me some sci-fi, even if it is sci-fi lite. :)

  4. I'm not big on the cover, but I did love Emerson's voice!

  5. I was really excited for this but now I'm not so sure. Hmmmm. Think I might have to look more into it. Thanks for sharing!

  6. This book was pretty good. However, I didn't like that it was sci-fi lite because it seemed to me that the author just didn't feel like explaining the time travel aspect.

    Good review, though

  7. I think we are in the minority, but the cover didn't really do it for me either! I thought the concept was kinda cool, but it just looks too awkward... :P

    In any case, thanks for the review! I've been wanting to read this one, but mine is still in the mail somewhere.

  8. Awesome review. I like characters with a snarky voice so Emerson sounds like my type of character. I can't wait until my copy arrives :)


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