Tag Archives: hourglass

Book Reviews
June 4, 2012 posted by Kiona

Timepiece — Myra McEntire

A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking…

Kaleb Ballard’s relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb’s powers expanding, or is something very wrong?

Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he’s stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devastating results.

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough…

Kaleb Ballard’s entire world is in turmoil. The man who murdered his father, Jack Landers, is still at large and on the loose. Emerson’s life is in danger, as are the lives of everyone Kaleb cares for the most. Meanwhile, the time continuum seems to be falling apart and all the rules are changing. Kaleb, along with Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass students need to find a way to stop Jack, even if that means allying with an even greater enemy, to restore balance.

Timepiece is even more enthralling than Hourglass. It exceeds all my expectations and further propels this series to the top of my list of favorites. Timepiece is told from my favorite character’s point of view: Kaleb Ballard. This switch may not be necessary to the series as a whole, but it’s definitely welcome and I think it’ll please a lot of people who had trouble with Hourglass and Emerson’s character. Personally, I prefer Kaleb’s point of view. He’s funny, sexy, deeply compassionate, and his ability to read emotions is equally fascinating and entertaining. His dialogue is witty and snarky (somewhat reminiscent of Jace Lightwood– although, of course, there will only ever be one Jace). He is a thoroughly flawed, lovable protagonist and I hope, hope, HOPE the third book continues with his point of view, as I believe it will.

One of my favorite things about Timepiece is that McEntire doesn’t go the love-triangle route. The love triangle was quickly established in Hourglass and McEntire could have easily played it up. But the YA genre is saturated with love triangles and Kaleb’s love for Emerson develops in a much more natural way; she comes to feel more like a sister to him, which is a great development. Emerson’s best friend, Lily, captures Kaleb’s attention though. Lily is probably my second-favorite character in the book. Her personality jumps off the page; she’s sassy, fiery, and doesn’t let any book walk all over her. Her interactions with Kaleb are a real treat. Their relationship/non-friendship is one of the most interesting and realistic and I love every second of it.

The second book in the series focuses a lot on character development, which I always love. I generally tend to fall in love with characters first, plot second. While the plot is further developed and more twists spin the novel in a ton of crazy directions, the book does seem to suffer a bit of middle-book syndrome. There’s definitely a heavier focus on relationships and the characters’ abilities than the issue with Jack. But there’s plenty of action to satisfy and new, riveting explanations about time and time travel. I would have liked to see more of Dune, Nate, and Ava again; these peripheral characters are all so interesting, but McEntire only seems to use them as a means for the main characters to get information, which I don’t think is fair. But I assume we’ll see more of them in the third book. As it stands, there is a little more development to Ava’s characters and we finally get to meet some of the Big Bads mentioned in Hourglass.

Oddly enough, I don’t really care about Emerson and Michael in this book. Once we establish that they’re still happy together, they sort of fall of my radar. I don’t mind that so much though. This is more of Kaleb’s story and not only do I find his story more interesting, but he’s also been involved in this world a lot longer so he’s able to answer a lot more questions for us about the Hourglass, time travel, and other abilities. Basically, Timepiece has all the elements of Hourglass I first fell in love with, but it’s even better. McEntire has come up with a super-intriguing world and fun X-Men style characters. Plus, this book doesn’t end on one of those annoying cliffhangers. The ending is satisfying for the book, but will also lead into an exciting opening for the next in the series. Now that I finished it, I feel like it ended too soon, but I’m definitely looking forward to rereading this series.

Pages: 342
Publication Date: June 2012
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Source: NetGalley
Rating : ★★★★½

Teaser Quote: “If I’ve learned something from all this crap with Jack,” she continued, “it’s that living anywhere other than in the moment is a mistake. Like Michael always says, the future is subjective. The past could be a lie–not just my past–but all our pasts…”

Interview with Myra McEntire
Author Interviews
March 12, 2011 posted by Kiona

Interview with Myra McEntire

Myra McEntire is the debut author of Hourglass, which will be available in May. Without spoiling anything, Myra took the time to answer a few questions and open up about what went into writing Hourglass.

How does it feel to publish your first novel? Is the publishing process everything you expected?

There are SO MANY feelings. There’s excitement and fear and that swoony first crush feeling – and anxiety and elation and worry. It’s so cliche, but roller coaster sums it up!
How did you come up with the idea for Hourglass?

I wish I could pinpoint the exact moment it became what it is, but it truly evolved as I wrote. Every time I sat down to write was an adventure, and because there were no expectations and I was writing for myself, I was willing to go along for the ride. I think that’s really important as a writer – following the story and the people in it.
I must say, too, that some of it was a conscious choice to avoid mimicking anything I’d seen before.
There are a lot of scientific explanations in Hourglass. Did you have to do a lot of research or did you get to make some of it up?

I did a TON of research. I can honestly say that everything in HOURGLASS is based on scientific theory, although some of it might be wacky scientific theory (and generally that’s where my imagination showed up and took over).
If you could have any one of the abilities you wrote about, which would it be?

The ability I’d want from this world hasn’t been introduced yet. Muahahahahaha.

Emerson is a very sarcastic and witty person. Are you or is someone you know that sarcastic?

I know no one that remotely resembles that description. And my edit button is perfectly intact, thank you very much. *wonders if you know I’m lying* *is thrilled that she could be considered witty*
What’s your favorite part of Hourglass?

When the glass falls through the piano. That’s when I knew I couldn’t walk away from the story.
Do you have any plans for a potential sequel?

I am actually working on it right now! Egmont bought two books when they bought HOURGLASS. I will also say that I have at least one more after that, possibly two, living in my head. We’ll see how it all goes! Cross your fingers!

Hourglass will be released on May 24, 2011. Myra McEntire can be found blogging at Writing Finally.

Read Kiona’s review of Hourglass.

Hourglass – Myra McEntire
Book Reviews
February 27, 2011 posted by Kiona

Hourglass – Myra McEntire

Since the age of fourteen, Emerson Cole has seen strange thing s- dead things – swooning Southern Belles, soldiers, and other eerie apparitions of the past. She’s tried everything to get rid of the visions: medication, counseling, asylums. Nothing’s worked.

So when Emerson’s well-meaning brother calls in yet another consultant from a mysterious organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to give it one last try.

Michael Weaver is no ordinary consultant. He’s barely older than she is, he listens like no one she’s ever met before, and he doesn’t make her feel the least bit crazy. As Emerson ventures deeper into the world of the Hourglass, she begins to learn the truth about her past, her future – and her very life.

This book blew me away – probably because I wasn’t expecting to fall so thoroughly in love with it. I went in thinking it was a ghost story, due to the summary on the back cover, but I was completely wrong. It’s a fantastic blend of paranormal and science fiction, at times reminding me of elements of Harry Potter and X-Men, both of which I love. Hourglass has so many great twists, some I saw coming and some that completely blind-sided me in the best possible way. This excellently crafted book is well-organized and completely absorbing, one of those I-really-shouldn’t-stay-up-until-2-because-I-have-class-in-the-morning-but-I-can’t-stop books.

But let me backtrack for a minute. Hourglass tells the story of Emerson Cole, a teenage girl who began seeing what she believes to be ghosts shortly before her parents died in a horrific accident. Since then, Emerson has spent her time at mental institutions and boarding school. But when her scholarship is pulled, she is forced to move back home with her brother and his wife. She has only one friend at home, Lily, who has stuck by Emerson throughout her entire ordeal. And then Emerson meets Michael – the handsome consultant her brother has hired – and he turns her world upside down.

The first thing I like about Hourglass was that Emerson confides in her brother and he actively tries to help her. There are so many books where the protagonist feels like they have to hide their “dark secret” because no one could ever possibly understand them. I just want to shake those protagonists and tell them to give their friends and family a little more credit. Of course, Emerson does spend some time in an asylum, but that’s realistic; she’s able to handle that and come out even stronger. Her brother, Thomas, is a wonderful character. He looks out for Emerson, doesn’t think she’s crazy, and continuously tries to help her. He’s also the perfect mix of cool-older-brother and authoritarian. I love his relationship with Emerson and even his rules regarding Michael. It’s easy to see how much he cares about his sister and how seriously he takes her predicament.

Emerson. One of my favorite protagonists. First of all, she has a great name (and I’m not just saying that because I go to Emerson College). She is one of the most three-dimensional characters I’ve seen in awhile. Her biting sarcasm is consistently hilarious; she can take care of herself, due to martial arts lessons; she doesn’t let anyone tell her what to do and only opens up to those she truly trusts; she gets jealous easily, is willing to put others before herself, and occasionally breaks all the rules. She has such a traumatic past and though she certainly draws strength from it, her past is also a source of pain and confusion; she hasn’t completely healed. In fact, by the end of the book she’s even further from healing than the beginning, which just allows the possibility for more growth.

I love the whole science fiction aspect of this book. The idea behind the Hourglass is so innovative and I was dying to know what it was from the beginning. Each character – especially members of the Hourglass – is fleshed out and serves a purpose. Myra McEntire is clearly a master at weaving intricate plots. She includes all the elements of great story-telling, including realistic characters with depth, witty dialogue, suspense, foreshadowing, and sizzling romance. Emerson’s emotions are so strongly conveyed that I felt them right along with her: her suspicion regarding Michael, confusion over Kaleb, anger at Ava, and love for Thomas and Dru. I like that Emerson doesn’t trust people easily. She has no reason to. So when certain characters finally gain Emerson’s trust, they also gained mine, which means I was just as shocked as Emerson by some of the final twists of Hourglass.

This book literally has everything and I really hope I won’t have to wait forever for a sequel. The ending is left open and there are so many questions I still have about this world and the characters. Hourglass is sure to be a hit in the YA scene and I look forward to seeing it receive the recognition it deserves.

Pages: 397
Publication Date: May 2011
Publisher: Egmont USA
Challenge: Debut Author
Rating : ★★★★½

Teaser Quote: I’ve never touched alcohol – doesn’t mix too well with pharmaceuticals – but I knew at that moment what it must feel like to be drunk. Everything in my world shifted, and I knew I would trade every breath I’d ever taken for more of him. In a heartbeat.