The Golden Spiral – Lisa Mangum

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The hourglass door has closed behind Dante, sending him back in time to hunt down Zo, Tony, and V. Although giving him up was the hardest test she ever faced, Abby knows that Dante is the only one who can stop the others from destroying time itself. But almost immediately, things start to change, and Abby’s worst fears are realized when Zo begins targeting her past specifically.

With each change that ripples into her present, Abby’s life continues to spiral out of control. Her relationships with Jason, Natalie, and even her family are threatened to the breaking point. Zo’s power is greater than Abby ever imagined. Will her love for Dante be enough to turn the tide?

The Golden Spiral picks up right where The Hourglass Door left off. Many of the characters return in this intricately planned sequel – but some return only to be erased from Abby’s life by Zo. With Dante gone for the time-being, Abby finds herself facing off against Zo alone as he’s determined to completely unravel her life and, possibly, the world.

Lisa Magnum is a master at story-crafting. Her lyrical descriptions at times border on poetry and her plot is so unique, full of twists and turns. While Abby solves mysteries from The Hourglass Door, she finds herself unraveling new, more complicated ones. Without Dante by her side, her strength is tested over and over. Abby grows a lot in this book and reasserts her independence, proving that she doesn’t need Dante to protect her, but that the two make each other stronger. Abby also learns to take more risks and trust in herself. Despite the fact that Zo attempts to rip her life apart, she refuses to back down to him, which is admirable given his all-around creepiness and nearly god-like power.

I was also really impressed by Abby’s friends in this book. Natalie really steps up to the plate when Abby decides to confide in her, proving that yes, she is human and therefore needs support and friendship. Natalie’s hesitance is believable, as well as her eventual of acceptance. It’s important for Abby to maintain her relationships with her old friends and I’m glad she acknowledges this, rather than abandon her friends for her gorgeous boyfriend and his complicated life. Speaking of complicated, poor Valerie. Her descent into delirium is equal parts fascinating and depressing. At first I thought she had gone completely crazy, but I was happily surprised to find out she was still hanging on, if just barely. I’m still worried about her, but glad to see that perhaps all hope isn’t lost.

If you thought The Hourglass Door was unique, The Golden Spiral pushes that kind of creativity even further. Abby’s and Leo’s use of photography is downright fascinating. Also, V’s unexpected character development is adorably awesome, though it comes with a price, and Zo’s cryptic messages are creepily alluring. Mangum blurs the line between friend and fo so that you’re left guessing up until the very end, when she drops a few major bombs. The characters are repeatedly tested and while the tests usually leave them stronger, they suffer a few devastating losses by the end of the book. And again, Mangum leaves us with a cliffhanger that leaves me, at least, craving the conclusion to the trilogy.

Pages: 362
Publication Date: May 2010
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Challenge: N/A
Rating [rating: 4]

Teaser Quote: “He is nowhere. He is everywhere. He is in between. He doesn’t like it. The darkness presses on him and it hurts.”