Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Hourglass Series: Mini Reviews of Hourglass + Timepiece

HOURGLASS
Hourglass #1
Myra McEntire
Paranormal Young Adult
390 pages
Egmont USA
Available Now
Source: Bought

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents' death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She's tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson's willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may also change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he's around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should've happened?


MY THOUGHTS
Hourglass is a story we enter into with no small amount of trepidation, time travel a subject matter that can often be extraordinarily confusing when trying to understand the how’s of it all and the ramifications of any minuscule change in the past, but Hourglass luckily focuses predominantly on Emerson’s ability to see people from other times rather than on the science (so to speak) of the travel itself. There are moments when the focus being elsewhere is both a blessing and a curse however, the ease with which Emerson is able to make her first trip to the past with neither any previous experience nor the knowledge she was even capable of doing so causing us to itch slightly with the desire for a tad more explanation, but such a desire is certainly nitpicky at best.

Emerson is a highly enjoyable heroine, her obvious struggle with seeing things other people can’t creating an almost instant connection as we want nothing more for her than to feel comfortable in her own skin after all she’s been through, and aside from a few rash decisions here and there stemming from an unquenchable (but understandable) curiosity about the Hourglass and her abilities in general, she is easy to root for throughout. The tension between her and Michael is utterly delicious, a little push and pull present but in no way irritating, the obstacles between them and their few minor misunderstandings all adding a believability to their interactions given how very out of sorts first love can make us feel.

Rating: 4/5
 


TIMEPIECE
Hourglass #2
Myra McEntire
Paranormal Young Adult
325 pages
Egmont USA
Available Now
Source: Bought

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking...

Kaleb Ballard was never supposed to be able to see ripples - cracks in time. Are his powers expanding, or is something very wrong? Before he can find out, Jonathan landers, the man who tried to murder is father, reappears. Why is he back, and what, or whom, does he want?

In the wake of Landers' return, the Hourglass organization is given an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he's stolen on the people who might carry the time gene, or time will be altered - with devastating results for the people Kaleb loves most.

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


MY THOUGHTS
Timepiece moves us from Emerson’s first person point of view to Kaleb’s, a switch that has us excited to crack the spine of this second installment given the hurt and pain we watched him attempt to numb with alcohol in book one, hoping against hope he finds solace somewhere other the bottle in this installment. Luckily for us, Kaleb’s mind, while battered and bruised thanks not only to his ability as an Empath but also to the events of the past several months, is still a fun place to be, his sense of humor and his status as an unrepentant flirt adding a touch of levity to what would otherwise be a darker tale than Hourglass.

While highly entertaining and thoroughly action-packed, Timepiece isn’t quite as strong as its predecessor merely from the standpoint that the disruptions in the space-time continuum are becoming greater and broader in scale, the confusion factor that accompanies time travel stories thus ratcheting up a few notches as we realize just how much Jack’s adjustments to various people’s timelines are affecting the current reality. There’s also a cliffhanger to contend with in this middle book, something that was blissfully absent from book one, but despite those drawbacks it’s still a story eagerly devoured with a strong set of characters that ensure we are invested in every aspect of their lives.

Rating: 3.5/5


Find Myra:


As part of the countdown toward the August 6th release of the third and final book in this trilogy, Infinityglass, Myra has been releasing fun teaser quotes each week on an Hourglass series tumblr. I wanted to go ahead and share my favorite of the ones she's posted so far because I adored this last book. See the above link to view them all!


Gotta love Hallie! She's blunt. I like it.

41 comments:

  1. I've seen "Hourglass" around for a while, but haven't had a chance to pick it up. Time travel is a difficult subject, though it's a popular trend in YA lately, but I do like the sound of Hallie. Sorry book two was a bit of a downer and I always find it interesting when authors decide to switch up the narrators. I might have to check this series out some time soon.

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    1. I've enjoyed all the characters in this series Rummanah! Originally I wasn't thrilled that it switched POVs with each book, but I ended up really liking getting to spend each book with someone else:)

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  2. Haha looove this quote!!!!! That, actually makes me want to read it!
    I'm now looking forward hearing what you will say about the last book and then decide to read it. I'm all for Time Travel and you loved the first book, so hopefully the last one will bring everything together and close the circle.

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    1. Hahaha Hallie is certainly straightforward, I really enjoyed her!

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  3. I really enjoyed these, but they are a bit confusing. And actually I'm a little afraid I have forgotten everything and the third book will be really confusing. But I'm anxious to see where things go. I'm glad you enjoyed these!

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    1. I actually read all three in a row which I almost never do, and it really helped to keep things straight. I was still lost a bit in the last one, but I loved Dune and Hallie so it didn't bother me so much.

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  4. I actually really like this series and am looking forward to Infinityglass!

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  5. I won book 1 long ago but it got lost in the mail, sad day

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    1. Bummer:( Maybe you can grab it from the library some time:)

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  6. Jenny, we pretty share the exact same thoughts for this series! I really enjoyed Hourglass and the time-travel that McEntire established in the story was really well done, I think. And I admired Emerson quite a lot as well! And of course, everyone loves some of that push-and-pull romance. ;) As for Timepiece, this sequel fell flat for me, too. It got so confusing for me as well, although Kaleb's POV was fun to read about. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this series, it's good to know I'm not alone!

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    1. I definitely got confused in Timepiece. I just didn't quite understand some things with the rips and what ultimately Jack and Teague were trying to do. I had the same problem with Infinityglass, but it seemed more romance-focused than Timepiece, so I was able to look past some of my confusion and focus on the couple:)

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  7. I have read only few books about timetravel and I guess I need to read more. This series is one of these that you keep seeing around but simply don't have time to read. I'm glad you enjoyed both books and I can't wait to see your though about the third :) Great review Jenny :)

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    1. I enjoy time travel stories even though I almost always get confused:) They're still fascinating books for me though!

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  8. Okay, first off, that second quote absolutely killed me. I love sassy characters! Second, I haven't started this series, but it disappoints me a bit that it goes downhill towards the end. I think that with series, I really need authors to amp it up near the end, you know? Plus, it sounds like Timepiece might muddle my poor blonde brain...no bueno. Lovely reviews, Jenny! :)

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    1. Oh yes. Hallie has lots of sass and isn't afraid to give voice to whatever is running through her head:) My poor brunette brain got a bit muddled in books 2 and 3 (which I'm reviewing next week), but less so in 3 than 2:)

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  9. This series has been on my radar for some time now, but I'm not sure it's one that I would enjoy because I'm not fond of time travel books at all. I love the way your described Emerson's character and her relationship with Michael. The romance sounds like something I would enjoy for sure.

    It's a shame that the second book doesn't really live up to its predecessor though. It's really weird how the second book is told in another character's POV. I would totally be confused I think.

    Anyways, I'm glad that overall you enjoyed this series, Jenny! :) Lovely reviews!

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    1. I thought the same when I first found out Timepiece was from Kaleb's POV, but I ended up liking that we switched. Each book focused on a different couple and romance then which I always enjoy:) His book was a bit more confusing, but I did love his character.

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  10. It's an interesting series -- I don't always like the time travel aspect in books (depends on how it's done). I do like the characters and was rather perturbed about that cliffie (didn't throw the book but came close!).

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    1. Yeah, I wasn't thrilled with that cliffhanger either, and I was a bit put off with the beginning of Infinityglass because it doesn't address that end for quite a while, and even then I still wasn't sure what happened with Poe.

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  11. I've had this series on my to read list for a while, but I've never gotten around to it before. I'm thinking that has to change. (Even with a second book that doesn't quite live up to the first. Perhaps the third book will make up for it?)

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    1. In many ways the 3rd book made up for it, but I was still unclear on a variety of things. I liked Dune and Hallie so much that it didn't bother me as much though:)

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  12. I so need to read this series Jenny. I feel like I am out of the loop.

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  13. So, I love time travel stories alotalot, but I'm not sure if I'm too keen on them if they aren't going to provide a fairly sufficient explanation into how it all works. On the other hand, I think I would really love Emerson! And my love for these covers probably exceeds it all and may be enough to convince me that I should read them right there - sorry if that sounds superficial! haha. But anyways, these were very helpful and informative reviews, even if they were just mini.

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  14. That quote made me spill coffee all over myself! So thanks for that, Jenny! (And now Sheldon goes: "Is that sarcasm?")

    Seriously now, I'm a bit of an idiot when it comes to time travel (all those paradoxes, timelines and whatnot are totally beyond me), so I would probably appriach this with caution, but when done right, time travel can be SO SO cool and interesting! I'm more than willing to give it a try.

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  15. Oh, Michael sounds awesome! The MC sounds good as well and I'm glad you liked it:) I absolutely adored The time Traveler's Wife and since then I haven't ready any time travel books so it's definitely time I started one lol. Since I'm planning on reading this series sometime so I didn't read your second review, but I'm glad that you like this series as a whole:) Yay!

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  16. I love the covers and even though I don't think the books would work for me--I think they are perfect for a friend of mine ;)

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  17. I totally love these covers and both have been on my wishlist forever, I think I will pick them up closer to the release of book three..especially since you mentioned the C word!

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  18. I see favborable reviews of this series around everywhere periodically, but have been afraid to jump into yet another series. I'm not convinced that I would love them...but I am glad to hear that they don't try to "explain" time travel in too much detail. Delving into that just boggles the brain and takes away from the rest of the plot.

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  19. I like how the perspective changes from book 1 to book 2. It seems like that way of telling a series of stories is becoming very popular and I'm happy about that. These sound interesting, kind of weird that she could all of a sudden travel back in time when it wasn't mentioned that she could do so previously.

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  20. I had seen some good and not good reviews on this book so I just sort of put it on the back burner as a maybe series. Now I'm really reevaluating that stance. Oh you have me really looking at this heroine and who couldn't with that quote! LOVE it! LOL What? Are you adding to my wishlist again? :)

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  21. I've heard a lot about this series but never got around to picking it up. I'm glad you enjoyed them both so much, though, despite a few flaws. I'll definitely need to give them a try. Great reviews, Jenny!

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  22. I have been intrigued by this series since I first saw it, the covers are so eye catching. I am glad the whole time travel thing isn't too complex, since as you pointed out better to be simple than spend the whole book wondering. I will be watching for your review of the third book :)

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  23. I was muddled on Hourglass, but was lucky enough to meet Myra McEntire and ask questions so she straightened things out for me. I think time travel is such a tough subject because there are rules and there aren't. Authors can make up their own, but the logic is hard to follow sometimes. (I get lost in parallel/multiverses)

    I haven't read Timepiece so maybe I'll read Timepiece and Infinityglass back to back. I think it's a brilliant series, just maybe too smart? I can't wait to see your review!!! And thanks for the recaps!

    Heather

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  24. This is the series I've always admired from afar because of it's gorgeous cover, but I really need to try it out too. Plus, I love that different POV in every book, that would keep things exciting. Great reviews, Jenny :)

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  25. Haha, I love that quote! So glad to hear you're enjoying this series. I really loved the first book, and was able to overlook all the time traveling scientific wangling because I loved the characters so much. I really loved Em's sass, but Kaleb was also really fun to get to know. Can't wait for Infinityglass! Awesome reviews Jenny :-)

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  26. I, like you, enjoyed HOURGLASS a lot more than TIMEPIECE - and I totally agree on the delicious relationship between Em and Michael. I missed that in TIMEPIECE! Great minis, Jenny :)

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  27. I liked the first book better, too, Jenny. The romance between Emerson and Michael really good. I can barely remember the 2nd book. I read both books some time ago, but Hourglass left more of an impression. I agree, the more the time travel/shifting the more confusing and I get that glazed over look on my face. Let's hope the 3rd in the series is really good. Wonderful reviews, Jenny!

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  28. Okay, it means a lot that you liked book 3 better than book 2, because those are some of my same issues. I was very confused about all the complicated information. Plus I'm still freaking out about the cliffy. But I applaud this author for writing a series that is complex and a little bit different from the standard consistent narrator series.

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  29. I really had a lot of trouble reading Timepiece because I had forgotten so much of Hourglass in the meanwhile. I don't think this series really works for me though I adore the covers for all three books.

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