One of the drawbacks of reading new releases is coming across a book that you really love, only to realize that you have to wait a year for the next book to be released. This happened to me while reading Hourglass. I read a lot, and I have to say that Hourglass really stands out — it pulled me in from the beginning and kept my attention all the way through. A lot of novels that are first in a series get bogged down with exposition and character introduction, but Hourglass doesn’t fall prey to these mistakes. The entire story flows so well, the characters are well developed without being over written, everything just works. I truly did not want the story to end.
The story centers around Emerson Cole, a seventeen year old girl who has spent years trying to deal with the fact that she can see and interact with dead people. After being hospitalized and then escaping the scrutiny of her home town at boarding school, she returns to Ivy Springs to live with her older brother & sister-in-law. When her brother Thomas suggests bringing in another consultant to “help” Emerson with her issues, Emerson wants nothing to do with it. Thomas’ track record with bringing in consultants is significantly less than stellar. When she meets the mysterious Michael at a party, she is instantly drawn to him and when she later discovers that Michael is Thomas’ latest consultant, she agrees to work with him. She learns from Michael that what she sees are not ghosts but ripples in time and that she may have even greater untapped abilities lurking beneath her surface.
Although the main character is a seventeen year old girl, Emerson is hardly a YA heroine. She is mature, intelligent and independent. Although she does show some insecurities, a lot of the teen angst present in a lot of YA works is notably absent in Hourglass. It’s also a nice change to read a YA fantasy book without supernatural creatures. Don’t get me wrong, my shelves are full of vampires, weres, fairies and the like, but change is good and so is Hourglass.
I really enjoyed Hourglass. The story itself blew me away, and although I had suspected a few of the twists in the plot, there were still a few that I didn’t see coming. The story set up also allows for sequels, and I hope that Emerson has a lot of new adventures coming. According to Goodreads, the untitled sequel is expected in 2012.