Sunday, September 18, 2011


I absolutely adore the cover of Myra McEntire's debut novel, Hourglass. Not only does it have lovely, smooth lines, but for a little while it fools you into thinking the model is being sucked into something . . . and then you realize it's actually a girl, standing on the wall, with gravity obeying its natural course. Go 'head, turn it on the side, and then try to decide what photo magic they used to pull that one off. Photoshop? Wires? Giant wind machine? TIME TRAVEL?

Oh, right; that's what the book's about. Or more accurately, things of the past visiting a quite present Emerson Cole. Or maybe they're ghosts? Maybe Em's psychic and sees dead people? Whatever the answer, the situation is trippy.

Enter the uber-hot Michael (such a popular name for uber-hot characters). Tell us what he wants, what he really, really wants. What's he need, that Michael boy? History rewritten, that's what. Also? Em, because they are science-fictionally two halves of one whole. But do they belong together? Maybe. Maybe not. Because, you see, there's someone else in Emerson's future . . . 

The cover blurbs suggest the book induces all sorts of mood swings in the reader, and this is true, especially in the final fifty pages. Even I, a "first hero met should get the girl" loyalist, don't completely root for one boy over the other by much. Even I can see the wisdom and merit of a specific someone else winning that war, other than Michael. McEntire has done a fantastic job forcing me to consider the alternative, without embittering me toward it. That takes some mad skills, to sway a girl like me. I can only admire it and hope to learn from it.

I say this with a bit of a admission: Hourglass is a book . . . how to put this? Well, sometimes I felt myself reading a scene or a bit of narrative and feeling either proud or a little wary, because it's written so much like I myself would have written it. So that may mean I'm biased when I say I think either a Buy or Borrow appropriate.  The book isn't the most prime example of fantastic writing ever known to man, but it's entertaining, an emotional rush, and leaves you thinking about it hours later, which means it delivers on exactly what it promises.

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