Timepiece (Hourglass #2) by Myra McEntire
Published by EgmontUSA on June 12, 2012
Source: received an e-ARC from the publisher through Net Galley.
Series report: I read this book without refreshing my memory on Hourglass and everything made sense.
My summary: Kaleb Ballard has issues. His mom is lost to him, and he's pretty sure that he's disappointed his father, head of the mysterious Hourglass organization. He can't see time travelers, like his friends Em and Michael, also part of Hourglass. So he drinks and he flirts. He's pretty successful at both, until he gets slapped one night by tart-tongued Lily Garcia. On that same night, a mysterious man appears out of nowhere with a threat and an ultimatum: find Jack Landers, the guy who tried to murder Kaleb's father and put Kaleb's mother in a coma. If Kaleb and his friends can find Jack, the time continuum that was compromised in book one can be repaired. If not, the lives of people Kaleb loves could be at risk.
My thoughts: I had intended to refresh my memory on Hourglass before I read this, but then fate intervened. I was stuck in a long line for a sample sale (think the autographing lines at BEA, but shorter) with only my Kindle for entertainment. Timepiece was the next book in the e-queue. So I thought ... why not?
MILD HOURGLASS SPOILER IN THE PARAGRAPH BELOW:
I didn't remember Kaleb that well from Hourglass, except that he was the other guy in the love triangle, the one who didn't get the girl. (ETA: Okay, that was the Hourglass spoiler, and clearly I could have worded that in a better way, because now Jen M of Some Like it Paranormal has gone and scolded me in comments for dissing Kaleb. See below.)
But what a cool idea to have this book narrated by a different character! I mean, what typically happens in book two of a YA trilogy is that the guy who did get the girl has to be separated from her by a misunderstanding or imprisonment or presumed death or whatever. So switching narrators and putting Kaleb and and Lily in the forefront and Em and Michael more in the background put a whole new spin on things.
I liked Kaleb as a narrator. He was a smart aleck who was sad and wounded underneath. I also liked the fact that he and Lily had insta-hate rather than insta-love, which made for a refreshing change of pace and led to a great deal of verbal sparring. I enjoyed finding out more about Lily, who has an interesting backstory that Hourglass didn't delve into.
Myra McEntire excels at plotting. Timepiece started off with a bang, from the slapping scene mentioned above to a dramatic incident that involving Em that definitely ups the stakes for the Hourglass gang. There were twists and reversals throughout, making the book a very entertaining read.
Even though I hadn't read Hourglass for a year, the time travel stuff mostly made sense to me. Physics is one of those things that makes my head feel like it's going to explode. Alternate realities? Wormholes? The fourth dimension? It's a lot!
In summary, I enjoyed this book. Some fans of Hourglass may be disappointed that it has a different narrative feel, and that Em and Michael are not prominently featured, but I think that switching narrators was a bold move that gave this trilogy a sense of the unexpected. I'm curious to see what Myra McIntyre has up her sleeve for the next book, Infinityglass. Could Ava be our next narrator? I'll have to wait to find out. I love an author who keeps me guessing!
Tell me in comments: how do you feel about series that take unexpected twists? Love it or hate it?