Emerson Cole can see dead people … sort of. Her visions of hoop-skirted belles and Civil War-era soldiers wandering all over the small Southern town of Ivy Springs are more like “ripples” in space and time—or, as another seer explains, “almost like time stamps left by those who make a deep impression on the world while they’re alive.” To complicate matters even more, these visions suggest that Emerson might also have the ability to travel through time.
But as a high school senior with exactly one friend, Emerson is more interested in avoiding the label of total freak. “Most of the people I had grown up with avoided me like a cold sore,” she says. The reason for her social isolation: “Long story short, I had a loud argument with a guy in the cafeteria at school about how rude he was to take my seat when I’d only left it to get a fork. I then proceeded to threaten to poke him in the eye with said fork. No one else saw him.”
Orphaned four years earlier when her parents perished in a shuttle-bus accident at a ski resort, Emerson lives with her brother Thomas, an architect, and his wife Dru in one of the historic buildings they renovate for a living. The experience of losing her parents and her unusual visions cause her to question her own sanity. But everything changes when she meets Michael.
A sexy and sensitive college student who sees people from the future, Michael has been sent to find Emerson by a future version of—well, herself: “I can go to the future on my own and travel back to the present,” he explains. “You can go to the past on your own and travel back to the present. But if we travel together, we can go anywhere on the timeline. We’re sort of … two halves of one whole.” That connection explains why whenever Emerson and Michael touch, sparks fly. Literally. In fact, light bulbs tend to explode all around them.
Michael is part of a secret research group known as The Hourglass. It’s composed of people like Emerson who have hidden gifts: Kaleb can read and manipulate emotions; Dune is able to control water; Nate can speed up or slow down time; and Cat is able to create “exotic” matter. By using this dark matter, Emerson and Michael may be able to return to the past and rescue Liam Ballard, Michael’s mentor and the leader of the Hourglass group, who died in a laboratory fire under mysterious circumstances six months earlier.
While it’s nice to have proof that she’s not completely bonkers, Emerson may be in danger if she helps Michael. And although their attraction is irresistible, Michael has promised Emerson’s brother to keep his distance. Kaleb, on the other hand, is not nearly so reserved. How will she choose between them? And what about Jack, the mysterious stranger who keeps materializing in her bedroom and then disappearing without warning?
These and other unanswered questions keep Hourglass readers guessing as McEntire takes a twisting, turning journey through the physics of time—complete with wormholes, duronium rings, and the danger of creating paradoxes—and the even more dangerous complications of the human heart. But the most important journey is Emerson’s discovery of her own surprising reserves of courage, love, and loyalty. Timeless qualities indeed.
On August 8 at 6:30 p.m, McEntire will read from Hourglass at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Brentwood as a part of the Ash2Nash Tour of YA authors.
Tagged: Children & YA