Book Review: Timepiece by Myra McEntire
Be warned: spoilers for Hourglass (previously reviewed), the first part of Myra McEntire’s series, abound in this review. Read at your own risk.
Timepiece takes off where Hourglass left us, although it is told from another character’s point of view. If you read Hourglass, you know that Emerson and Michael stepped back in time to save one man from death, and that man was Kaleb’s father. Now we get to see what it like to have mourned your father and see him live again. Kaleb wasn’t dealing so well with his father’s death in Hourglass, but how will he deal with his resurrection?
They say that every action causes a ripple of reactions throughout the universe, and the people from Hourglass have made earthquakes. Now, time rips are becoming more frequent, new people can see them, and sometimes you can interact with them. The rules are changing and no one is quite sure what it means.
To make matters worse, Jack is moving in and out of these rips and showing up in unexpected places wrecking havoc. Jack, it turns out, is not the only player in town. There are more people then we know interested in Emerson and the ability to move through time, very few of them with honorable motives. But it turns out that Jack is actually the very person that our gang needs, so they must employ unique measures to try and find him – which is a lot harder to do when you can hide in time as well as a space.
The shift in the point of view was jarring at first, it takes you a few pages to figure out who, exactly, is telling this story. But Kaleb, well, he is exactly the right person to be telling this story because he is the one with the highest amount of emotional investment. Kaleb is really forced to wrestle with some important questions as to who he is and what he is capable of doing, which makes for some good character development. In addition, Kaleb develops an interesting relationship with Emerson’s best friend, Lily. In many ways the relationship between Kaleb and Lily is much more organic and believable than any of the other relationships in this series, and it is exciting to see the push and pull and steady development of attraction between the two. Where Emerson and Michael seemed drawn together by the magnetic forces of their powers, Kaleb and Lily develop an attraction for each other based upon their thoughts and feelings and interactions.
In fact, Kaleb and Lily are such dynamic characters that I found I cared less about Emerson and Michael and I appreciated the shift in focus. I am not really a swooner and am often one who reads quickly through the romance to get to the action scenes, but Kaleb has a certain charm and pathos that even I found compelling; he will definitely make teen girls swoon. So for those looking for some swoon in their sci fi, this is definitely the right series for them.
But don’t let the romance fool you, Hourglass and Timepiece are also some meaty science fiction with a uniquely developed look at time travel, paradoxes, and a cast of characters that each have their own unique abilities. The town in Timepiece even seems to serve as a version of the Hellmouth, where these people are being drawn together by forces with unknown intentions to bring about unknown plans. Each step is obviously bringing us closer to some monumental showdown which, given the premise of the series, seems likely to occur in any number of time periods.
As much as I liked the story and the action in Hourglass, add to that a more well rounded, developed cast of characters and you get storytelling magic. Since I gave Hourglass 5 out of 5 stars, and I felt that Timepiece was in many ways a stronger story, I have to give it 5+ stars. All the action and all the stellar pacing is still there. In addition, all the science fiction juicy goodness is still there, but this entry into the tale just had a little something more in terms of character development. The stakes have been raised, the ante upped, and the consequences have the potential to be much more significant affecting not only our cast of characters, but the world as we know it.
Demand for this title should be high (it crashed Netgalley when the ARC was made available) and teens everywhere should be asking for it, a definite purchase for your collection. Timepiece also gets bonus points for continuing to have amazing covers and for how the covers tell the arc of the story so far. Releases on June 12, 2012 from EgmontUSA. This review refers to an unpublished ARC and there may be changes before it is released.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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