Thursday, July 5, 2012

Into the Hourglass by Kelly Marino

Title: Into the Hourglass
Series: The Hourglass Trilogy
Author: Kelly Marino
Length: 5893 Kindle units
Rating: 2.5 stars

The Plot

On Franny’s birthday, a doctor calls her with the most astonishing news – she has a rare blood type that may be the key to solving many human illnesses. When she shares this news with her parents, she learns an astonishing truth – she is adopted, and her parents have no idea why her blood is so special. Before she has time to process all this, Franny is transported back in time 300 years, where she learns that she is part of a race of immortals who are in grave danger from one of their own who is hunting them down one by one.

The Good

There is a trend in urban fantasy, and to an increasing extent young adult paranormal romance, to make everything as “gritty” as possible. I’m not entirely sure what the appeal is, because I have no desire to read about someone who has been forced to become an assassin because of the way the cards fell in her supernatural life. Even in cases where the characters are relatively normal, they usually possess at least one major flaw and behave with the occasional selfishness. Sometimes, though, it is refreshing to see characters like those in Into the Hourglass, who act with good intentions toward the world at all times. When the doctor discovers Franny’s unique blood, he wants to help heal the ills of the world and does not even suggest turning her into a lab rat/prisoner. The people she meets always try to help others without even a second thought for themselves, and it can be nice to read about characters of such merit.

The Bad

My biggest problem with Into the Hourglass was that it was so absurdly happy that it was boring. Now, you might say, “But Elizabeth, the main villain was clearly evil and slit the throats of children in their sleep!” And I would have to agree that, yes, the villain was horrible. But seriously, everyone else was so uncomplicatedly good that I found myself hoping for someone to turn out to be evil just to make things even a little interesting. But for as long as the book was, not a lot of things – happy or unhappy – happened at all.

The entire time travel aspect of the book was also confusing and largely irrelevant. There really wasn’t a logical reason for the two characters to be pulled back in time, other than the fact that the story needed to have modern people in Salem Witch Trials time. But I wasn’t even sure how the time travel thing worked and why, if Abigail could see into the future and travel there, she didn’t know everything about what happened in the time between 1693 and 2010. I felt like the only answer was “because the author hadn’t thought that through,” which is never as good a reason as it seems.

And the section that represented the Native Americans as wise naturalists who gave special names to the white people they found favor with? Yeah, we’re just not gonna mention that.

The Romance

If you have read more than a few romance novels, you have almost certainly run into the situation where the hero and/or heroine feel the need to tell you at least once every five pages that they feel a deep connection to each other, not just physically but spiritually. Since this has been a pattern I have discerned in more than one book, I can only assume that it is something that some readers want. Me? It drives me crazy. I have to bury my head in my pillow every time it happens and then pray that it will stop. Fortunately, Into the Hourglass did not feel the need to tell me about Franny and Mike’s connection every five pages. Unfortunately, it happened frequently enough and with enough intensity that my pillow got to spend more time in contact with my face than I consider optimal.

I have before mentioned my three day rule, which states that couples should not be doing things like moving in together or getting engaged or even declaring their undying love after only knowing each other three days. Into the Hourglass has prompted me to add an addendum that it is even worse to be doing these kinds of things if you have not even known each other one day. It does not matter if someone else – who you have also just met – explains that you are soulmates. You cannot possibly know enough about someone after 12 hours to decide that you want to marry him. Most psycho killers probably seem like great people after you’ve only known them for 12 hours.

Will I read more?

From reading Into the Hourglass, I actually thought it was a standalone novel, but according to Amazon and the author’s web site, it is actually a trilogy. I’m a little bit curious about what more could happen in the story, since everything seems pretty well resolved. But I don’t think I’m curious enough to invest any more time into Franny’s adventures.

See Details for Book on    Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Smashwords


Post a Comment