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After reading and falling - hard - for Myra McEntire's debut novel, Hourglass, I couldn't help but feverishly anticipate Timepiece, the sequel. Hourglass was heart-breaking, fast-paced, romantic, and unexpected, so I had high hopes for the follow-up - and in no way did Myra disappoint. Timepiece is told from Kaleb Ballard's point of view, and I think anyone who's been around my blog since I reviewed Hourglass knows that I adore Kaleb. Kaleb is the perfect choice to narrate Timepiece, which I absolutely devoured. McEntire builds on the time-travel mythos she introduced readers to in Hourglass, expanding the foundations with new lore, and raising the stakes with new dangers. Sinister organization Chronos catapults into the scene with an ultimatum for Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the rest of the Hourglass family: if they don't find and stop Jack Landers before October 31st, Chronos WILL step in to neutralize him, which means timelines could be eradicated. Jack has reversed and changed the course of several of the member's lives, so the thought of Chronos doing as they've threatened is understandably frightening, and adds a fantastically realistic element of danger that threads woven throughout Timepiece.
What I like the best about Myra McEntire's books is her characters. Her writing style and story-telling ability are both outrageously superb. Myra absolutely knows how to tell the kind of story that leaves you on the edge of your seat, heart-pounding, desperate for more, more, more. But it's her characters that are larger than life in an incredibly appealing way. And in Timepiece, we see all of them in a new light...through Kaleb's eyes. Kaleb is an empath, and so along with his narration, he also terrifically and unintentionally reads and conveys the character's emotions.
I loved watching Kaleb explore his abilities and I fell for him all over again. Kaleb. Is. Amazing. He doesn't see himself as anything more than broken parts and pieces, but luckily, Kaleb is surrounded by people who care about him and who try throughout Timepiece to help him see the good in himself. I am not ashamed to say that as often as I laughed with Kaleb or at his antics, I cried for him, and my heart definitely broke more than once. There is SO much more to Kaleb than we see in Hourglass; beneath the surface is a man searching for home and acceptance, struggling to find himself. I wanted to wrap him up in a hug and just not let go. I enjoyed the chance to see Kaleb's point of view, and the chance to rediscover the characters I already loved.
Timepiece is an action-packed book, full of twists, turns, secrets, and a definite sense of racing against the clock that's ticking toward disaster. Rips - ripples in time - are appearing at random and more frequently then ever, and the scariest part is...more and more Hourglass members can see them. And they're more difficult in Timepiece to distinguish from reality, throwing doubt into everyone - and the reader's - minds of what's real and what isn't. Myra McEntire doesn't hold anything back, and I absolutely found myself holding my breath a time or two. By the end of Timepiece, I still had questions, yet enough was answered - in often heart-wrenching ways - to satisfy my curiosity.
I also loved the way all the various relationships were explored in Timepiece. Even with danger surrounding them, Myra still believably highlighted Emerson and Michael's relationship, to which Kaleb's point of view gives a new depth, and Kaleb's relationships with both Michael, and his father, Liam, as well as his depth of emotion for his mother, Grace. We get the privilege of seeing Kaleb and Lily, Em's best friend meet and develop a unique relationship, full of several tentative steps forward, and ultimately a beautifully unfolding beginning of something amazing. My heart ached for everyone involved in these interactions, and like Kaleb, I was so frustrated and hurt at times for him and for the others. These characters go through so much, yet everyone is so strong. I really admire Myra's characters - their heart, their fierceness, their loyalty and determination.
Timepiece is the perfect sequel to Hourglass, full of all manner of excitement, and scattered, quiet moments that will touch your heart in a way you will not forget anytime soon. It's also an incredibly brave story that takes chances. I didn't want to be done, because I didn't want to leave Myra's world. I'm not sure if there will be another book in the series, but I already know that Timepiece is the sort of amazing book that will leave its mark on you.