Pricky's Reviews > The Hourglass Door

The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum
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's review
Jun 17, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2011, sci-fi, time-travel, paranormal-romance

I would probably give this a 3 but because I couldn't put the book down, I have to give it that extra 1/2 star for a 3.5.

I have been waiting with anticipation for this book to finally arrive at the library so maybe my expectations were a little high for this one.

Mangum gives a very unique description and idea of time and of time travel, of the balance that needs to be made with time. I liked the way she described time (view spoiler). It's is a new way of looking at time and I enjoyed that introduction. She also does a seamless job of connecting Dante and Abby Beatrice to classical works such as (view spoiler).

While I couldn't stop reading, I did have some unsettling feelings about the story:

1. Abby: Like another reviewer, I had some minor issues with the name; I felt like the name didn't fit very well with her character. I think Mangum might have chosen the name for it's meaning but the name seems too childish for me. I also felt frustrated by Abby's confusion with her boyfriend Jason; (view spoiler). This initial part of the story just bothered me. I guess I just felt like Abby was just a bit spineless and just didn't want things to change because she wasn't brave enough? She does redeem herself later on with taking more control of her own life so I appreciated that in her character.

2. I couldn't help but notice some similarities between Abby and Dante's relationship with Bella/Edward: Dante is the new mysterious boy in town and they feel this cosmic connection. Maybe I've just ready way too many YA novels that have this premise and it's just really getting old?. For this story, it does work--and really, it's just that I've read too many "similar" relationships. However, Mangum does add a little more to their relationship than just their physical attraction: their connection to the classics and they do talk and get to know each other. But I could have done with a little less of the "oh my gosh you are so hot" descriptions; they just became overwhelming and dull after a while.

3. The scene with Abby and Dave (you'll know which one) was a bit over the top. It didn't seem realistic (in the sense that the consequences for that behavior wasn't realized in the story). I could actually see Dave doing what he did but I think there would be more repercussions for his action. Like maybe Abby or one of the cast member would have told someone in authority...(However, I have to say that if we're talking about "teenagers" here, they really might not have known what to do in that situation or been embarrassed to say anything to anyone so I can also see nothing happening either.) Even so, I had some issues with the way Abby dealt with this; I could tell she was really upset by this and if something like this happened to me as a teenager, I would seriously have had some major trauma and embarrassment.

Overall though, I did enjoy reading it; and it kept me reading late into the night. And I am interested to read more about Abby and Dante's journey in the next part of the series. If you like time-travel and a good Bella/Edward type romance, you might enjoy this one!
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Pricky I've been thinking about the premise of the story for a couple of days now and I'm puzzled over one thing: If you could indeed flash forward into the future, wouldn't you WANT to? How is that a punishment? For me, punishment would be to live in the past...At least in Dante's future, there's indoor plumbing.

Sandy The time traveling science was a bit hard for me to swallow. I like the concept of the door, but the whole river aspect was a bit confusing for me. (Maybe I just wasn't reading closely enough.)

Pricky It is confusing. And it was finally on pg. 320 of the Golden Spiral that I started to feel like "I'm starting to get it!" Here's what I understand so far and I'm sorry if my explanation makes it even more confusing. I really hope it doesn't. :)

From what I understand, the river represents "time"; the bank of the river represents the area of "no time" or where time does not exist. Mortal life belongs in the "river"; the river is your life in time. The river flows in one direction (from the past to downstream to the future).

The time machine is essentially a portal that takes you out of the river and onto the bank. So, you are taken out of your time-filled past life and placed somewhere downstream (future) on the bank of no-time.

When Dante & co. walked through the "door" and found themselves on the bank, they entered into a state of timelessness since time does not exist on the bank. Since they are timeless beings in a time-filled world, they must balance their timeless existence on earth with their time on the bank (voided of time). Kind of like yin and yang, I guess.

The river shows your life: the past/present/and future. Dante is able to see images downstream of Abby's future. In addition, if disturbances (pebbles) are thrown into key points of your past, it will change the direction of the river, affecting your future.

Towards the end of HGD, when Zo & co walk through the door again, they return to the "river". But since they are now "timeless beings" returning to a time-filled world, they no longer are bound to the bank. In other words, they returned back to the river of life bringing the power of timelessness with them. They now have power over time.

I could totally be wrong about everything, but I "think" that what the whole river analogy is about. But I could totally be missing the boat on this one.

Sandy Thanks for the detailed explanation. It helped! I think the science is a little strange for me in this one, but the author did a nice job creating chemistry between Dante and Abby.

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