Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: HarperTeen (March 9, 2010)
Reading Level: YA
Source: purchased at bookstore
After escaping from Evernight Academy, the vampire boarding school where they met, Bianca and Lucas seek refuge with Black Cross, an elite group of vampire hunters. Bianca must hide her supernatural heritage or risk certain death at their hands. But when Black Cross captures her friend--the vampire Balthazar--all her secrets threaten to come out.
Soon, Bianca and Lucas have orchestrated Balthazar's escape and are on the run, pursued not only by Black Cross, but by the powerful leaders of Evernight. Yet no matter how far they run, Bianca can't escape her destiny.
Bianca has always believed their love could survive anything--but can it survive what's to come?
*** WARNING: THIS SERIES SHOULD BE READ IN ORDER. REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FROM PREVIOUS BOOK(S) IN SERIES.***
This third installment in the Evernight series is another knock-out. In this third book in the series, Lucas and Bianca have found a way to be together after the "fall of Evernight Academy" at the end of Stargazer, but Mrs. Bethany and Evernight are hot on their trail to get back Bianca, all the while Bianca's choice of whether to become a full vampire or not is slowly running out of time. The stakes are higher (and sharper!) in this one, for sure.
Basically, everything I liked in the first two books holds the same for this one. The character development is still exceptional, and we see different sides to these characters who thought we already knew. Mrs. Bethany has always intrigued me in this series -- I never particularly liked her, but I knew there was more to her than meets the eye -- so I was glad to see her character return. Her role in Evernight Academy and the paranormal activity around the campus is slowly revealed to us (although, I still have a few lingering questions for Book 4) and I like that I can never quite peg her as "good" or "bad." Another character we see more of in Hourglass is Bianca's best friend from the school, Raquel, since Raquel leaves with Bianca at the end of Stargazer. I really liked the direction her character went in, because up until now, she has been mostly playing the victim, and there was just a lot of anger and resentment for her character. Seeing Raquel in these new environs and being strong and having her own interests was refreshing, because her character was one of the few in the series who I previously thought was "unnecessary."
In keeping with the character growth, I really liked where Lucas went in this book. I've always loved Lucas' character, but sometimes he came off as stubborn, especially in how he reacted to his and Bianca's problem that she would/might become a vampire and he would remain human. In Hourglass, and I'll try not to go into too much detail, but Bianca's body is making it increasingly obvious that she cannot keep denying who she is supposed to be, which makes for many great scenes where Lucas is forced to put his prejudices aside and take care of her. I really loved this depth to their relationship, because while I always believed that they really cared about each other, there was always something missing. Seeing Bianca's fluctuating health and Lucas' response to that was really great and really made me like them as a couple.
There is more to this novel than the YA romance, though. Balthazar has returned and ends up in the hands of Black Cross, making for inevitable conflict and some decent action sequences. (Side note: I am not a huge fan of Balthazar's character, but I've heard that Claudia Gray is planning to write a spin-off series for his character, so if you feel that his presence is lacking as the Evernight series goes on, you might want to look out for her upcoming books.) And along with the action, is still the question of what the wraiths and vampires have to do with Evernight Academy and why both sides seem to be hunting or haunting Bianca. This storyline is not developed to its fullest, but enough information is shared to have you waiting on tenterhooks for the fourth (and I think, final) book.
Aaaah. the wait is going to be so long, especially after this ending. I would definitely classify the ending of Hourglass as "cliff-hanger." So many tensions present in the novel come to head in the last few chapters: unlikely alliances are formed, unexpected changes occur, and so much more. The pace fluctuated somewhat throughout this book, but the final pages are absolute page-turners. What are we going to do until March 1, 2010 when Afterlife comes out?
Until next time,