Bottom line: If you thought Hourglass was fun, Timepiece is going to blow your socks off.
I’ve got to admit, I was a little tentative at first about the switch to Kaleb’s point of view. I felt like I had developed a good relationship with Emerson in the first book, and I was comfortable viewing the world through her eyes. Plus, the Kaleb we meet in Hourglass, and at the beginning of Timepiece, is a crass, womanizing drunk. Charming, sure, but I spent a good portion of the first few chapters wanting to smack him upside the head.
Luckily, while I can’t say that I wound up agreeing with all of Kaleb’s choices, I was able to understand him, sympathize with him, and really like him. Even when he was being a womanizing drunk. He was a great narrator, and it was really interesting viewing this crazy world through his eyes.
It was also fun to see Emerson and Michael from someone else’s point of view. In Hourglass, their relationship is all fluttery feelings and absurd chemistry and sparks of electricity. In Timepiece, we can see how that gets a little annoying to the people around them.
We get to know the secondary characters better, especially Emerson’s best friend Lily, which made me super happy. I was really hoping we’d find out more about her, since I really enjoyed her character in Hourglass. There’s still a few characters I would like to know more about. Maybe the third book will use one of them as narrator?
Jack Landers is a great villain. He’s evil and scary and dark, but not cartoonish. He’s given a solid back story, so that you understand him but still don’t like him. He’s smart and cunning and not given to extensive monologuing or pointless vendettas. You can really understand why he would be two steps ahead of our group of heroes, without making him ridiculous or them stupid.
As far as the story in Timepiece, I was riveted from the first chapter through the last page. There is a ton of action in this book. The stakes are higher, the powers more developed, the craziness heightened. Like Hourglass, it had a few twists that I absolutely did not see coming, yet none of them felt contrived.
There is a love story in Timepiece, but it is not a love triangle, thank goodness. I was scared, going in, that I was going to have to put up with Kaleb and Michael being all angsty and territorial about Emerson throughout the book (as Kaleb obviously has feelings for Emerson in Hourglass), but that fortunately did not happen. As it was, I really like the way the romantic angle was handled. It felt real. It wasn’t all sparks and sighs and fluttery feelings, which is nice, because I don’t think that’s the way romance normally happens.
Overall, Timepiece was a fun and exciting story. I really enjoyed the characters and was never quite sure what was going to happen next. The book ends with an obvious setup for a third book, but while I am itching to read more about the world of the Hourglass (which will probably be a while, since Timepiece hasn’t even been officially released yet), I still felt completely satisfied at the conclusion.