Friday, July 16, 2010

Book Review - The Golden Spiral by Lisa Mangum

For most romantic stories the hero and heroine are thrown together throughout the book. Publishers like it that way. Readers like it that way. But then every once in a while a book comes along and breaks the rules. And so it is with The Golden Spiral by Lisa Mangum. The reader and heroine don’t actually see the hero until page 230. I know you have questions, but hang on.

The Golden Spiral is the sequel to Mangum’s bestselling novel, The Hourglass Door, which Forward Review awarded Book of the Year for Young Adult for 2009. Sadly, I haven’t read The Hourglass Door, but that didn’t stop me from reading The Golden Spiral

You might ask, did I miss out not reading the first book and starting with the second? Yes, because I didn’t see the relationship develop between Dante, the hero, and Abby, the heroine.

But in starting with the sequel, was the story confusing? No. Mangum did a wonderful job of feeding needed information into the sequel so the reader could pick this novel up and feel as though they weren’t missing crucial information.

So then, were there large info dumps in the novel bringing the reader up to speed? No. Mangum combined the information needed tucked within the action.

All right, but how can a YA, time-traveling romance not have the hero show up until page 230 and keep the romance tension going? Ohhhh, let me tell you, this is the genius in Mangum’s writing. Through Abby’s thoughts and her ability to reach through time the reader hears the hero, feels the love between Dante and Abby, and is on pins and needles until they are finally together again.

Here’s the flap-liner of the book:

The bank is eroding. The barriers are thinning. And time is running out.

The hourglass door has closed behind Dante, sending him back in time to hunt down Zo, Tony, and V. Although giving him up was the hardest test she ever faced, Abby knows that Dante is the only one who can stop the others from destroying time itself. But almost immediately, things start to change, and Abby’s worst fears are realized when Zo begins targeting her past specifically.

With each change that ripples into her present, Abby’s life continues to spiral out of control. Her relationships with Jason, Natalie, and even her family are threatened to the breaking point. Zo’s power is greater than Abby ever imagined. Will her love for Dante be enough to turn the tide?

In many ways I’m glad I started the series with the sequel, for I was able to see the characters in the after-light of the previous novel. It felt kind of like stepping into a room and everyone stops talking and you know they were talking about you, but you don’t dare let on what you suspect. As I read this novel the question “why” constantly dogged me and just as I thought “why” would never be answered it was.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Golden Spiral. And you know what? Since I have a while before the third book in this series is released, I think I’ll read The Hourglass Door. ;)

(Shadow Mountain published this book. I was given a free copy to review, but I reviewed it because I liked it.)


  1. This sounds really interesting. I'm going to write both titles on my list.

    Straight From Hel

  2. Hi Kathi -

    This sounds like an exciting book. I don't usually go for Sci-Fi, but I might give this one a whirl. :)


  3. Helen,
    Thanks for stopping by. I think you'll really enjoy both books. :)

  4. Susan,
    I think you'll enjoy them. Thanks for stopping by. :)

  5. This sounds like an interesting series. I love hearing about new books! Thank you for the review!

  6. T,. Anne,
    You're welcome.
    Thanks for stopping by. :)

  7. Awesome stuff! Sounds like a really good book. LOL about the first one. Yeah, you should go read it :)

  8. Tabitha,
    You're right, I should read the first book, and I will as soon as I get it back from my daughter. :)



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