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The only way to rescue the future is to alter the past.
When Abby stepped through the hourglass door, leaving her beloved Dante blind and bleeding on the other side, it was in full faith that she could find a way to repair the damage to the river of time and restore him — as well as her family. It was a desperate chance that seemed worth taking.
But Zo had other plans.
Now Abby is trapped in a full-fledged battle for her own mind and life and heart. Even worse, Zo's evil intent reaches beyond simple revenge against her and Dante. The whole world is in danger of collapsing unless Abby can summon her courage and undertake a journey that will lead her beyond the origins of the hourglass door.
- Size: 5½" x 8¼"
- Pages: 368
- Published: 05/2011
- Book on CD: Unabridged
- Number of Discs: 7
- Run Time: Approx. 9.2 hours
About the Author
Lisa Mangum has loved and worked with books ever since elementary school, when she volunteered at the school library during recess. Her first paying job was shelving books at the Sandy Library. She worked for five years at Waldenbooks while she attended the University of Utah, graduating with honors with a degree in English. An avid reader of all genres, she has worked in the publishing department for Deseret Book since 1997. Besides books, Lisa loves movies, sunsets, spending time with her family, trips to Disneyland, and vanilla ice cream topped with fresh raspberries. She lives in Taylorsville with her husband, Tracy.
The music was everywhere. The music was everything. The notes burrowed inside of me, wriggling and writhing and eating away at the darkest parts of me. More and more notes poured into me, gathering together into a solid mass, rising up in a wall of noise. A curtain of black covered me. I was consumed by the music.
Underneath the music, a sound rose up like words, a primal language of pain.
I heard someone scream. I felt the echo of it rattle in my throat.
Had that noise come from me?
I closed my eyes, hoping I could blot out the sight of the man with the guitar who stood before me, hoping I could escape into the darkness.
Eventually the screaming stopped, but I still heard the music.
Eventually the music stopped, but I still felt the pain.
Eventually the man left, and I was alone.
The voice entered my ear like a needle. I remembered another voice, a darker voice, dripping with confidence and command. That voice had said the same thing to me, piercing deep. And when I had obeyed—when I had been forced to obey . . .
My mind shied away from the memory. I could feel my heart beating faster as pain sank sharp claws into me. The salt from my dried tears felt gritty on my lips and tasted bitter.
“Can you hear me? I need you to stay still.”
Confused, I tried to open my eyes, but my body didn’t want to cooperate. I didn’t want to stay still. I had been frozen in place for what seemed like a long time, like forever. I wanted to move, to run, to fly. I wanted to leave behind this place, this empty prison that had locked me in endless pain. I pushed myself to my feet, lashing out at the darkness in my mind, at the voice by my ear, searching for something to hang on to. Something to hit. Someone to hurt.
My fist connected with something solid, the thud sending a jolt through my arm.
“No—stop. Don’t.” The voice was closer now, and I heard a note of frustration in his tone. Strong arms wrapped themselves around me, pinning my arms to my chest and holding me close against a body hard as rock. “Be still. Let me help you.”
I shook my head. No one could help me. I had been cast adrift in a sea of agony and there was no salvation in sight. I was lost. Trapped.
I managed to crack my eyes open a slit, wincing at the dull gray light that slipped inside.
The world around me extended into a flat horizon line. I felt like I should recognize the vast, featureless landscape, but I didn’t.
The man holding me against his chest was taller than I was, and his hair was dark and cut short. His skin, a dusky shade of brown, was smooth, his body toned. His face, from the line of his jaw to the slope of his nose, was all planes and angles. A cloth bandage hid his eyes, spots of blood seeping through like tears.
A swell of apprehension rose up inside me at the sight of the blood. Had I done that?
I didn’t think so. Buried beneath the bright red spots on the bandage were darker smudges of older blood. The wound wasn’t fresh, but it also hadn’t yet healed.
I stopped struggling. I felt like I should recognize the person holding me, but I didn’t. No, that wasn’t entirely true. My hand twitched, and I knew that if I pressed my palm to his cheek, it would be a perfect fit.
“You’re here,” I said. The words came unbidden from somewhere inside me, past the pain and confusion, slipping out like a sigh. “You came.”
The tension in his face softened and his body relaxed to match mine. His arms loosened into an embrace. “Of course I came,” he said. His forehead touched mine. “I promised you I would.”
A line of blood appeared at the lower edge of the cloth binding his eyes.
“Your eyes—” I frowned. There was something I should remember about his eyes. Something important. Something that mattered.
He pulled away from me slightly. “I would have been here waiting for you, but I misjudged the time.” He shook his head briskly, absently. “I can see you, but not much else. The river, of course. I can still see that. But everything about the river is muddled—the past, the future. It makes it hard to know where I’m supposed to be.”
“Be with me,” I said. My thoughts drifted as if in a dream. I couldn’t stop looking at his mouth. I didn’t understand most of what he was saying, but the shape of his lips was mesmerizing. Inviting. I wanted to touch them, taste them. I wanted them to tell me his name.
His arms tightened around me as the embrace melted into a caress. “Always.” He exhaled the word, his breath hot on my cheek.
The world around me softened and blurred. The sensation of being in a dream was stronger than ever. I felt lighter than air. I raised myself up on my toes, sure that with that small push, I would float away into the sky.
Instead, my lips met his, and if I had wished to fly before, now I was soaring.
His hands trailed lines of light up my back and along my neck as he held me close to him. His mouth moved on mine with an intensity as fierce as the summer sun.
My fingers and toes tingled, but the rest of me melted into something soft and ethereal. A breath wrapped around a liquid core.
“Who are you?” I asked dreamily when he finally released me and I could speak again. “And where have you been all my life?”
His mouth curved in a small smile. “Are you feeling all right?” he asked with a hint of confusion.
“Mmm, never better,” I said, lifting up on my toes again, wanting to taste that smile in another kiss.
Instead he pulled away, moving his hands from my back to my shoulders. He held me at arm’s length, and I had the feeling he was somehow studying me with his wounded eyes.
I felt a giggle bubble up inside me. “You’re cute when you’re serious, do you know that?” I tilted my head to the side, mirroring his position. “Can I see your face?” I asked suddenly. “All of it. I want to see your eyes.” I reached up and touched the side of his blood-stained bandage.
He stepped back quickly, shaking his head. “No, don’t—”
I lowered my hand, a smear of red on my fingers. “Why not? What happened to them? You’re not blind, are you? I thought you said you could see me.”
A tremor traveled through him. He controlled it quickly, though his body remained taut and tense.
“Let me see your eyes,” I said again, a little worried. “Maybe I can help.”
“How long have you been here?” he asked quietly.
I shrugged. “Does it matter?”
“How long?” he demanded in a voice close to a shout.
“I don’t know!” I shouted back. “I don’t even know where I am. But I know I hate it here.”
A muscle twitched in his jaw. “Where is the door?” he asked.
“What door?” I glanced around, wondering if perhaps I had overlooked something, but the barren landscape held nothing but us.
He frowned, a deep line crossing his forehead.
“What is your name?” he asked, but it didn’t seem like he wanted to know. It seemed more like it was a test.
“What kind of question is that?” I laughed. “It’s . . .” I started.
“My name is . . .” And then my mind went blank. Or rather, it went black, the darkness creeping in from the edges of my consciousness.
Terror followed, slipping in behind the shadows. How could I not know my own name? A cold sweat lined my scalp, left damp trails down the back of my neck. My mind felt thick with questions, stuffed with noise and chaos.
“What is my name?” An edge appeared in his voice, diamond-sharp and demanding. Another test.
I shrugged again, feeling a flare of anger cut through my confusion. “You tell me. You seem to know all the answers before you even ask the questions.”
He took a deep breath and his whole body sharpened into stillness. He seemed to gather the quietness around him, focusing it into a single narrow point that he aimed directly at me. “I need you to concentrate. Think back. What’s the last thing you remember?”
Frowning, I shook my head. When I pushed at the block in my mind, it pushed back. And it hurt. I didn’t want to remember. The block wouldn’t let me remember. All I knew was that there was a deep emptiness in me that had somehow been filled with an even deeper darkness.
“Close your eyes if you have to,” he said, his body and his voice tight with intensity. “Think. Tell me what you remember.” He took the step that separated us and placed his hands on my shoulders again, holding me in place.
I didn’t have to close my eyes as a memory crashed into me. Just a glimpse. A fleeting impression, gone almost before it arrived. But all at once, I felt myself start to shake. My breathing became ragged, each heavy gasp torn from my body. “A song,” I managed. “There was a man playing a song. I remember the music.”
Another glimpse bubbled up from behind the blackness. Dark hair. Dark eyes. An aura of confidence. Of power.
“The music took . . . everything,” I moaned, covering my mouth with my hands as though I could protect something I’d already lost.
The man standing in front of me made a sound—a half-moan, half-growl—deep in his throat: “Zo.” It might have been a name; I couldn’t tell.
The darkness in my mind flexed and stretched as though responding to a distant call.
“Zo damaged your memories and left you here to suffer, knowing the bank would finish what he had started.” His voice shook with disbelief, cracking with anger. “You can’t stay here. It’s not safe. You’re already dangerously out of balance. We’ve got to get you back into the river before it’s too late.” The anger in his voice hardened into resolve, and when he spoke again, he was quiet and serious. “I will not lose you. I will not let him win.”
Before I could say anything, he took my hand and led me a short distance away across the unmarked sands to where a river of light flowed. The light was filled with a hypnotic movement that swayed and danced. Images floated along the surface of the river—people, places—but nothing I recognized. Nothing that sparked a memory strong enough to burn through the darkness eating away at me.
He placed his hands on my shoulders and held me firmly.
“Listen to me very carefully,” he said. “I’m sending you back through the river. I don’t know if your memories will return when I do, but if not, I need you to remember this: When you go through the river, you’ll be in a courtroom. A man named Orlando will be there. You’ll know him by the marks on his wrists. He has chains, like mine.” He pushed his sleeve up over his arm, revealing a band of shimmering gold. “Only his will be black. He can help you. He’s a good man; you can trust him.”
“How do I know I can trust you?” I asked.
In response, he cupped my head in his hands and kissed me hard. “Because I love you, Abigail Beatrice Edmunds. I always have. I always will.”
At the touch of his lips, at the sound of his voice saying my name, the darkness inside me seemed to retreat, leaving behind a golden glimmer of light flickering like fireflies. I caught my breath in wonder.
“I will find a way to return to you what was stolen.”
My head throbbed, and my lungs labored to draw in even the smallest breath. Even though I didn’t understand what was happening, I knew one thing: I could trust his kiss.
“I’m sorry this has happened to you,” he said. “I will make this right. I promise.”
“What are you going to do?”
A grim expression settled over his face. For the first time, I was glad I couldn’t see his eyes. “I’m going hunting.”
Then he pushed my shoulders and I fell back. The river closed over me without even a splash or a ripple to mark my passing.
by Evelyn - reviewed on November 22, 2011
This book did not disappoint in wrapping up the series! I read it along with my teen age son, who enjoyed it also. It was fun to discuss it as we went along. I recommend the entire series - it is a wonderful way to get lost in an adventure!
by Katie - reviewed on June 09, 2011
There isn't much more I can say about this book other than it is fantastic! I read the whole thing in one sitting; I just couldn't put it down. There were times when I was so frustrated at the characters that I thought I would throw the book across the room, but there were also times when I just wanted to hug the book I was just so happy. It is a testament to Lisa Mangum's writing abilities that the reader can become so engrossed in the novel. Lisa has done a fabulous job of character development and she ties up the loose ends seamlessly. I couldn't have asked for a better ending to a series.
by Dena - reviewed on June 08, 2011
I was a little disappointed in the last book of the series. It wasn't as strong as the first two, and the power struggle between Dante and Zo became tedious.
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