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Take time to see if hero can save time in 'The Golden Spiral'

"THE GOLDEN SPIRAL," by Lisa Mangum, Shadow Mountain, 384 pages, $18.99 (young adult)

A year ago, local author Lisa Mangum burst onto the literary scene with her book, "The Hourglass Door." Now, with the release of its sequel, "The Golden Spiral," Mangum is firmly securing her place in the world of young adult fantasy literature.

"Golden Spiral" picks up where "Hourglass Door" left off. Dante, a mysterious foreign exchange student with the unusual ability to bend time, has disappeared through the hourglass door. His mission — hunt down Zo, Tony and V, who seek to twist time to their own advantage.

Abby, a once-typical high school senior, is left behind. She knows that the only way to save time is for Dante to go after the three men, but she also knows Dante can't do it alone.

Almost immediately after Dante goes through the door, things start to change in Abby's life. First, they're just little instances, but soon they begin to grow larger. Something terrible must have happened to Dante, because Abby's world is literally spiraling out of control. Events are changing and people are disappearing.

Abby has only one option: build a new door based on the blueprints Dante left behind. With the new time machine, maybe, if she's lucky, Abby can save Dante and her own past, present and future.

As with "Hourglass Door," it's inevitable that "Golden Spiral" will be compared to other books in the genre. Fortunately, it is based on a solid story and strong characters that negate the formulaic elements of a young heroine in love with a magical and gorgeous hero who are together living on the cusp of danger and trying to save the world.

And while "Golden Spiral" still centers on relationships, the fantastical elements really start to bleed through, making it feel more like a fantasy book than its predecessor. Scenes are also more intense, and a violent encounter near the end, while tastefully done, will surprise some readers.

"Golden Spiral" is not a stand-alone book, and if you haven't read "Hourglass Door" or haven't read it in a long time, you will be lost. It's unfortunate that a brief synopsis wasn't included to help readers reacquaint themselves with the story line.

Despite its few problems, however, "Golden Spiral" is an entertaining and fast-paced read that will have fans champing at the bit for its follow-up, "The Forgotten Locket," which isn't due out until summer 2011.

If you go...

Who: Lisa Mangum

When: May 14, 5:30 p.m.

Where: St. George Deseret Book, 735 S. Bluff

Also

When: May 15, noon

Where: Cedar City Deseret Book, 1166 S. Sage Drive

e-mail: jharrison@desnews.com