I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Written by Julie Cross
Published January, 2012 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Provided by: Netgalley
Genres: Romance, Sci-Fi, Time Travel
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The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.
That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.
Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities. But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit… or kill him.
Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.
Tempest is boldly original and a complete page-turner. The downside for me? I thought a few things could’ve been handled a little more smoothly plot-wise. All things considered, though, I have grown attached to Jackson and Holly’s story and will definitely be following the next book in the series.
I would give Tempest a 3.5 rating if I could, but unfortunately I’m a stickler for rounding down and sticking to solid numbers. Despite the middle-star-rating, though, I really did quite enjoy Tempest. As I briefly mentioned, however, I thought pieces of the plot were a little patchy and difficult to understand.
At some stages in the book, I found myself re-reading certain paragraphs and passages just trying to get my head around what the characters were saying. I think it was just (to use the Doctor Who analogy) the ‘Timey-Wimey’ stuff that made my head ache, but I did feel like integral things I should understand were EVERYWHERE and I was grappling to put them together. I would have preffered these instances to flow a little more smoothly.
As for the secondary characters – I did feel they were a little flat, but then again they weren’t IMPORTANT to the story (I’m still not sure which EoT or agent is which, etc). Jackson and Holly, however, were fabulous and I found myself attached to them quite early on. This is probably one of the only times I’ve dived into a YA book and found the leading couple in an already-existing relationship – and I must say, I loved it. There’s no love triangles or dastardly romance scandals in Tempest and that makes it all the more enjoyable. Particularly with such an intricate and difficult plot. Kudos to Julie Cross for that!
I’ll also admit to being cautious about books being told with a male POV. Yes, they’re refreshing and different, but I prefer a female POV because, well, I am female and I usually find I can relate better. But amazingly, like with Cassel in White Cat by Holly Black, I found myself loving Jackson’s narrative voice and his way of telling the story. It couldn’t have been done any other way and I genuinely enjoyed him as a character.
I strongly believe that the Tempest series is one that can only go up from here. There were times when the plot felt a little jilted or flat, but I was still able to keep reading because there’s something about the way Julie Cross tells a story that is incredibly light. At first I was put off by this – the simplistic manner – but toward the end I was grateful for it because it branded Tempest with it’s own sort of style.
That being noted, however, there were a few scenes (action-heavy) that felt a little too rushed. As a reader, I would just be assessing the scene, and then suddenly, someone would be brushing themselves off after a fight and I hadn’t even seen them jump into it! This happened a handful of times and prompted a quick re-read of the paragraph. I guess I’m just used to those fleshy, overly-descriptive action scenes.
This is one of those ‘first-books-in-a-series’ that doesn’t nail the world-building right away, nor does it establish everything right off the bat. There’s still questions left unanswered (SO MANY) and a killer ending that will make you frown in frustration if you’ve become attached to the characters at all. You’ll either love this book for it or hate it. It depends on what kind of reader you are. However, I really do praise Julie Cross for giving us a stunning and original plot – one that twists what we think we know about time travel and weaves it into something entirely new. If you’re looking for an action-packed read, give this one a go!
Recommended to: Readers wanting a fresh, action-packed story should pick this one up when it’s available in January.