Saturday, January 21, 2012

Review: Tempest by Julie Cross

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I received this book for free from St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Tempest by Julie CrossTempest by Julie Cross
Series: Tempest #2
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on January 17th, 2012
Genres: Sci-Fi, Time-Travel, YA
Source: St. Martin's Press
Buy on Amazon

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.

Time travel is a very tricky subject to get into. (Look at the epic failure of Lost for example). There is the usual paradox of, if we go back in time then what happens must already have happened to make us go back. As well as the endless time loop theories. Tempest battles this with separate timelines. So now my questions are: if we change timeline, then what happens to our self in the original timeline? Does a fake us keep living there? If not, is it as if we never existed there, or do people think we’ve just disappeared? And what happens to our other self that existed before we got to the new timeline?… Yes, my brain hurts too! These were the sort of questions running through my mind while reading Tempest. You have to spend time pondering what’s happening, over keeping track of all the back and forth time traveling. For this reason, I can see why this is not a book that everyone would take to. It would be easy to get overwhelmed by the maze-like story, but due to my constant analyzations and fascination with time travel, I was easily engrossed in this novel. Even though there are some lose ends to my questionings, I was overall impressed by Julie Cross’s time travel concepts.

We’ve got Jackson as our male protagonist. He’s a wonderful character that is incredibly easy to like and care for. He’s just learning how to work his ability when he gets stuck 2 years in the past, leaving his girlfriend, Holly, in a grave situation. Failing to get back, he tries to recreate his relationship with Holly’s younger self. It’s definitely an interesting romance set in an peculiar situation. We’ve got the usual fun and pleasant moments, but also some with a more significant message tied to them. The secondary characters aren’t extremely developed, but enough to enjoy their presence. Adam and his theories, Holly and her quirks, even Jackson’s father; they are an eclectic mix of entertaining personalities.

Because of the quick time jumps that happen quite often, the book is fast paced from the beginning. It can be easy to get disoriented, but it can be equally easy to get captivated by the commotion. It’s not until almost the very end that we get a glimpse of the bigger picture – an unsettling (and mind-boggling) glimpse – which has the potential to make it a much more epic trilogy than I had first envisioned.

Constant action, heartfelt romance, and fascinating plot twists all add up to a promising start of what could end up being a fantastic series. Time travel is never an easy feat, but if you think your brain cells can handle it, you should absolutely give Tempest a try!


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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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28 Responses to “Review: Tempest by Julie Cross”

  1. Amy

    This sounds really good. I tend to over analyze things too, so I think I would really enjoy trying to keep up with the change in timelines. Time travel is a really cool concept to me too, so I look forward to reading this book. BTW I completely understood what you were saying. No head hurt for me. lol!! Great review!

  2. Jac

    I’m glad you liked this one a lot, I’m really looking forward to reading it.

    I was definitely hesitant at first – the whole time travel thing is so hard to pull off. But I’ve heard several people say basically everything you’ve said – and I think if you go into it with some (realistic) expectation it will be easier to take.

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  3. Jenny

    I’ve always enjoyed the time travel stories, I love asking myself the questions you mentioned about our past and future selves and how everything ties together when you make a leap like Jackson does. Glad to know you enjoyed this one, I’m really looking forward to it!

  4. Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue

    I agree with most of your review. I really enjoyed the secondary characters and hope that we see more of them in the sequel – especially Jackson’s dad, who I think has a lot of potential for character growth, etc. I’m not even sure WHY exactly, but I just, I got attached to this book. I kept thinking about it long after I finished it. I’m so glad to see you enjoyed it. 🙂

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  5. Alexa

    I’m pretty excited to read this one, as I just picked it up at the bookstore. It sounds so good and Julie Cross was such a sweetheart! 🙂

  6. Rebecca

    I love time travel because of that! Not that I’ve read to many yet, but they’re always fascinating. My head always hurts when trying to connect the if they go back in time thoughts haha, so I won’t even try to explain what I think cause it’s just… too hard! Lol. Great review! I’m so looking forward to read this one.

  7. Gina @ My Precious

    I’m reading this one right now. You’re right about it being a tad confusing with all Jackson’s jumping and all, but I’m engrossed. It is really face paced as you describe. I’m hoping I’ll discover what happened to Jackson’s twin sister.

  8. manda-rae

    I’m currently reading this book now. And I’ve got to say I’m enjoying it (even though I’ve had some moments of disorientation with the time travel). Loved the review!

  9. Giselle

    Thanks guys!

    @Molli : I think Jackson’s dad is going to become very important! I’m so curious!

    @Erica: Yes the ending was really heartbreaking! 🙁

  10. Kristin Aragon

    Excellent review Giselle. You ask some very philosophical questions just like I would. I have been looking forward to this book for a while. It’s moving closer to the top of my TBR list every day.


  11. Andrea @The Bookish Babes

    LOST = Epic failure? You almost lost me there. 🙂
    Time travel is very tricky, iit has to be really well done or I’m not on board. I’ve heard so many conflicting thoughts on this book. But I’m glad you liked it. It sounds like the setup for book two is a real selling point.
    Great review!

  12. Amy

    This sounds really interesting! Time travel does my head in. If I don’t analyse it to much it’s not so bad but if I start to think about it to much while reading a book I get so confused! Great review Giselle! I will have to give this one a go!

  13. Rebecca

    I’m glad to read you enjoyed this! I love time travel when it’s done right and I’ve been wanting to read Tempest. Thanks for the review.

  14. Sarah (saz101)

    Aaaa! I have this one on order and now I can’t wait for it to arrive! It sounds so gooood! I LOVE time travel, and I’m intrigued to see how Cross handles it. It’s my number one thing: you HAVE to sort out the issue of paradoxes, or you’ll lose me, but if she’s got this nailed, I’m crazy excited 😀

  15. Cambria

    This looks like a good read and something a little different. I love the cover its really eye catching. Your review was really good and surprisingly it did not make my brain hurt! Lol.