Thursday, January 10, 2013

Review: Vortex 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: Vortex by Julie CrossVortex by Julie Cross
Series: Tempest #2
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on January 15th 2013
Genres: Sci-Fi, Time-Travel, YA
Source: St. Martin's Press
Buy on Amazon

Jackson Meyer has thrown himself into his role as an agent for Tempest, the shadowy division of the CIA that handles all time-travel-related threats. Despite his heartbreak at losing the love of his life, Jackson has proved himself to be an excellent agent. However, after an accidental run in with Holly—the girl he altered history to save—Jackson is once again reminded of what he's lost. And when Eyewall, an opposing division of the CIA, emerges, Jackson and his fellow agents not only find themselves under attack, but Jackson begins to discover that the world around him has changed and someone knows about his erased relationship with Holly, putting both their lives at risk all over again.

This review contains no spoilers of either Vortex or Tempest

As much as I get fascinated by time travel–especially when it’s created as well as in this series–it can get extremely complicated. Like Tempest, this novel is not to be read with a wandering mind, or you will find yourself in the middle of a complex story with no idea where you are–or when. For this reason, it may not be for everyone, but if you enjoy reads that are as intelligent as they are fun, then this series is for you!

When we left Jackson in Tempest, we had learned just how intricate this whole time travel business was. Not to mention how heartbreaking to see Jackson’s heart torn apart over a girl that has no clue who he is–being from a different time and/or parallel world and all. The romance in this series is one that really pulls at your heartstrings in a way that makes you feel absolutely hopeless. It doesn’t just stem from a traditional break-up, or at an extreme, death, in a way, it’s worse than that. Jackson is still madly in love with Holly but unfortunately the Holly he loves is not the Holly in his world. How do you heal from that? She doesn’t remember know who he is, and as if this wasn’t enough, he has to see her being happy with someone else. I felt all sorts of emotions when it came to this aspect of the plot. I both loved and hated it. I loved the originality and heart of the story, but I hated the sense that it’s unfixable, especially when you can see even under these circumstances just how much chemistry there is between them. A truly frustrating situation, for sure. I loved it! *sobs*

It’s extremely rare that I can get into a time travel story without leaving logic on the backburner. Julie really put a lot of effort into making the time travel a scientific notion that becomes, not feasible obviously, but believable nonetheless. This is where the novel becomes complicated, however, and you have to pay close attention, or even make yourself some graphics and notes to be able to follow 100% accurately. Don’t worry, though, even if you’re lost you can still grasp what is happening in the large sense. I will admit that I stopped trying to keep myself situated in the years, alternate worlds, and different jump abilities (some alter the present, some don’t). I think my brain fizzled, somewhere around 2007, alternate world C, full jump. O_O I’m telling you, it’s pretty freaking fantastic. This also welcomes twists and discoveries that you would never see coming, as well as my personal favorite–glimpses into very ominous futures.

This leads me to the ending: Our hectic journey into this big swirling time-travel mess (I say this positively, of course!) ends in a heart-grasping cliffhanger. Cliffhangers don’t always work, sometimes they’re created for dramatic effect or to lure us into the next book, but in this case I felt it was very fitting to the story. It made sense; it completely fit the expectations of such a story–time travel does have dire consequences, and Julie adapted it into a gripping ending. It also leaves me baffled when I try to foresee what she has in store for us in book 3.

New characters are introduced, deeper time travel and its consequences are explored, a more profound look into Jackson’s life reveals things that are both intriguing and distressing–a rewarding sequel to a one of a kind time-travel series!


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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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22 Responses to “Review: Vortex by Julie Cross”

  1. Erin W.

    Unfortunately I didn’t love Tempest and didn’t like Holly all so much so I don’t think I’m going to continue with this series unless I come across a copy of the sequel at my local library. Still, great review! Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Amy

    I loved Tempest. I think I had an easier time keeping track because I listened to the audiobook of it. I am really looking forward to Vortex, especially after your review!! I know that my heart is going to be aching for Jackson!

  3. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    This sounds… well not fun. I always find that time travel stories hurt my head and if I just let go and try to go with it while not really caring about all the details I can’t get into the story. I have to have a full grasp on everything to enjoy a novel usually. I hope I don’t have to make a graph when I read Tempest O.o Maybe an audiobook is a better idea, like Amy had mentioned. Great review!

  4. Alexa Y.

    I’m very much looking forward to this book after enjoying Tempest so much! I need to find out what happens next to these characters, not just in terms of their romance, but also in terms of this whole time travel craziness!

  5. Christina

    The first book was a three for me. I’m both intrigued and afraid about this one based on your saying they really get into the time travel stuff, because I am SO PICKY about time travel.

  6. Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue

    It’s really nice to see someone else who enjoys this series like I do. I have a copy of VORTEX waiting on me to read it, and it will likely be the FIRST February book I read. Tempest really resonated with me. I agree that Julie Cross makes time travel not only believable, but something you want to know more about. I’m thrilled to pieces that you loved VORTEX, Giselle. I seriously cannot wait to read it, and you’ve just made me even more psyched!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  7. Ems

    I was totally not ever planning on reading Tempest. The premise just didn’t appeal to me all that much. Then I saw a copy on the library shelves and decided to give it a shot. HOOKED. Now I’m looking forward to Vortex! Awesome review – made me that much more excited!

  8. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    Not a cliffhanger! Well, that’s totally depressing. I am SO looking forward to this, I loved the first book and I’m sure this one is a thrill ride as well, but I am not a fan of cliffhangers.
    Great review, Giselle. I am vety excited to read this.

  9. Millie

    Great review! I have yet to read Tempest, but I’ve heard so many good things about it, and especially with your review here, I just want to start reading it even more! So glad to see you enjoyed it, by the way.

    Millie @ Millie D’s Words

  10. Blythe Harris

    We’re review twins today! Weee! I’m so glad you ended up liking this one as much as I enjoyed it, Giselle! AND OMG YES. SO. FREAKING. CONFUSING. I actually had to take notes. And the cliffhanger was HUGE. Like you, I have literally no clue as to where Cross could possibly go in the next book. Well, that is if the cliffhanger ending in Vortex actually happens and it’s not a cheap shot.

    I hope it actually happens. That’d be BALLSY.

  11. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I haven’t read the first one but definitely had it on my radar (it’s a slow radar, what can I say). Not so thrilled about the cliffhanger, even if it was well done so I’ll probably wait until the whole series is out. That way, I can read it in one big gulp like the greedy pig I am!

  12. Shooting Stars Mag

    Oh interesting cover! I haven’t read Tempest yet, but I really want to. I’m glad the scientific aspect of it worked for you. I’m not too bothered about the reasoning behind time travel, since I don’t read a lot of sci-fi books and any explanation will probably go over my head. LOL It’s nice that the author obviously put a lot of thought into it though.

  13. Steph (Poetry to Prose)

    I’m glad to hear you enjoyed this so much! I had a blast reading Tempest so I’m excited to read the development in Vortex — I’m especially curious about that ending. I like that you said that it made sense for the story. Thanks for the review!