Saturday, January 21, 2012

Review: Tempest by Julie Cross

Julie Cross
Release date: January 17th, 2012
by St. Martin's Press

Goodreads / Purchase
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.
*A copy was provided by St. Martin's Press for review purposes*

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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