Thursday, January 10, 2013

Review: Vortex by Julie Cross

Julie Cross
Series:  Tempest, #2
Publication date: January 15th 2013 
by St. Martin's Griffin

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.
*A copy was provided by Macmillan for review purposes*

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!

4 Hot Espressos

The  Tempest series: