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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tempest by Julie Cross

Release: January 17, 2012

Source: Purchased
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.
Werewolves, fallen angels, vampires, mermaids – it seems the young adult genre has done it all in the last five years. Except, of course, time travel.

Thus far, I have only happened upon two time travel novels, both of which approached the concept from vastly different – but equally enticing – perspectives. Now, with Tempest, I have discovered yet another lovely time travel-centered read.

My initial impression was that Tempest would contain numerous, Jumper-like time “jump” sequences and a great deal of romance. I was wrong – sort of. The jumps were not what I had expected. They were far less frequent and controlled than I originally thought. The romance, too, was different than my expectations. Jackson and Holly were not love-sick high school students. Rather, they were college students at NYU who were in an on-again-off-again fling.

Despite these deviations from my original impressions, I still found myself enchanted with Tempest, largely because it contained some wonderful world building.

This is a novel rich in complex, fully-formed characters. By slowly peeling back each character’s layers, Cross was able to flesh out every character in Jackson’s world, from those closest to him to the seemingly trivial assistant. Even the adversaries he faced were two-dimensional. Cross explored the depths of every character, Jackson included, building a vivid, thriving world.

An incredibly unique aspect of Tempest was that, in addition to learning about Holly and Jackson’s “relationship” in 2009, readers also got to see their relationship grow and blossom in 2007. One minute Jackson would be with 007 Holly, and the next he would be lost in a memory of 009 Holly. The dual relationships provided glimpses of the many different sides of Jackson and Holly, allowing a more complete picture of the two to develop.

Then, of course, there is the time travel. Jackson’s ability to “jump” to the past is intriguing in and of itself. In the early pages, I was fascinated. Like Adam, Holly’s braniac friend and Jackson’s quasi-mentor, I wanted to know just what the limitations on his powers were and how they worked. Once Jackson found himself in 007 and his speculations about his abilities mounted, I was all the more enthralled. Time and time again, Cross surprised me with unexpected curveballs, leaving me furiously flipping pages to find out more. I had my theories going into Tempest, but I never could have foreseen the secrets that came to light.

This is one book where I am more than happy to leave things bittersweet. I want more!

4 stars


  1. While the time travel aspect wasn't too my taste (I like stories where they go far back in time rather than within their own timelines), I definitely appreciated this take and what an ending!

  2. This has been on my radar for quite a while and I haven't been sure whether to look into it or not, but I will now :)
    Great review :)


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