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April 10, 2012

Review: Tempest by Julie Cross

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.
Reading Tempest brought me right back to my childhood. During my late elementary/middle school years, I was always inexplicably drawn to the suspenseful action/adventure novels such as the Alex Rider series and James Patterson's Maximum Ride books. Though I've grown to into a more varied taste that now includes but is not limited to fantasy, dystopian, and contemporary, there's nothing quite like the rush of a dramatic, unpredictable thriller story. That is exactly how I would label Tempest; it was engaging and exciting from beginning to end.

Based solely on outward appearance, nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer seems like a normal guy. However, as the saying goes, looks can be deceiving--Jackson has the ability to travel through time. As he learns harness this newfound talent, Jackson will discover the true purpose behind it. When the one he loves is put in mortal danger, he comes face to face with the daunting task of time traveling to save her life.

Two things about Tempest that immediately stood out to me were 1) the characters' ages, and 2) the male perspective. It's a little unusual to find a college-age protagonist like Jackson Meyer in a YA novel. However, what made me comfortable with the fact of his age was the constant flashbacks into his past. Though he remains the same age throughout his travels, snippets of his past life through his twin sister Courtney, who I absolutely adored, provided a nice balance. Additionally, the story written from Jackson's point of view was rather refreshing next to the increasing number of female narrators in the Young Adult genre.

For me, the only negative factor in Tempest was difficulty comprehending the time travel concepts. Perhaps I'm just easily confused, but it took me a few re-reads early on to adjust. I think the issue is mostly relative to the overarching idea of time travel considering the evident amount of research and thought put into the novel by the author. Overall, though, I was completely entertained by the book and am anxiously awaiting the currently unnamed sequel set to release in 2013!

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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