Author: Julie Cross
Publication date: January 17th, 2012
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Length: 412 pages
Genre: YA fiction
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.
I’ve never actually read any time travel books before so I was really excited when I received my copy of Julie Cross’s debut novel, Tempest. But most importantly, as much as I had no idea what to expect at first, it turned out to be a fantastic book I could barely put down – something which I’d definitely recommend to anyone who likes an exciting, action-packed young adult romance.
I must admit that Jackson and Holly – the two main characters- did not really appeal to me at first. While the story was interesting and it kept me going, I kept thinking about how cold Holly’s personality was and how much of a ‘spoilt brat’ Jackson was. What made me even more doubtful was the fact that this whole time-travel thing with its parallel universe theory and different time lines is quite a confusing issue and Cross keeps you in the dark for a long time. Hence my initial worry about not understanding the story and not being able to emotionally connect to the characters. But what can I say? I was completely wrong.
The characters completely grew on me and I realized how much I misjudged them at first. Jackson is a down-to-earth guy with a likeable nature, someone who’s very charismatic and who will no doubt be a favourite with the female audience. I found it quite touching that even though he’s a cool, rich and popular guy, he had a great relationship with her sister who passed away a few years prior to the beginning of the story, and how much his family meant to him. And how much he loves Holly, of course. The author did a great job letting us a take a glimpse behind the cool exterior and see his more emotional, softer side.
Cross raises several questions in her novel and you can’t help thinking about them either. What happens to your body during a time jump? How come Jackson can go back in time but not forward? Even though she reveals bits of information from time to time, we are constantly faced with new questions we want to find an answer for. Time travel is a tricky issue, a topic that could easily confuse readers but Julie Cross handles it very well, without making it too simplistic or utterly complicated.
Tempest is a brilliant debut novel with a touch of romance and action – a real page turner with a potential to be the next big thing, and a fascinating story that will keep you on the edge of your seat from the very beginning. The second part of the novel raises another question which has, along with Jackson’s solution, completely taken me by surprise and I’m eagerly waiting for the sequel and finding out how their story continues.
You know your girlfriend is in danger if she stays with you and the only way to protect her or keep her alive is to let her go. Would you?