Book Review: Tempest

Title/Author:  Tempest by Julie Cross
(Tempest #1)

Genre:  Young Adult, Science Fiction, Time Travel

Published:  January 17th, 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books

Hardcover, 334 pages

How I Got the Book:  I was the first to put it on reserve at my library and checked it out as soon as it was processed in to the system.

Why I Picked It Up?:  Well, it is a 2012 Author Debut Novel,
and it’s about time travel, so why not?

Book Jacket Blurb:  “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.”

My Review of the Work:

I apologize ahead of time if this review is a little jumbled.  For this was a jumbly read for me to process.

Well, I must say, about half way through this novel I thought I was going to not like this novel at all.  Especially because I also found out it was going to be part of a series.  But when I finished it, I rolled my eyes because I know now that I will have to continue the story in the next book, whether I wanted to or not.  And also, I ended up actually liking this novel.  =)

Not going to lie though, it was a rough read for me until about page 200.  The beginning starts out interestingly enough.  We are introduced to Jackson and Adam, who are conducting time-travel experiments in the middle of the zoo, and Holly, Jackson’s girlfriend, who has no idea what he can do.  Then, while Jackson is staying with Holly in her dorm, two men in suits knock on her door, a fight spawns, and Holly ends up crumpled on the floor, blood spilling out of a bullet wound, while Jackson finds himself time jumping.

Only this time, he gets stuck.  In 2007, two years before the day Holly gets shot.  He can’t get back to his timeline.

And then this is where it gets really strange.  Because Jackson begins living his 17 year old life again, but he also has to find a way to casually meet Adam and Holly again (as he didn’t meet them until he was 19).  So he gets this job as a custodian at the gymnastics studio where Holly teaches and works.  This part of the story was cute because we get to watch him pursue the girl he is already madly in love with.  And Adam is instantly convinced of everything Jackson tells him because of some code written in Jackson’s journal.  And Jackson finds out more about what his dad does–deep secret work with the CIA.  And all of this happens without really explaining or connecting much of anything for the reader, so I was just lost in this huge jumbled net of many HUGE ideas.

Finally, the storyline all clicks together, and I was able to quickly read the rest.  I actually liked this story, when it was all said and done.  There are definite elements of intrigue (such as the Enemies of Time, whom Jackson’s father has been fighting for years) and interest (the re-developing relationship between Jackson and Holly) and tenderness (such as the scenes between Jackson and his sister).  Tempest leads the way for an interesting trilogy, even though it is really slow in the beginning.

Time Travel:  The element of time-travel itself in this novel is something that I have not ever seen before:  Time Jumping.  In this theory of time-travel, there are half-jumps and full-jumps.  You have a base year (at the beginning, for Jackson, it’s 2009) which is referred to as Home Base.  From here, you can half jump to any point in time (for instance, 30 minutes prior, or a day 5 years in the past, etc) and stay there for a while (though the longer you are jumping, the sicker you feel when you return to home base).  Anything you say or do in these half-jumps will not be remembered by the people you talk to when you return to your home-base.

A full-jump is a change of your home-base.  When Jackson gets stuck in 2007, it is because he accidently full-jumped.  Simply stated, he changed timelines.  This means that everything is different and can turn out differently from how it did before.  For Jackson, this meant the chance at preventing Holly from being shot, because in his new timeline that didn’t have to happen.

For some reason, this theory of time-travel doesn’t sit very well with  me.  Not having any impact at all when half-jumping is just…I can’t put my finger on it.  Not convincing time-travel?  A cop-out?  I’m not really sure what I think about it, I just know that there’s something fishy about it.  Maybe I will be more convinced in the next book.

*****A Recommendation for Readers:    I would recommend not reading Tempest until at least the 2nd novel comes out, if not the whole series.  I think the story would better serve its purpose having the entire series in front of you.  I say that because the beginning is hard to get through, and when it finally all clicks together you just want to continue, and right now we can’t!  So I’d add this to your TBR pile (if it interests you) but don’t go RUSH to the library or the bookstore to get it.  Just wait until next year to read it.

My Bookshelf Rating:

A Middle Shelf Book.

Honestly, I did not think that I was going to like this novel.  But the last half of the book really connects everything in the first half together, which makes it a much more enjoyable read.  There are some pretty outlandish qualities to this novel (i.e. the whole CIA bit) but once you get over that, it’s pretty enjoyable.  And I will probably be reading the sequel when it comes out next year in the hopes it makes this storyline better!

Love and high jumps,
Jennifer

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