Hardback, 432 pages
Published January 17th 2012 by St Martins Griffin
Description via Goodreads:
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 thanks go to Pan Macmillan for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
With it's beautiful cover and interesting title, I was really eager to get my hands on a copy of Tempest by Julie Cross. Unfortunately, I didn't find the contents to be as pleasing as the dust jacket. That's not to say that the book is completely bad - I can see the appeal of it to others, but it just wasn't for me.
The premise is certainly an interesting one as our protagonist is a teenage boy, Jackson, who can time-travel. I love the idea of time-travel but it can also be quite confusing. This, teamed with flashbacks took me a while to get into. Cross does her best to explain Jackson's time travelling to us, but it did take me some time to understand. Time travel is certainly intriguing and some of the moral questions that Jackson asked himself made me think - unfortunately, he seemed to disregard these questions quite easily, not really considering them. I think that there was a slight lack of thought and that the time-travelling was too easily accepted by others.
I felt as though most of the characters in the book were superficial, the aspect of time-travel taking the main stage. We weren't really given any background information at the beginning concerning Jackson or his friends and so I found it difficult to connect with them or like them. I also found Jackson to be a little immature. As the book progressed, I did get a better idea of Jackson, his girlfriend Holly and his best friend, Adam, but there was still not very much depth. I still don't have a very clear view of Holly. There is of course room for development in all of the characters in the next books in this series. There are certainly the makings of strong villains (Enemies Of Time) in this series.
The one relationship that I found extremely interesting in this story was the one between Jackson and his (now deceased) sister, Courtney. It was moving to learn about his relationship with her, especially when he saw her in the past, knowing her fate. The genetics aspect of this book was probably the most interesting aspect for me, and hopefully this will be explored even more in the next book.
I started to get into the book at around page 200, the half-way point. After this, I started to enjoy the book and find it easier to read, but it did seem dragging before this, with some time changes feeling a little pointless. Once the time changing slowed down a bit and was less flitting, the whole story felt steadier. Near the end, a lot of things began to unravel - it became fast paced, action packed and a whole lot more entertaining.
There are a lot of intriguing factors in Tempest and near the end, I could see a lot of potential for the story to develop and become a lot more complex. I did enjoy the second half of the book a lot more than the first, but it took too long for me to get to the point where I was being entertained. This book wasn't for me, but I believe that it will appeal to many other young adult readers and so I wouldn't not recommend it to others who like the idea of it - this was just not for me.