Monday, March 5, 2012

Time Jumper • Tempest

Tempest book cover
Tempest by Julie Cross
Series: Tempest #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: January 17, 2012
Source/Format: Bought || Hardcover

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.


I’m not normally a fan of science fiction, as I prefer fantasy and a good romance over it any day. Most science fiction novels were summarily missed as “boy novels” in my brain. And then I came across Tempest, read its synopsis and fell in love with the idea of it. And I’m very excited to declare that – yes, this book is AMAZING. It seriously blew me away since I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did! Julie Cross did an admirable job of weaving science fiction elements, romance, friendship and a hint of mystery into this fun debut!

Characters

Jackson Meyer is the star of the show in this novel, and not just because he can jump in time. While everything is started off by his attempt to keep his girlfriend Holly safe, the novel is about so much more than their relationship. If anything, the relationship is a clever tool used to keep parts of the book lighthearted and appealing – which balances out the darker, mysterious side of things.

Throughout the course of the novel, Jackson discovers the extent of his abilities, his history and also attempts to figure out what he will do and how that is going to affect his future. Even with all the pressure on him and the harrowing experiences he goes through, he manages to remain smart and determined and quite brave really.

Though, for the most part, Jackson seems like a typical nineteen-year-old male (though I have no idea what that’s like since I’m female through and through), I thought it was nice when his more vulnerable side came out. There are a couple of heartwarming scenes in there and moments where I felt sympathetic and understanding. His scenes with Holly were wonderfully written.

I’d love to go in depth about the other characters in the novel, but that may lead to a few spoilers, so I’m going to avoid long descriptions. Some other characters that deserve a highlight are: Holly (who is a surprisingly interesting girlfriend character, despite being mostly a damsel in distress), Adam (Holly & Jackson’s genius of a friend) and Jackson’s father (who is one of the most complex characters I’ve ever met in YA fiction). There are a couple more people I’d love to mention – but that would be spoilers and I promised I wouldn’t do that!

The Story

I was really blown away by this story. It’s mostly because I went into it not know what in the world to expect and came out of it reeling from new theories and information. With the deceptively simple concept of traveling through time, I was surprised by how complex a backstory Julie Cross has written for this novel. The possibility of this explanation for time travel had never occurred to me before, but now that I’ve read it, I feel like going, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Though there’s a lot more to learn about time travel and its origins and its consequences, I think Julie Cross did a remarkable job laying down the basics for us.

I think that the fact that the love story is woven in to the story and is not necessarily its major plot (which was what I thought before I actually read it) is pretty darn smart of Julie Cross today. It’s a great way to keep a common, steady event running throughout the novel - something for readers to go back to when the overwhelming information comes into play.

I don’t want to spoil the book for people who haven’t read it yet, so I guess I will have to leave off and just say that I thought what Julie Cross did and what she will continue to develop in the Tempest series is pretty darn cool. I never thought I’d be interested in a book like this, nor that I would find myself as invested as I did, but she’s definitely proved me wrong.

Personally, I say you should…

Read Tempest if you’re interest in YA with a science fiction twist. I haven’t read anything like it as of yet, but it’s got me interested in exploring the wealth of books with a sci-fi twist. Julie Cross writes an interesting, believable and exciting tale that I found extremely hard to put down – and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did!

18 comments:

  1. I have this book on my shelf and have heard such great things. I'm glad to see you enjoyed it!

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  2. I was also like you, not into science fiction, but I also thought this was amazing! I am so glad I got to read it and really enjoyed it. Great review, I loved reading your thoughts :)

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  3. It sounds so good!! :D I'm really glad you liked it, because I was a bit worried by the science fiction aspect of it... I'm with you: give me a romance or fantasy any day and I'm a happy girl :)
    I'm glad that the girlfriend was interesting, they aren't SO often! And yay for a boy with vulnerable moments :)

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  4. I, too, quite enjoyed this story! It was a nice break to read a YA book with substance! You could almost have it as a stand-alone, but I so want to read the next one to see what happens. It was well written and I really enjoyed the characters!

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  5. I love science fiction and have been fascinated by Tempest for a while, so I can’t wait to read this! You have now given me even more reason to buy it! Thanks for the awesome review!

    Darlene @ Leather Bound and Lovely

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  6. I loved this book and thought it was a really strong start to a series!

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  7. Even though I read a lot of mixed reviews, I really loved this one. I thought it was really exciting and fun, and I had a BLAST while reading it. But MAN that ending...need the next book NOW.

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  8. I've been anxious for this one, but scared because I really don't like the cover very much. Your review makes me want to read it, though! I know what you mean about science fiction being more of a boy kind of genre, but this one sounds great! Oooo! Need this book now! :)

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  9. I loved this one too! Despite the cool time travel and action aspects, I loved how full of heart it was with Jackson and his relationships. Such a surprise!

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  10. I got this book at ALA, and I've been so curious about it. I feel like the reviews I've read are 50/50, but I love that you point out it's unlike anything else you've read. That makes me extremely excited. Sometimes things cross over into a few books and some don't stand alone. Sounds like this one stands out from the crowd. :)

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  11. I was surprised at how much I ended up liking it. I really wasn't sure how I was going to feel about it at first, but I'm glad I read it now because it's so good!

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  12. I bet Julie Cross is going to be able to convert all of us into sci-fi (or semi sci-fi) fans!

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  13. It's really fun to read! And the science fiction aspect isn't too overwhelming, I promise.

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  14. Agreed! It could have almost been a standalone, but now I'm very curious as to what the next book will bring us.

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  15. It's a standout for me this year. I hope you read and enjoy it too!

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  16. It always warms my heart when I encounter books that change the game for me - and this one did!

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  17. The cover is much more attractive in real life, but it's really the story that drew me to this book!

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  18. I KNOW RIGHT? I just want to know what happens next!

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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