Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Book Review: Tempest and Vortex by Julie Cross

I bet you can easily guess where I got the desire to read these books. If you said "EW's Shelf Life" you'd be right! It must have been months before Tempest was due to be released when they did an interview with Julie Cross about her first book in the TEMPEST trilogy. When I read the premise I was excited...a time travel love story with government agents and life or death stakes! Sold! Here's my summary of Tempest and Vortex:

19-year-old Jackson Meyer can travel backwards in time. It just sort of happened one day and so now he and his best friend Adam play around with how it works. They discover his "jumps" have no effect on the future and aren't sure why Jackson is the way he is. Jackson and his dad aren't close so he can't ask him and Jackson's mom is dead..as is his sister. He has a girlfriend, Holly, who he is completely in love with but she doesn't know what Jackson can do. One day while in her dorm room, two men rush into the room and shoot Holly. Terrified, Jackson accidentally travels back in time. Further than ever before. And he can't seem to get back. Stuck in 2007, Jackson has no choice but to figure out what is going on with his abilities. He meets Holly all over again and the two fall in love all over again. Jackson slowly starts to learn more about who he is and more importantly, who his father is. In the end he has to make a decision: stay in 2007 or go back to the future and fight these enemies--save Holly or rewrite history?

**Let me just start by saying I love time travel stories. The science of it is baffling but when a writer or show gets it right, I get swept away. I love the idea of being able to change our past or relive our lives. Jackson was such a fun character to get to know. I don't usually read YA books from a boy's POV but I loved reading this one. Jackson was a good kid in love and having fun when suddenly his life was turned upside down and inside out. He wants to do the right thing but first has to figure out what that is. I loved the choices he was faced with and how beautifully written his story and character arc was. 

Vortex picks up a few months after Tempest left off. Jackson has made his decisions about his life and future with Holly and joined forces with a team of experts who are helping him with his abilities as well as training him to fight those who came after him and shot Holly. Jackson spends a good portion of the novel doing said training and making new friends. We don't get to know too much about what's going on with Adam and Holly until the last half of the book. And as much as Jackson doesn't want to use his abilities, he ends up having to when his enemies catch up with him. Then there is the little girl who looks like his dead sister that keeps popping up and warning Jackson about a possible apocalyptic future. Jackson has to figure out who to trust, how to prevent the destruction of the planet, and how to save those he loves. What happens in the end will leave you stunned!

**Vortex started out a little frustrating for me. Cross tried to explain through Jackson exactly how his time travel and "jumps" worked. It totally confused me. But once I got passed that, I really enjoyed what Jackson was now doing with is life. I liked the tough choices he'd made and I really felt how hard it was on him. I felt his sadness and loneliness and determination to fix everything and fight the bad guys. The action was great and the suspense kept me turning the pages. When Adam and Holly came back in, I was blown away. They had definitely changed! The ending tore me up and made me cry. What is going to happen now!? I can't wait to find out!

The title of the final installment of the TEMPEST trilogy hasn't been released but probably comes out early next year. 

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