Saturday, 28 January 2012

Tempest by Julie Cross - Book Review

Title: Tempest (Tempest # 1)
Author: Julie Cross
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication Date: January 2012
Pages: 414
Format: Paperback
Genre: YA / Fantasy
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

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.
(Goodreads Synopsis)

Firstly, a huge thank you to Pan Macmillan for sending me a copy of this book for review.

So, Tempest. I'd been hearing a bit of hype about this book before I got my copy and so I was very interested to see what I would make of it.

I loved the story idea right from the start and I thought it was well conceived and executed. This is a very readable tale, fast paced, with plenty of action and excitement to keep you turning the pages. A couple of times I had to go back and check the date at the start of the chapter to remember what time I was in, but on the whole the jumps back and forth worked and were not too hard to follow. I enjoyed the blend of narrative and diary entries in telling the story.

So, why did it not get five stars? Well, despite enjoying the book, I did notice a few minor issues that just stopped it from hitting the top spot for me. The main issues were a few aspects of the time travel 'rules' not making sense and a lack of believability i.e. that Adam has such advanced knowledge and computer skills at such a young age.

I also would have liked a little more substance from the Jackson-Holly relationship. They both came across as 'nice', but I didn't quite feel the romantic/emotional connection between them that was supposed to be influencing Jackson's actions during the story.

But, despite these couple of minor gripes, I found this book an entertaining and captivating read and it is a story that will appeal to readers who previously enjoyed books such as I am Number Four or the film Jumpers.

I believe this is the first book in a planned trilogy and I will be most interested to see where Cross takes the story and the characters in the next instalment.

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