Review: Tempest by Julie Cross

Tempest by Julie Cross
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This review is difficult for me to write. Tempest awakened many emotions in me, emotions I would have rather been left dormant. Who knew a science fiction novel would reduce me to tears.

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.

The first third of this book was tedious and I nearly gave up reading it altogether. But, something made me keep turning the pages. Halfway through, it had captured my interest and I was emotionally invested. By the end, I can honestly say that it is a good book. Good, not great.

Julie Cross does a good job with the technicalities that go along with time-travel. The characters could have used a bit more development. I felt no real sympathy for the them, except for Jackson’s sister who plays a very small role in the story. The situations are what wrought such visceral emotions in me, death in particular. The loss of my father is still fresh and one scene in particular took me back to those last few hours of his life.

The plot worked on a basic level but at times I found it hard to suspend my disbelief. I remained aware of the real world and its limitations and found it difficult to become engrossed in the world Cross created.

This is by no means a bad novel. However, it could have been better. I’m not sure I’ll seek out its sequel; the compulsion to know what happens next isn’t there. I can’t recommend this book nor dissuade anyone from reading it. My emotions and the complexity of the book make it difficult to predict the opinions of others.

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