Young Adult/Time Travel
St. Martin's Press
Released in paperback this week!
Received from Through The Looking Glass for blog tour
THE STORY (from 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
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.
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.
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.
Tempest, like most time travel books, raises a series of fascinating philosophical questions; ones that start out fairly simple with various what-ifs, but the longer we think on them, the more complex they become until we’ve tangled ourselves in to a series of intriguing knots that keep us entertained for the duration of the story and long after. As fun, and sometimes mind-numbing, as pondering the ramifications of time travel can be, a perhaps more interesting aspect of Tempest is its focus on Jackson’s romance with Holly, as his return to the past alters his initial meeting with her and creates an entirely new path for their relationship to tread. It’s engrossing to watch as Jackson tries to charm a girl who’s already his two years in the future, and we can’t help but wonder how this change of events will affect them as a couple.
One of the more complex questions that arises from Jackson and Holly's unique situation is if love is in some ways circumstantial – are there such things as the right time and the right place to meet someone? Have certain events occurred in our lives to shape us into the people we are currently, thereby allowing us to fit snugly with someone else when we might not otherwise without those specific pieces in place? It’s made clear to us that the Holly of 2007 is a different young woman than the Holly of 2009, a spontaneity to this younger version that 009 Holly has traded in for a more reserved and careful demeanor, making her an almost entirely separate character from the girl we first meet. Thinking about Jackson’s struggle to adapt his feelings for the woman he knows intimately to the one that’s currently standing before him is something that keeps us up late at night, questioning our own lives and relationships and how they might have been if just one tiny event in our lives had turned out differently.
With many time travel stories, the sheer weight of possibility sits heavy on our shoulders, the aforementioned what-ifs at times requiring us to take a step away from the story to get our thoughts in order before we tackle the infinite complexity of defying time once again. Luckily for us with this tale, Ms. Cross manages to present the rules and parameters of her time travel world in rather simplistic fashion, not so simplistic as it feels dumbed-down or as though she’s speaking slowly to make sure we understand, but rather she gradually introduces us to the theories put forth by Jackson and friend Adam to give us ample time to absorb information before we move on to the next complication.
Overall, Tempest is a story that leaves a great deal of space in between the lines on the pages, providing us with plenty of room to make interpretations, question motives, and watch as the line between the good guys and bad guys blurs the harder we stare at it. We’re riveted from page one and never lose interest until we reach the last page, the conclusion of this first installment leaving our hearts full to bursting with questions and objections, even as we recognize the reasoning behind Jackson’s decisions. Only a month left until the release of Vortex, and it certainly cannot get in my hands quickly enough.
*Be sure and check back tomorrow for a character interview with Jackson and a giveaway!