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I Belong

Review: Tempest by Julie Cross


AuthorJulie Cross

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Series: Tempest (Book 1)

Publication Date: January 17, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 352 Pages

ISBN-100312568894 (Mac Teen)

ISBN-13978-0312568894 (Mac Teen)

Reviewed by: Macie


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.

Quick & Dirty: The revelations about Jackson Meyer’s time traveling ability and family past are interesting to read, but the pacing is somewhat slow.

Opening Sentence: Okay, so it’s true. I can time-travel.


The Review:

Jackson Meyer has the rare ability to travel through time. It’s not an exact science and not as extreme as in the movies since he can only travel short distances back in time. That is until intruders break in and shoot his girlfriend Holly during a struggle and Jackson jumps back two full years. Confused and trying to find his way home, Jackson realizes he is stuck in 2007 until he can figure out a way to get back to his own time.

I enjoyed the characters Julie Cross created. Jackson is a sarcastic but nice guy who really cares for his girlfriend Holly and their super smart friend Adam who helps him understand his time traveling. Holly is a sweet, smart girl who is in the dark about Jackson’s time traveling. Since most of the novel is set two years before Jackson is dating Holly, we mainly see her seventeen-year-old self, a younger and more guarded Holly than the one Jackson knows, though he still knows her well. Since the novel is narrated by Jackson when he finds her in 2007, we don’t see her character develop much beyond what Jackson notices about the differences between 2007 and 2009 Holly. She’s very likable, but I never feel like we really get to know her since Jackson already does and sees little need in giving the reader details on what he already knows. Jackson and Holly did not meet until 2009, so Jackson has the upper hand in knowing all about Holly, but is a total stranger to her. He tries to hide their mutual past, but sometimes slips up and acts like he would with 2009 Holly. Adam brings up the possibility of Jackson taking advantage of 2007 Holly in a way since he already knows what to say and do to cause her to like him. It did seem a bit odd for Jackson to spend so much time with a two year younger version of his current girlfriend, but considering the last thing he saw before he jumped to the past was her shot by strangers who seemed to know about his ability, I can understand his need to see her again to make sure she was alright.

Adam is extremely smart, and the only person Jackson feels comfortable sharing the secret of his talent with. Before the intruders shot Holly, Jackson and Adam were working on experiments to figure out the limits of Jackson’s power. When he is stuck in the past, Jackson meets Adam again and convinces him to believe what is happening to him. 2007 Adam is way more skeptical and paranoid than 2009 Adam, and it takes a secret code 2009 Adam left with Jackson to convince him what Jackson says is the truth. I really liked the character of Adam, and he helped make sense of some theories about Jackson.

More secrets are revealed as Jackson tries to figure out what to do while in 2007. Jackson never knew his mother, and his twin sister, Courtney, died of cancer when they were sixteen. After getting stuck in the past, Jackson starts to realize some odd things about his father and his own childhood, and comes to the conclusion that his father is not who he thought he was. His father kept things from Jackson. Important things! I don’t want to spoil anything, so you’ll have to read for yourself to find out the truth behind his father’s neglect since Courtney died, his involvement with Jackson’s time traveling, and who the man really is. I did like the twists Cross wrote, especially in connection with Jackson’s past.

One thing Jackson does realize is he is not alone with his gift of time travel. There are others like him, but not all of them use their powers for good. In fact, some of them are downright evil and want to take Jackson with them. Can Jackson’s wits keep him safe?

As the book neared the ending, it became a bit more confusing, but I imagine the many questions I had will be answered in upcoming novels. The pacing throughout was a little slow, but the twists and information revealed is really what kept the book going. I enjoyed Tempest, and my only complaint is with the hesitation in the overall flow of the novel.

Notable Scene:

I spit out a mouthful of something strawlike and realized I was lying facedown in the grass. Somewhere. Somewhen. My heart was pounding. It hadn’t even felt like a jump.

The sun warmed the back of my neck. I shouldn’t have felt the heat so much. This was different from a normal jump. Something was different.

It must have been a dream . . . or I’d hit my head. Maybe I hadn’t even had a fight with Holly? Maybe none of that had happened? Acid churned in my stomach just thinking of the sickening image of her lying in a heap on the floor.

I pulled myself up from the grass and tripped over something, falling flat on my face again. And I felt the painful impact of my body colliding with the ground. Based on how much it hurt, this was definitely home base. My black bag lay at my feet. I must have dragged it with me.

After forcing my eyes to focus, I realized this was Central Park. Right near my building. My legs felt like lead as I stepped closer to the sidewalk. I pulled my phone from my pocket and tilted it so I could see the time. It was completely blank. After banging it against my thigh a few times, I gave up and asked a woman passing me on the sidewalk, “Do you know what time it is?”

“A little after six,” she said as she jogged past.

The aches running through my entire body were so intense, I had to stop and sit down on a bench.

“You okay?” an old man asked from beside me.

“Fine, thanks,” I said, leaning my head back. I just needed to rest for a minute. Right before I closed my eyes, the old man’s newspaper came into focus and I jolted upright after reading the date.

September 9, 2007.

What the freaking’ hell is going on?

The Tempest Series:

1. Tempest

2. Vortex (January 8, 2013)

FTC Advisory: St. Martin’s Griffin provided me with a copy of Tempest. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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