Book Review: Tempest By Julie Cross

Book Review: Tempest By Julie CrossTitle: Tempest
Author: Julie Cross
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Macmillan
Publication Date: 17th January 2012
Goodreads Summary: 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.


I’ve been meaning to read Tempest for a while now so when I saw it on a shelf at my school library I was delighted. Tempest is written from the point of view of Jackson, a 19 year old boy with the ability to travel in time. He discovered this ability a few months ago and has been experimenting with brief forays into the past and his nerdy friend Adam has been helping him compile all his research in an attempt to figure out what the heck is going on. Jackson is pretty happy with his life, he’s in college with a beautiful girlfriend, but one day strangers turn up at his dorm room and his girlfriend, Holly, ends up stabbed. As soon as that happens, an uncontrollable sensation takes over Jackson and suddenly he’s been transported 2 years into the past. However, this time things are different. This time Jackson is stuck in the past. Trying desperately to get back to the present and figure out who the hell those people were and what they wanted with him, Jackson looks for Adam and Holly in 2007, an Adam and Holly who don’t know Jackson yet.

Tempest was a brilliantly original story, one like none other Ive ever read before. Time travel isn’t something I’ve read about a lot but Julie Cross seems to have invented a pretty unique world. Jackson can travel into the past, but only to different timelines (kind of like parallel universes) so nothing that he does in them actually affects the present. At least that’s what happens when you make a half jump (all that Jackson is currently capable). When you make a full jump, as Jackson accidentally does when he sees Holly stabbed, things get complicated and actions have bigger consequences. Even though there are lots of jumps to different years meaning that we see the same character at varying ages, it wasn’t confusing at all. Everything is clear which is quite a feat now thinking back to what an intricately detailed world Julie Cross created. As the story was completely unique, I never had any idea what was going to happen next. There were quite a few twists and turns along the way, but none of them are too shocking.

Although it’s written from the first person perspective of the main character, Jackson, I didn’t feel like I had a massive connection to his character. This wasn’t really a bad thing because we were given enough insight for us to like and sympathise with him and the plot carried the rest of the book forwards.

I really liked he character of Holly, Jackson’s girlfriend. She seems like a girl who knows all about guys and what’s pigs they can be so she’s quite wary of them and there isn’t any sort of insta-love between her and Jackson. The whole story is rooted in Jackson trying to save Holly from getting hurt, but it wasn’t sappy and love wasn’t the main theme of the book, it was so much more than that. I hate young adult books in which wonderful new worlds are created but never fully explored because a teenage romance becomes the focal point of the novel and thankfully that wasn’t the case with Tempest.

Although a great book, I felt it was rather long and that perhaps the same story could’ve been told in a few less pages. It’s not that I have an aversion to reading long books, in fact, this book isn’t that long, I just felt that the story was dragged out a bit. Nevertheless, this was an excellent story and I can’t wait to read the next book. The ending isn’t what I expected it would be at all and I’m really curious to see what happens next!

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