Monday, May 28, 2012
Book Review: Tempest by Julie Cross
Young Adult - Contemporary/Sci-fi elements
Published: Jan. 2012
The timelines in Tempest are pretty out of whack because the main character can flip back between different years at will (usually). It's a bit disorienting, but I suppose on a deeper level it helps the reader connect with the character and the instability he feels.
The time travel is central to the story, but it is more of a storytelling device rather than an element that's explained in detail. If you've read either Outlander or The Time Traveler's Wife, those are good examples of what I mean. Outlander uses time travel as a device to get a modern-era (well, WWII era) protagonist to an earlier time frame, but the story is not about time travel. In The Time Traveler's Wife, the character and plot are dictated by Henry's spontaneous time travelling condition. It is dissected and discussed and is central to the story, and it weaves romantic elements and a personal interest story within that.
Tempest falls somewhere in between with a specific YA slant. If you're looking for sci-fi, it's not here; rather it's another one with "sci-fi elements." It's plot driven, quick, and full of mystery and tension. I had a little trouble connecting with Jackson's love interest; part of the reason may be because Jackson himself was not very deep in his future relationship, which he realizes along the way when he goes back a few years and meets her before he should in his normal timeline. It actually reminded me a bit of I Am Number Four, which had lots of tension and plot twists, but was a bit lighter on the depth of characters. It depends what type of read you're looking for; I can see younger readers connecting with this for a cool time travel concept.