Tempest by Julie Cross, published by Macmillan Children's Books on 5th January 2012
Jackson Meyer is hiding a secret. He can time-travel. But he doesn't know how he does it, how to control it or what it means. When Jackson, and his girlfriend Holly, find themselves in fatal danger, Jackson panics and catapaults himself two years into his past, further than he's ever managed before, and this time he can't find a way back to the future. All the rules of time-travel he's experienced so far have been broken and Jackson has no choice but to pretend to be his younger self whilst he figures out a solution. Jackson is tearing himself apart with guilt and frustration, wondering if Holly survived. He's also become the target of an unknown enemy force and it seems even his dad is lying to him. Jackson is racing against time to save the girl he loves, but to do that he must first discover the truth about his family and himself. And stay alive.
'Tempest' is a time-travelling romantic action-adventure which will probably be read by most people in one sitting because it's so compulsively good that you won't be able to put it down! It's the debut novel from Julie Cross who's an exciting new writing talent and is the first in a trilogy which I'm thrilled about because I want more...now! There's been a lot of buzz surrounding the release of 'Tempest' and the film rights have already been optioned by Summit Entertainment, the company behind the Twilight Saga.
I'm a huge fan of books about time-travel. One of my favourite adult novels is 'The Time Traveller's Wife' and I love the idea of being able to travel both into the future and into the past to revisit people and events. Jackson's ability to travel through time is initially explained at the start of the book in a very manner of fact type of way, which makes it feel like although this is something quite extraordinary, it's also believable and not beyond the realms of possibility. Because Jackson is constantly time-travelling I did have to concentrate on keeping track of what was happening and when but the date and time were often provided at the start of the chapter which made this a bit easier.
Having a male narrator in the form of nineteen year old Jackson, is a refreshing change. I enjoyed seeing and hearing about things from a male perspective and he makes a fantastic central character who I really loved by the end of the book. His sole purpose in 'Tempest' is to ensure the safety of his girlfriend Holly and he's willing to do literally anything to protect her. Jackson and Holly are both only nineteen but they have a very mature and grown-up relationship and are secure in their feelings for each other. There are some incredibly romantic and sizzling moments between them and I was rooting for them all the way. I loved Jackson's completely unswerving devotion and loyalty to Holly and the sacrifices he makes for her are admirable. They're definitely my new favourite book couple!
The writing was fast paced, the plot exciting and there were some great action scenes interspersed. There was also a good balance between chapters which were jam-packed full of adventure and excitement and quieter scenes where Jackson had time to stop and share a special moment with Holly.
'Tempest' had everything you could wish for in a book including time-travelling teenagers, good guys doing battle with bad guys, an awesome sidekick best-friend and a spine tingling romance. I was constantly kept on my toes and there were so many surprises and intriguing revelations. The ending broke my heart and the sequel can't come soon enough. This was an amazing start to a trilogy which will blow your mind.