Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review: Tempest (Tempest, #1)

TempestAuthor: Julie Cross
Publication date: January 17th 2012
Publisher: Macmillan Children
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Forget everything you know about time travel…

I’ll start this one with a confession: time travel stuff makes little to no sense to me. It’s true, my mathematical-logical intelligence is lower than my shoe size, and when I try to make sense of all the time lines and paradoxes, I get this throbbing headache in my temples that refuses to go away. Because of that, the opening sentence (Jackson’s words to Holly) meant very little to me – I knew next to nothing to begin with, but I’m happy to say that Cross’ version, at least, made sense. To me. Sort of.

Ever since it came out, Tempest has been receiving a lot of mixed reviews. Most of my friends and bloggers I usually agree with gave it a low rating, which is why I waited so long to give it a chance. But somewhere deep inside, I had this strange feeling that Tempest and I would get along, and as it turns out, we did.

As it usually happens, what I expected from Tempest and what I ended up with were two things a million miles away from each other. I obviously knew it was about time travel, but I thought it would focus entirely on the romance and saving the life of a girl our time traveler can’t live without. Boy was I wrong! It’s true, Jackson’s girlfriend Holly gets shot by the so called Enemies of Time and he jumps back in the hopes of saving her, but Tempest doesn’t focus on their undying love. In fact, Jackson approaches his relationship with Holly very maturely. Instead, this book is full of secret medical research, CIA agents, agents called Enemies of Time, parallel dimensions and guns. Sounds fun? I thought so.

A lot of reviewers thought that Holly was plain and unworthy of Jackson’s attention, and I agree that she doesn’t really stand out. But people we feel attracted to are often plain in the eyes of others, and it wasn’t me who was supposed to fall in love with her. So in a way, I'm glad she was pretty, but not stunningly gorgeous, smart, but not a Nobel prize winner, generous, but certainly not Mother Teresa. It made the entirety of their relationship seem that much more real to me.

The usual tropes were all there: no mother, dead sister, best friend the science geek, but the seat-gripping action helped me accept it all more easily and in the end, those 412 pages simply weren’t enough.
I read this book on the beach, before going to sleep, during hours of insomnia, while I was eating and pretty much everywhere else, until I finished it. (I even fell asleep with it and I sort of dropped it on my own head, but that’s neither here nor there.) Of course it had its flaws, but it’s summer, it was fun, and quite frankly I just don’t care.


  1. I really enjoyed this one. I'm so excited that you did too, Maja. I thought it was a lot of fun and I actually enjoyed the romance. It was nice to see how Jackson realized his errors in the relationship and tried to fix them by being a better friend and boyfriend. I love the pace and action of this one as well. I sort of felt like an oddity when a bunch of negative reviews starting coming through but we like what we like regardless of others opinions. Wonderful review. Hope there were no head injuries with the book dropping and all. ;)

    1. I completely agree with you. I'm often the odd one out, so I don't mind that much. And hah, no head injuries, nothing people would notice, anyway. :D

  2. I'm so glad to see you liked this one, Maja!(: Like you, I've read a lot of mixed reviews of this one, but I guess I'll have to check it out myself. I loved what you said about the, "people we feel attracted to are often plain in the eyes of others." I thought it was an excellent point to bring up and it definitely would make a relationship seem more realistic to me, so I really want to read this one now. Amazing review! :D


  3. I won a copy of this in a giveaway months ago but haven't picked it up yet. I'm glad to see you liked it so much! All that time travel-y stuff really appeals to me and I'm glad to hear the author's version is understandable. The characters don't sound bad to me at all either. I hope I enjoy this as much as you did. :) Fantastic review!

  4. I'm really glad you enjoyed Tempest, Maja. Personally, I never got around to reading it because of all the drama surrounding it, but after reading your review, I'm convinced that I should give it try. :)
    I think time-travel is a really interesting topic so I might like it. I'm glad to hear that the book doesn't focus on the romance. It would have really sucked if it had.
    Lovely review, Maja ! :)

  5. I am so happy to hear someone else say that they do not understand all this time travel stuff!

    Like you, I heard mixed reviews of this, at first they were all positive and then I read some negative ones and then I just forgot all about this book so thanks for the reminder, I really want to read this now.

    I like when the characters are kinda plain and don't excel at everything they do or aren't hot/beautiful/perfect,because it's more realistic! Great review, Maja :)

  6. I'm so glad you enjoyed reading this book, Maja! I remember reading it last year and really enjoyed it too! The time travel stuff was definitely quite hard for me to grasp but it didn't affect my overall enjoyment of the book. I absolutely agree with you that this book does not focus on romance but other amazing things!

    Awesome review, Maja! ♥

  7. You are much smarter than you give yourself credit for, lady. All the stuff you wrote here about medical research, conspiracies, etc reminds me a bit of Newsflesh - it's no wonder you liked this! :) I'm glad you are letting your hair down and enjoying some fun reads on your vacation. Only one more week for me! So excited!

  8. Amazing review, Maja. I love what you said about Holly and Jackson. It's so true! Sometimes in books the girls are so stunning and drop dead gorgeous, and witty, and smart, but that's kinda unrealistic because, in real life, people don't really choose who to love because of that. It just happens... I have a feeling I'm really gonna love Holly and Jackson!! I LOVE the idea of time travel!! Sure, it doesn't really make sense to me either, but I would love to go back in time. That would be so badass. Lovely review, Maja! I love you and your blog!! I'm totally adding you to my blog list. <333 You rock!! :')

    Riya (The Teen Book Guru)

  9. I had pretty much decided not to read this one when I came across your review. Now I'm reconsidering... I don't think I'll be reading it ASAP, but you and I tend to have pretty similar tastes in books, so I feel like I can't completely write it off now. Lol.

  10. Gr8 review.....i think i'll get it next month...

    Le' Grande Codex

  11. I know! I don't understand the time travel stuff too. Heck, I've read Prisoner of Azkaban so many times now and I still don't get the time travel thing in it. I decided to skip Tempest because I've read not so good reviews about it from friends and reviewers I really trust. But look at you now, giving Tempest 4 stars. 4 stars! Oh man, I think I've got to give this a chance. Maybe the getting along part will happen to me as well. Great review, Maja! :D

  12. I have to admit I'm not really a fan of time travel books and while you wrote a great review, I still don't think this one would be for me. Glad you enjoyed it though, as you weren't sure before you started it.

  13. Nice review. I really do want to read this. I think it sounds quite interesting and I'm curious to check it out. I'm glad it was pretty fun for you and I agree with your idea of the love interest. When someone (normally book guys) is shown to be this totally perfect, amazing's hard to buy.


  14. Oh, haha. I have to bear your sentence 'it wasn’t me who was supposed to fall in love with her' when I meet another plain heroine, Maja! I agree, sometimes plain heroines make realistic stories. It's a bit tiring reading about all the gorgeous and insanely brave heroines sometimes. :P

    Fantastic review as always, love! I'm so glad you enjoyed this book! :)

  15. I was also really unsure about picking this one up, the reviews have been all over the place, so I'm glad that you had fun reading this one. I've just come to realise that I've never read a time travel book before. But this book seems to give so much especially if you were reading it at all times of the day! Lovely review hun :)

  16. Great to see you enjoyed this one! I've had this one on my shelf for like, EVER, and it's been killing me that I never get the chance to read it! I totally love the premise :) Sorry that it had a few things you didn't like, but hopefully I get past that as well and end up enjoying it like you did. Thanks for the great review and I'm a new follower!

    Confessions of a Readaholic

  17. Ha, I enjoyed this one too. I read it fairly early on and then saw that every one else in the blogosphere thought it was the worst. Meh. I stand by it. I think I gave it a three star rating. It wasn't stellar, but it WAS enjoyable, which is all I'm asking for ultimately. It was a nice, light snack of a novel.

  18. I think that sometimes a character that is plain is called for, because I know that I feel that way a lot of times.
    Thanks for review, I think I'm gonna give it a read.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  19. Gotta love that attitude: there were issues, but it entertained me. :P

    At first, I really wanted to read Tempest because of the male POV, but then the mixed reviews came in and... Well. I wasn't so sure anymore. Now, part of me has perked up again at the possibility of this being such a good read, but another is even more worried: if it's not focused on the love part, but on the science and investigation part... and they start messing with quantum theories and I find a hole... that's going to bother me.

    Erm. No, I'm not a geeky scientist, but I do have some odd hobbies...

    Anyway! I'm definitely reconsidering reading this one, and will try to get my hands on a copy :)

    Thanks for the great review, as usual!

  20. Awesome review Maja. I've been reading mixed reviews about this as well and, while your review has me seriously thinking about reading this, I still don't know if it's my type of thing. But again, this was an excellent review. :)

  21. I think I should read the book because I also have this feeling that Tempest and I would get along. I am not bothered by the science part but math I cannot digest.

    Great review, Maja!

    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile

  22. I love this novel so much! I can't wait to read Vortex. I felt like it was quite a fun read.

    Thank you for the review!:)

  23. I'm glad that you liked it in the end! :D I must say that I'm still tempted to read this one, even when I saw all the low ratings and negative reviews. Time traveling fascinated me, but you are right: I have a hard time to understand it sometimes. Great review ^^


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