Saturday, July 21, 2012
Review: Tempest (Tempest, #1)
Author: 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.