“…pain and grief are nothing compared to regret. ”
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 read Tomorrow is Today, the prequel novella of this book a month ago which leave me more curious about the time travel aspects of this book. It reminds me of Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveller’s Wife and Steven Gould’s Jumper. Though I am not really a fan of sci-fi stories in general, I am surprise that I did enjoy this book more than I expected.
It’s year 2009 and nineteen year old Jackson Meyer can jump through time. At first his ability to time travel is not that massive. He can only jump few hours into the past and he can’t jump forward. But when something happened to his girlfriend, he suddenly find himself trap two years in the past with no way to return to his present time.
One thing that really intrigue me here is the unusual concept of time-travelling. Jackson ability to travel is not as simple as going back through time. At first his travels backwards are not harming. What ever he do in the past during his jumps can’t change the future. But that all changed when he try to learn more about his ability. It is more complicated than what he and even I expected. The genetics aspects of time travelling alone is already intriguing. Throw some secret organizations and scientific experiments along the way I am really sold.
At first I didn’t care much about Jackson nor his ability to time travel. Even I enjoy reading much about his jumps through different timeline, discovering his ability and the mystery behind it, I still can’t connect much to him. It took a card with a message written by Jackson for his twin sister for me to finally see Jackson as a real character. One letter that changed my perception about him. That card and his decision at the end of the story proves me wrong about his character. A decision that really gain my respect. I’m not sure if I can do the same thing if I am in Jackson’s situation. It is nice to see Jackson’s character grow throughout the book.
As a narrator Jackson is confusing because he is really a confused guy I guess. I mean, who wouldn’t be confused if one day you find yourself in a different time and location? The ability to time travel is not as good as it sounds because in reality it is really quite freaky. So yeah, I buy Jackson’s confusing narration. He doesn’t know much about his ability. He don’t know how and why he can travel through time, much less how to maneuver his ability. He doesn’t know if he is a good guy or freak of nature. He doesn’t know his purpose. And worst he doesn’t even know whom to trust and not. Even his own father is a big mystery to him.
Jackson’s father is an interesting guy. I honestly don’t have any doubt in him even Jackson’s can’t fully trust him. The moment he enter’s in the story from one of Jackson’s travel to the past I know there is more story behind this guy. As if he holds the secrets of Jackson’s ability to travel and he can provide the answers to all my questions. I am glad that he doesn’t disappointed me. The complexity of his character really shines at the end of the novel.
Another interesting character for me is Courtney, Jackson’s twin sister who died few years before the novel starts. Though she isn’t much present here, I think her little appearance put a big impact in the story. Her relationship with Jackson gives Jackson the edge to be a more complex character. She is the main reason why I connect much with Jackson as a character. Her back story with Jackson provides emotional moments to the plot.
The story is continuously moving. The pacing is perfect with all the actions, adventures and mysteries of each Jackson’s jumps to different timeline. It’s like I am racing reading the story as it never leaves any space for dragging moments. There are so many things going all at once but it is not overwhelming for me. All the information, explanations, secrets were all interesting. The twist and turns makes the story more exciting and engaging.
The characters’ motivations were pretty complex. They all have their own goals and secrets that keep the story rolling in a more interesting way. As Jackson tries to figure out his ability, he also needs unravel the mysteries behind all that is happening. He needs to pick which team he should align himself while figuring out which side is really for greater good? Who should he trust and what role he needs to play in all these?
Filled with secrets, mysteries and interesting ideas, Tempest is a fast-paced time travel story. With exciting twist and turns this book is a trilling ride that will leave you asking for more. I am really excited for the next book of the series.
Tempest is also available as an audiobook from Macmillan Audio. Below is an audio clip of Tempest provided by Macmillan. Listen to Jackson’s voice as he narrate a little part of his adventure in Julie Cross first installment to Tempest series.