“… I could never undo it. Ever. I could erase her memories of being with me, take myself out of the relationship over and over again, but I’d never be able to change what it did to me.”
Jackson Meyer has thrown himself intunko his role as an agent for Tempest, the shadowy division of the CIA that handles all time-travel-related threats. Despite his heartbreak at losing the love of his life, Jackson has proved himself to be an excellent agent. However, after an accidental run in with Holly—the girl he altered history to save—Jackson is once again reminded of what he’s lost. And when Eyewall, an opposing division of the CIA, emerges, Jackson and his fellow agents not only find themselves under attack, but Jackson begins to discover that the world around him has changed and someone knows about his erased relationship with Holly, putting both their lives at risk all over again.
Vortex blew my mind. It is simply an amazing read.
The story follows Jackson Meyer and his life as a CIA agent. After changing time and history itself to save the girl he love, Jackson is trying to continue his life without Holly and Adam. He join Tempest, a CIA division that focus on studying time-travel with a mission to preserve the natural and ethical state of humanity. He undergo intensive trainings while trying to prove to everyone his worth – that he isn’t there because of his father nor because of connections, but because he has something to offer. All that without actually revealing to anyone his ability to jump through time. And with all the EOT’s continues effort to change the future and a new CIA agency trying to take down the Tempest division, Jackson needs to figure out everything and everyone intentions.
“One thing I had learned after three months of training was that almost every task or assignment revolved around mind games. Question everything and everyone.”
As Vortex focus on the inside of CIA training and operations, the plot focus more on the action and thrilling side of the story, which only means lesser Jackson and Holly’s romantic relationship. Personally, I found this route effective and much enjoyable as a continuation of the story. In Tempest, we already know the length of things Jackson will do for Holly. The big decision he made in the end of Tempest prove everything he needs to prove. So going back to their relationship fighting the unknown will not be as engrossing as this one. Because in here, Jackson is actually fighting from the inside and not only for Holly but for all humanity. He isn’t saving one person anymore, but is trying to save the world or universe in general. I think the story actually go well even without touching much Jackson’s romantic life. His life as an agent, all the extensive trainings, missions, discoveries about time-jump and his relationships with his Dad and other agents alone are intriguing enough to pull the whole plot. I’m glad that Julie Cross doesn’t make this book about Jackson’s love life, instead she pulls just enough Holly-Jackson interactions and even used it as part of the action-packed plot.
“But all you can do… all anyone can do… is love who you want to love, while they’re here. Whatever obstacles come with that. Even if you know what happens in the future. Take the time that you’re given and enjoy it.”
What I really like best about Vortex is the intricate time-traveling concept that Julie Cross created. I love how complex and elaborate it is. I thought I already understand the concept of time-traveling that Julie Cross wanted to project in Tempest, I was wrong, because Vortex reveal a lot of complexity I didn’t anticipate. It thrown everything into the ultimate level.
Vortex shares a lot of information that it almost feels too much to take in in one reading. So many time-traveling concepts, technical terms, scientific explanations, histories, and secrets keeps on popping out as I read. I almost want to stop for a while so just I can grab a pen and take some notes to make sure I’m still following everything, but my eagerness to know more and the fast-pace plot doesn’t give me a chance to pause much more to leave the story.
The different concept of timelines and parallel universe alone keep my mind busy and absorbed in the story. Add the constant revelations I can’t help but get focus on reading more and more. I love how this book makes me think, work out some logic, and analyzed everything that is happening while fully enjoying the story and eagerly anticipating what will happen next. Definitely an engrossing read for me.
Another thing that I like are the characters. The major characters (if not all of them) were complex and well developed. Jackson grown a lot since the last time I met him in Tempest. He isn’t clouded anymore by his love for Holly. After sacrificing so much and undergoing to extensive training, Jackson is more focus, more guarded, and more determined to make things right. He still doesn’t fully understand everything, especially those things that are kept from him by higher ranks of CIA, but Jackson now finally grasping the fact that he can do something for the humanity. He is now willing to do his part and serve for a higher purpose, but the problem is he still needs to know what he must do and who to trust.
Other than Jackson, two characters that really stood out for me are Kendrick and Stewart. I like the friendship they form with Jackson, and the fact that it doesn’t started all too well. Though these two girls are total opposite, I like that they both provide a chance for Jackson to developed his trust to other people.
If there’s one thing that I think didn’t fit much is Agent Meyer Sr. in 1952. I think that version of him is too kind to give so much information to someone he barely know. Jackson do the half-jump and met Agent Meyer Sr. in that year, which is the first time of that version of Agent Meyer Sr. meeting Jackson. All he know about Jackson is that he comes from the future. With that little span of time I think that he gave too much information that he’s not supposed to give to anyone. It is good for the plot as it reveal a lot of things, but if I am a CIA agent like Agent Meyer Sr., I’m sure I’ll held any information to myself.
Other than that I think Jackson’s Dad fairly do well. He supports Jackson in his decision to join the Tempest, he helps him in everything he can even to the point of making sure that Holly is safe. He will do anything for his family.
“You and Courtney won’t have to do anything. Won’t have to make any sacrifices because he’ll fill that role for you. He’s quite determined.”
With intricate time-travel concept, complex characters, fast-paced and unpredictable plot, Julie Cross concocted a complex story that makes time-travel genre more than entertaining. Be prepared to be blown away by this fascinating and highly imaginative adventure.