I was recently lucky enough to get an advance release copy of my friend Julie Cross’ new YA/Scifi novel, “Tempest”. Below is my review.
When I first got my copy of Julie Cross’ Tempest, there were 3 reasons why I thought I would just muddle through it. First, I am a big multiple Point-of-View fan, and I find first person writing very confining. Second, I am a HUGE stickler for time travel stories (really? The Terminator couldn’t just sew a laser pistol inside a rump roast and bring it back with him?) And third, the fact that I’m a 37 year old bald man whose wife has been known to refer to him, on occasion, as a curmudgeon might lead you to believe that YA romance is not necessarily my genre.
But I was absolutely wrong, on each point. I loved Tempest!
Julie’s prose is fantastic. She writes naturally from her hero’s mind, in a stream of consciousness fashion that is very gripping. By the second chapter I was totally engrossed, and once I reached the halfway point of the novel I never set it down again. There is not one wasted word.
As to the time-travel: it is new, it is tight, and it allows for some awesome plot explorations. The simple question of whether a person could re-romance someone they already love in another time, at another age, fascinates me. That is a grand idea to explore in a time travel story. It is also very easy to follow and know where Jackson is at any time (literally).
The third of my points is probably the most important. This is no simple teenage romance. This thing is real. The characters grow; you see why they are in love. It is not just two people with the chemical hots for each other. These two people, through their struggles, learn the importance of having someone in your life you can trust more than you do yourself. Also, Jackson’s growth in his relationship with his father – can he trust him or not – draws you to both characters. Jackson’s development from an pseudo-spoiled rich kid to a committed, serious adult is clear and quite well played out.
Julie Cross is also able to drag the reader to both emotional heights and lows. Not to spoil, but Jackson’s letter to his sister is both poignant and funny – and something any good brother would feel.
I can give the one ultimate compliment to this story a writer can get – I cannot wait to read the sequel.