Tempest - Julie Cross
19-year-old Jackson Meyer discovers that he can travel through time, albeit only a few hours and with no effect on his present. This changes however when two mysterious men attack Jackson’s girlfriend, Holly, and Jackson finds himself stuck two years in the past, unable to get back. All Jackson wants is to get back to his own time and save Holly, but he finds that not only have these mysterious “Enemies of Time” are still looking for him, but so is a secret branch of the CIA that seems to include Jackson’s own father.

There’s lots of good stuff in Tempest, including plenty of mysteries, action, and conspiracies. It’s also nice to read a YA novel where the main characters are in college for a change. Jackson is also a pretty likeable narrator, although he starts out a little too perfect-he’s rich, has a beautiful girlfriend, and has superpowers to boot. The relationships of the characters are generally well done overall, such as the relationship between Jackson and his sister.

However, there are a few research errors that bothered me while reading. Time travel is apparently genetic, which is rather ridiculous but not a huge problem if accepted as fantasy. Cross however throws around biology terms with no regard to their meaning; a recessive gene is treated as simply a rarity which is not always the case (the allele for five fingers is recessive to polydactyly in humans, yet is also extremely common). Purely recessive versions of genes will simply not be expressed in the presence of other versions; in the example given in the book a single copy of the time travel gene will be not be expressed at all. An individual is also said to be “evolved,” when in reality evolution as a concept cannot be applied to single organisms. While this may be nitpicking as a biologist, these errors were enough to take me out of the story. There are a couple of other things as well, such as a sailboat having a “center post” rather than a mast. Cross is also obviously not a native New Yorker, as evidenced mainly by a lack of local slang. A native like Jackson would also probably be able to recognize an NYC subway station by design and signage even if teleported randomly into one. Also, a bunch of middle-class white kids would probably not be working in Newark, least of all by themselves. Again, this may be nitpicking but the lack of simple research was enough to disrupt some climactic scenes in the book.

While this review may sound harsh, Tempest makes for a very entertaining read. The older characters and fairly original plot can make for a nice change from the glut of paranormal romance and dystopian novels clogging the young adult section.

A review copy was provided through the Librarything Early Reviewers program