*This title will be released on January 15, 2013*
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Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.
+ Sexual Content
Kissing. Mild sensuality.
Julie Cross’s Vortex is the thrilling second installment of the Tempest series, in which the world hangs in the balance as a lovelorn Jackson must choose who to save
Jackson Meyer has thrown himself into 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.
Good sequels can serve a lot of purposes, especially in trilogies. They can shake up characters, introduce new information that disrupts everything we thought we knew, and hurl storylines into a new and potentially devastating directions. Julie Cross’s Tempest trilogy debuted with an amazingly sharp protagonist who very nearly destroyed the world–not to mention his own–through his ability to travel through time. It’s a hard act to follow, but VORTEX is a good, bordering on great, sequel.
Unlike TEMPEST, which I praised for it’s succinct and accessible explanation of time travel, VORTEX is just plan confusing with its multiple timelines, alternate universes, clones, displaced doubles, and three–by my count–different types of time travel that often had different names for the same kind. There is even a diagram at one point that tries to explain the various timelines but only ended up making things even more complicated. It’s a testament to the character of Jackson–who, if possible, is even more honest and broken in this sequel–that I remained as invested in his story as I did despite grasping maybe 40% of all the time travel complexity.
I bemoaned the lack of an equally well developed female character in TEMPEST, but in VORTEX, not only does Holly gain some much needed depth and backbone, but we get two more strong female leads! Stewart becomes a major character and we find out the reasons behind about her abrasive behavior and all or nothing attitude. We also meet Kendrick, who is in many ways a representation of what Jackson might have been like if he hadn’t been a time traveler. All three female characters were so different (and brought out different sides of Jackson) and yet equally intriguing.
Like a mix between Alias and THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE, VORTEX spins an often heartbreaking story of love that defies time with thrilling, action packed espionage. I may still be a little confused about time travel, but I know without a doubt that I’ll be picking up the final book in the Tempest trilogy when it hits shelves in January 2014.
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