Series: Tempest, #3
Released: January 28th, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Rating: 4 stars
Word Rating: Truly awesome
Reviewed by: Blythe
The battle between the Tempest division and Eyewall comes to a shocking conclusion in this final installment of the Tempest trilogy, where the need for survival stretches the boundaries of history, both past and future, and the world Jackson once knew is a place forever marked by the detrimental effects of time travel.
As Jackson recovers from his brush with death, he’s surrounded not only by the people he loves most—his dad, Courtney, and Holly—he’s also amongst a few of the original time travelers. As he learns more about their life and how this world began, it becomes apparent that they need to put a stop to Thomas and Doctor Ludwig’s experimenting at Eyewall Headquarters. What starts out as an escape plan becomes a war between time and humanity, between freewill and peace. It’s the battle Jackson was born to fight and he’s not about to back down. Not for anything. Not for anyone.
This review is spoiler-free for the entire Tempest trilogy
First things first, Julie Cross deserves huge props for this trilogy. Not only is it awesome as a whole (and gets better with each book), but she really goes all out with her world. You can tell how thoroughly she must have thought this book--and trilogy--through from the very start, and if this series were to be placed in any author's hands, it just would not be the same at all. Julie Cross has created a time travel that is so unique and complex in her Tempest trilogy, and that in and of itself is truly admirable.
Timestorm is undeniably the strongest installment in the Tempest trilogy; its pacing is near perfect: engaging from the start, right up to the end. Although I did feel it hit a minor dip towards the middle, it got right back up again with engaging plot twists and world-building. (The latter of which, yes, is still being established in some parts. There's just so much world-building in this trilogy and Julie Cross makes it a point to get to all of it and I love that.)
But an important thing with this trilogy is that if you want to enjoy it fully, you need to give it pretty much all of your attention. There is so much going on that if you begin to drift off for even a page or two, you might miss something important. And even if you don't miss something crucial plot- or world building-wise, there's a good chance you'll miss out on some character and relationship development, because there's a lot. What I love about the characters in this trilogy is that Cross introduces such a wide cast of them, each having lived in different time periods and gone through different things; because of this all of the characters are so well fleshed out and distinctive and believable. Because of this, their relationships with one another are as engaging as any could get, and even with the characters I wasn't too invested in, I still found myself interested in what was going on with them at least somewhat.
Also, speaking of relationships: the romance. I'm finding that something I really love in YA that's been becoming more common recently is the reestablishment of former romances, which I think is awesome. It's like getting the opportunity to swoon over first love twice. And Jackson's dedication to Holly is just so sweet and heartwarming, and I was just waiting for them to eventually get together again. Their relationship added some extremely interesting and dynamic layers to the story that were for the most part not there in books one and two. And yes, that was vague on purpose, because I try to keep my reviews for conclusions spoiler-free for the entire trilogy.
The only thing I can say I'm disappointed in with this installment is the ending, or at least how the characters got to the ending. The conclusion itself is really quite bittersweet and almost tragic, and I really like that part of it. I just thought that it was a bit too easy in comparison to the rest of the world and plot in the novel and/or series. Obviously I can't go into detail about this for spoiler-filled reasons, but I was expecting just a little more stakes from the ending is all.
However, that's really the only thing I can say I have an issue with in Timestorm. One of my favorite things is when a series starts off well, but on admittedly shaky feet, and gradually gets better with each book, and that is exactly what the Tempest trilogy does. The characters are realistically portrayed, the relationships dynamic, and the writing strong. Fans of time travel/different and inventive concepts of time travel simply must give Cross' trilogy a shot, because I genuinely believe this is as original as time travel gets.