Vortex is the second book in the Tempest trilogy, so I advise you not to keep reading this review if you’ve not read the first book.
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, all that changes when Holly—the girl he altered history to save—re-enters his life. And when Eyewall, an opposing division of the CIA, emerges, Jackson and his fellow agents find themselves under attack and on the run. (Synopsis from Goodreads).
Tempest and Vortex are an excellent example what I’d call high-concept young adult fiction. I thought I understood the rules of the world in which Jackson and his dead/not dead girlfriend Holly live, but Julie Cross will not let us rest easy, instead forcing us to see that it’s much more detailed than we ever imagined. Vortex instills in us knowledge of full-jumps, half-jumps, Thomas-jumps, and worlds A, B and C. It’s easy to get lost, but I can see that it’ll be rewarding if you persevere and try to keep up with what the Tempest and Eyewall groups are trying to accomplish – as our dedicated protagonists are equally trying to do.
Tempest is not only a compelling series because of it’s fantastic science fiction elements, but because it also has wonderful character development, something I acknowledged last year. In the midst of chaos, the reader feels like they know what these secret agent teenagers are going through, even though they are not truly able to know everything about them. Struggles and complex emotions emanate from every character, making you emotionally invested in all of them.
In my review of Tempest, I said that if I had to describe it in one word I’d pick ‘fun’. If I had to do the same with Vortex, I’d pick the famous relationship status: ‘It’s complicated‘. Vortex may not be to everybody’s tastes, in a similar way that The Matrix isn’t (although I am by no means comparing them plot-wise), because you are left knowing less than you did at the start – and that can understandably be frustrating – but it’s the little details, and the characters, that make it worthwhile: the persistence of Adam, the enigmatic red-headed child, the constant mystery, and Jackson’s honesty and wit.
Vortex is as action-packed as its predecessor, a complicated backstage tour through the perils of secret agents and the possibilities of time travel – don’t forget to look before you jump!
Published: 3rd January 2013 (UK) 15th January 2013 (US)
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books (UK) St. Martin’s Griffin (US)
Source: Thank you Macmillan Children’s Books for providing this book to review!