Julie Cross The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.
That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps.Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.
Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.
But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit… or kill him.
Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.
I liked the premise of this book which introduces Jackson Meyer, who is nineteen years old, has a girlfriend and a fairly regular life – other than the fact that he can travel through time. It’s set in the year 2009 and Jackson has only recently discovered his ‘gift’ and with the help of his friend Adam is beginning to test his abilities and its limitations. His ‘jumps’ into the past only last a few minutes in real ie present time and nothing he does in the past when jumping affects the future. When mysterious and unknown thugs burst into his girlfriend Holly’s dorm room there is a struggle and Holly is killed. Jackson then jumps to escape and decides to keep going back in time to try to work out who the men are and what they were after.
After this, for me it all got a bit confusing. There are lots of jumps so we are going back and forward a lot to different times and picking up new bits of information along the way as Jackson tries to piece everything together. At one point he gets stuck in 2007 for a long time and has to re-meet Holly and Adam in order to be close to Holly to protect her and because he just can’t stay away and to enlist Adam’s help for all his techie needs! There is also a lot of suspicion surrounding his father, his father’s job and how he relates to the men that shot Holly in 2009.
We eventually find out that Jackson has the Tempest gene which gives him these abilities and there are those out there who want to use these gifts and those gifted for good and of course those who have plans that are not so good. These people are also jumping between time zones and popping up all over the place and time! As Jackson finds out more information and his relationship with his father changes and begins to provide some answers he then trains (very quickly!) to become a top CIA secret agent super spy type person to get stuck in and beat the baddies – once he’s worked out who is definitely a baddie and who’s a goodie!
A lot of the story focuses on the relationship between Jackson and Holly – both the 2007 and the 2009 versions. Their romance didn’t particularly move me plus the two Holly’s from the different years are quite different from each other and it just all felt a bit odd to me.
The next one in the trilogy is out in 2013 and while I’m sure I will pick it up at some point as I do tend to like to follow a story through to its conclusion, I won’t be rushing to buy it as soon as it’s published. Verdict: I really liked the premise, but I’m not sure that for me the book lived up to my expectations. Reviewed by Lesley
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Publication Date: January 2012
Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance, Fantasy
Source: Own copy
Challenge: Debut Author