There comes a point when I am so starved from a lack of new Doctor Who episodes that I start to investigate other time travel books and movies. I am almost always disappointed. Nothing can stand up to a guy in a Bow Tie with a smart mouth and a penchant for reminding people to trust him.
Enter Tempest: part one in a trilogy of a time traveling teenage romance series. Jackson Meyer is just a normal teen boy with a normal teen girlfriend--except that he can travel through time. One day his tart of a girlfriend Holly is shot in the stomach and Jackson travels back to 2007.
Jackson gets stuck in 2007 and decides to date his now 17-year-old girlfriend all over again. Because, ya know, totally hooking up with your then underage girlfriend should be your top priority. Not, you know, preventing a shooting that according to the Time Laws that Julie Cross created is impossible to prevent (spoiler alert: it turns out to be preventable).
There's also a nerd character, a dad character, a missing mom character, a dead sister character, and The Bad Guy Characters. All voiced by a narrator who does what he can for the generic teens. (seriously, he voices the nerd character Adam with a very nasal and throaty voice, and then breaths like he has asthma--because all smart people sound like that--other than that, no complaints).
Time travel novels have always given me headache. What's possible and what's not possible, up is down, cats and dogs living together, etc.* There always seems to be an easy out. Just go back and erase everything and start all over again. Or just go back and tell yourself not to cross the street that day. It's an easy out made complicated by the fact that most authors change their own time travel rules when they write themselves into a corner.
Unfortunately, Julie Cross does this. I'm not saying this is a terrible or horrible book. It's actually the opposite. So for those of you who enjoyed it: DON'T GET ANGRY WITH ME WHEN I SAY THIS. I enjoyed this in a SyFy Channel Mystery Science Theater 3000 kind of way.**
Let's go through my Cheesy B Movie Check List: we have teenagers who curse entirely too much, lines of dialogue from a father character that made me chuckle, sex scenes in which our main character has to talk himself out of banging his 17-year-old girlfriend, bad guys who call themselves the Enemies of Time and, AND, AND! it's about time traveling teenagers!
Julie Cross made an entertaining book. It made my day easier and it made me pause while I typed at my keyboard at work a few times. I think I even ate popcorn at one point while listening to it. That makes Tempest a true popcorn book and a nice piece of entertainment. I'm not looking for deeper meaning or a repeat experience, I save that for Doctor Who.
Full Disclosure: Macmillan Audio sent me this.
*I still can't get my head wrapped around the last episode of Star Trek: Voyager.
**The last time this happened it was Battlefield Earth.