Title: Vortex (Tempest #2)
Author: Julie Cross
Publication date: January 3, 2013
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Length: 434 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Age group: Young Adult
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository
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. Jackson must decide between saving the love of his life and the entire world…
Having read Tempest, the first book in the series, last year, I was really looking forward to reading the second installment and I’m glad to say Julie Cross didn’t disappoint. While I had some issues with the characters at the beginning of the first book, Vortex just grabbed me at the first chapter and made me keep on reading right until the end.
The story pretty much picks up where Tempest ended and since it’s been about a year since I’ve read that book, I spent the first 50 pages trying to figure out what the heck is going on. I didn’t have time to re-read the previous book but in a hindsight, I should have. So here’s tip number one for you: if you haven’t read the first book yet, do so. It’s not one of those series that can be read in any order. I did read Tempest but I was still confused at first. Which leads us to tip number two: if you’ve read the first book but you don’t remember everything (names of the EOTs and minor characters, or how this whole half-jump/complete jump theory works) then make sure to take the time to read it again because you’ll have no idea what’s going on in Vortex. I did manage to get into the story and loved everything about it but still, once I have a bit more time I’ll need to sit down and read both books again.
In terms of the plot, I think there’s less time travelling in this book than what we had in Tempest. The main focus is rather on the fight between the EOTs, Eyewall, and Tempest and the characters themselves, which I didn’t mind at all. While I wasn’t a big fan of Jackson in book #1, I absolutely loved him in Vortex. Also, there are quite a few new characters – like Lily Kendrick, Jackson’s CIA partner – as well as some people we’ve already met, like Stewart (who must be one of my favourite YA characters ever) and Jackson’s dad. Although I really missed Adam, who only plays a minor role in this book, and his conversations with Jackson but the intricate and fast-paced plot and the new characters definitely make up for it. The only character I still don’t get or managed to get used to is Holly – I still think she acts like a spoilt brat and I don’t know what Jackson saw in her.
And as for the ending: Holy Mother of God. Talk about a cliffhanger! I’ve seriously no idea what’s coming next but I’m fairly sure it’s going to be amazing. If you like young adult fiction and you’re looking for an unpredictable and cleverly-written book, look no further. But be prepared, you’ll be hooked. And don’t say I didn’t warn you!
“I could hear my heart pounding, even over the volume of the helicopter. Judging distance and memorizing images of our surroundings were skills I’d learned to use to my advantage during the past two and a half months of Tempest training. But today they had taken away my sight. And by “they,” I mean Chief Marshall.
After an hour of their obvious diversions and turning the helicopter in circles to confuse us, I was seriously ready for a time jump … somewhere calm and on the ground.”