Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Votex [Tempest #2] - Julie Cross

Title -  Vortex
Author -  Julie Cross

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.


Time travel is a very complicated thought experiment. If we take Schrodinger’s cat as the simplest unit of a thought experiment then time travel is easily a hundred thousand times more complicated, we are simply not built to comprehend what would happen if you went back in time and killed your grandfather before he had the chance to have your parent or to present a case by Douglas Adams, end up being your own mother and father, hence the word paradox. With this in mind I was very curious as to how Julie Cross would overcome the subject especially since it was bound to appear sooner or later. Some how I doubted she would say ''One of the major problems encountered in time travel is not that of becoming your own father or mother. There is no problem in becoming your own father or mother that a broad-minded and well-adjusted family can't cope with.''

I was very impressed by Cross creation of different timelines and while it took me a little while to wrap my head around the many different worlds it occurred to me that the importance of the ability to split reality into many different versions had not been stressed enough. Vortex is a lot more action orientated than Tempest and to be honest it did feel like a right move. Jackson needed to grow up a little and actually take control of the situation and I felt satisfied that for the most part he managed that perfectly. I also thought that the name of the new enemies, Eyewall, was a lot less cheese and a lot more believable that Enemies of Time.

This book no real chronological order, we meet two versions of almost everyone from Jackson, Jackson’s dad, little girl Emily and even Adam and Holly are entirely different people. Trying to sum up this book I am strongly reminded of a quote from the best time traveller in the universe, The Doctor who said that ‘'People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.’’ This is very true for this book. Sure everyone has their own separate timeline of birth to death but the future, the past and the indeed the many different presents have been entangled therefore it should not come as a surprise that this would rip a hole in the space time continuum, hence the creation of the vortex.

I am not sure if I am a fan of the apocalyptic future scenario, not because it doesn’t make sense rather it makes perfect sense but it feels like the doomed future card has been played by many depictions of time travel before however it must be said that it is a real credit to Cross’ mental ability to process all these separate timelines as well as the many versions of the world without having a mental breakdown.

One thing that confused me about this book and I am not sure whether this is a compliment or a criticism was that every time you thing you have a handle on the world around you it would through one curve ball after another, it would kill people and resurrect them just as easily. I felt like I had no idea who was the friend and who was the enemy.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. It action packed from the word go to the last page, I felt like I was on a mission impossible marathon, if the mission was unclear and every other enemy had the ability to jump in time. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Product Detail
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Language: English
Author's Website: http://juliecrossbooks.com/
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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