REVIEW: “Timestorm,” Julie Cross
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Title: Timestorm (Tempest #3)
Author: Julie Cross
Published: January, 2014 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Pages: 358
Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

The battle between the Tempest division and Eyewall comes to a shocking conclusion in this final installment of the Tempest trilogy, where the need for survival stretches the boundaries of history, both past and future, and the world Jackson once knew is a place forever marked by the detrimental effects of time travel.

As Jackson recovers from his brush with death, he’s surrounded not only by the people he loves most—his dad, Courtney, and Holly—he’s also amongst a few of the original time travelers. As he learns more about their life and how this world began, it becomes apparent that they need to put a stop to Thomas and Doctor Ludwig’s experimenting at Eyewall Headquarters. What starts out as an escape plan becomes a war between time and humanity, between freewill and peace. It’s the battle Jackson was born to fight and he’s not about to back down. Not for anything. Not for anyone.

Final Thoughts:
What was with that ending? No, I’m not going to give it away, but seriously…I didn’t like it. Timestorm was all over the place for me. There were moments where I was in love with the book, where it managed just the right balance of time-traveller stuff and the romance, but at other times, the book had a tendency to drag. It was the final book, so I expected a back and forth battle between the series-long antagonist, Thomas, and our hero, Jackson, but unfortunately that played out as more of a side issue to the Jackson/Holly love saga.

I’ve looked back at my reviews of the previous two books and noticed that my love for this series has gradually declined with each instalment. I adored Tempest—I couldn’t get enough of that book—but closing the spine on this one, I felt kind of meh. Things were over but I wasn’t devastated by the loss of these characters or overjoyed for them—I was just happy to be done. I think the bizarreness of the ending may have contributed to that, but that’s a whole other issue completely.

The first half of the book picks things up where Vortex left off, with basically all of the characters trapped on an anti-time travel island. While it was an interesting scenario, I felt that we spent way too long here when we could have been back in New York where the actual plot was. Sure, it helped with character development, but being the final book, it seemed out of place when nothing really came of it. I enjoyed it for a while, but it was pretty much a hundred and fifty or so page obstacle to the plot.

For fans of the Jackson/Holly/007 Holly/Agent Holly love triangle…square? whatever it was, you’re probably going to find the most enjoyment in this. The romance takes the forefront for most of the book as Jackson tries to work his way into yet another version of the girl he watched die at the start of the series. Holly may swoon whenever he tells her that he loves the current version of her, rather than seeing the versions he has been with in the other timelines—and admittedly, I almost found myself falling for his lines too—but really, all he seems to be doing is jumping from one girl to the next, taking whichever Holly he can get.

What I really would have liked to have seen was Jackson faced with two of Holly and having to choose. Or better yet, him making his choice and then that Holly not wanting him anymore. Would he have wormed his way back to the other one then? Of course, I’ll never know because the series is finished, but it doesn’t mean I can’t speculate.

If you can overlook everything I’ve just mentioned about their relationship, you’ll find it moving. They do overcome a lot. Even with all of Jackson’s flaws, I have to hand it to Julie Cross, her characters do have that realness about them. If I weren’t so invested in the outcome of her time travel plot and all of the details she infused it with, I could have let myself slip into the romance side of it more.

Pick up the first book if you haven’t already. While I may not have loved this one, Tempest was excellent.