Vortex (Tempest Trilogy Series #2)by Julie Cross
Julie Cross's Vortex is the thrilling second installment of the Tempest series, in which the world hangs in the balance as a lovelorn Jackson must choose who to save
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/b>/b>/b>/i>
Julie Cross's Vortex is the thrilling second installment of the Tempest series, in which the world hangs in the balance as a lovelorn Jackson must choose who to save
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, after an accidental run in with Hollythe girl he altered history to saveJackson is once again reminded of what he's lost. And when Eyewall, an opposing division of the CIA, emerges, Jackson and his fellow agents not only find themselves under attack, but Jackson begins to discover that the world around him has changed and someone knows about his erased relationship with Holly, putting both their lives at risk all over again.
“It will be difficult waiting another year for the next installment of Jackson Meyer and his time travels. But like me, fans will wait anxiously and hope that Cross continues to treat us to the roller coaster ride that is life with the time traveling, teenage CIA agent - Jackson Meyer.” Examiner.com
“Fans of Cross's debut novel, Tempest, will love returning to the time-jumping adventures of Jackson Meyer. In this trilogy second, the exciting story picks up almost where it left off, so newcomers may be a bit lost at first. Expect a thrill a minute as Jackson discovers he's even more special than he initially thought.” RT Book Reviews
“Readers will want to time travel to early 2013 to read book No. 2 in this fast-paced and inventive series.” Los Angeles Times on Tempest
“One of my favorite books of 2012.” EW.com on Tempest
“A surprising emotional punch that leaves you wanting to leap into the future to devour the upcoming sequel.” Entertainment Weekly on Tempest
“The characters are . . . complex and distinct, they will work their way into readers' hearts and stay with them long after the book is finished.” Kirkus Reviews (starred) on Tempest
“It's a story packed with moments both tender and electric--Cross's zippy writing and fresh plot are an exhilarating combination.” Publishers Weekly on Tempest
Read an Excerpt
JUNE 8, 2009, 6:30 A.M.
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.
“In about sixty seconds,” Freeman barked over the noise of the helicopter, “I’ll give you the coordinates of our location, the door will open, and both of you will be dangling by those ropes we’ve attached you to. Your chance of survival will increase greatly if you have an idea of what your feet might land on.”
I fought the urge to rip off my blindfold and look down. Without seeing the journey we’d taken, I’d never be able to figure out where they were about to dump us. Agent Kendrick was already shaking beside me. I couldn’t see her, but I felt her shoulder trembling as it pressed against mine.
“Calm down,” I whispered into her ear. “Or it’ll only get worse.”
My heart slowed instantly as I used my own advice for Kendrick on myself. Never let anyone see you sweat. Never let them in your head … not Chief Marshall, not my partner or any of the Tempest trainees, and especially not the EOTs. This was one of the three most important lessons I’d learned in training. The other two:
Everything is a test.
Everyone is alone.
The sound of the helicopter door being wrenched open caused my stomach to drop. Calm … stay calm. Noise from the rotors and wind burst in, cold air smacking me in the face.
I barely heard Freeman shout the coordinates, and then I heard Kendrick yell into my ear, “The east side of the French Alps … rough surface … loose rocks … but people climb it.”
I swallowed hard. “Great.”
And they literally had turned us in circles since we’d left this morning, considering Tempest headquarters were at the base of the French Alps.
Ten seconds later, Kendrick and I were being pushed through the open door, each secured to our own rope as we swung back and forth in the wind.
“Jackson!” Kendrick shouted. “Take off your blindfold.”
Oh … right. But that would require peeling my fingers from the rope. Instead of releasing a hand, I used my forearm to nudge the cloth from my eyes. The sun blinded me at first and then I looked down as the mountain swung in and out of focus. “Holy shit!”
Kendrick’s long dark hair whipped in the wind as her eyes scanned the mountainside. She didn’t look nearly as petrified as I felt. I had a feeling her genius mind was spinning too fast to let fear distract her. “There’s a ledge … we’re gonna have to jump a little … doesn’t quite reach the end of the rope … but I don’t know how long before they cut us off from above.”
I glanced up at the helicopter, still hovering ten feet over us, Freeman ready to untie us and slam the door shut any second now. “Okay, ready when you are.”
We quickly worked our way down the forty-foot ropes, but even Kendrick hesitated at the end, our feet dangling, trying to reach the small ledge, but coming up short by about five feet. We’d have to unhook the clips securing us to the ropes in order to land on the ledge.
Today’s test, in terms of explaining the rules to the trainees, was the most simple we’d had so far—blindfolded journey where we’d be left alone with our partners, and all we had to do was find our way back to headquarters. It was a timed test, of course, but the rules were simple. The execution, however … not so simple.
“On the count of three,” Kendrick said, her eyes meeting mine.
And for a second I had to wonder if this was a different test. Like maybe I was supposed to con her into going first. Or I’d release myself from the rope and she wouldn’t, and then they’d pull her back up to safety and take off without me.
Only one way to find out.
“One, two,” I said, gripping the release button on the clip between my fingers. “Three!”
The blur of Kendrick falling beside me obscured my vision, and the surface of the mountain appeared before I was ready for it. The side of my face smacked into a jagged rock, immediately followed by the warm trickle of blood dripping down my cheek. My feet found the flat surface and both Kendrick and I pressed our hips into the mountain, toes turned out.
“We’ve got pitons … in our bags, right?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Kendrick said between breaths. “Jackson … you’re bleeding.”
As she reached for my forehead, I shrank away from her hand and quickly wiped the blood with the sleeve of my T-shirt. “It’s fine. Forget it.”
She pulled her hand back and looked at the large rock in front of us. “Can you reach in your bag and hand me a piton?”
“Don’t you have your own?”
She held up the end of a rope, which I hadn’t even noticed had been thrown from the helicopter. “They only gave us one rope. We’re gonna have to share it.”
The challenge in her eyes was too obvious to miss. “Then hand it to me and I’ll tie it for both of us.”
“On what? You’ve got nothing but loose rocks in front of you.”
I remained silent as I handed her a piton and watched her pound it into the mountain. She tugged hard on the rope and then reached for my harness, clipping me to the rope before I could object.
“This should hold both of us,” she said.
My fingers held tightly to the edge of a rock. “You first.”
Kendrick shrugged and then started her descent. My eyes dropped to the ground again without permission and Kendrick’s face dissolved. A flash of Holly’s blond hair flying toward the ground materialized in front of me. Blood pumped in my ears and the air in my lungs seemed to vanish. Not this. Not now. Focus!
“Jackson?” Kendrick said from a few feet below me. “You okay?”
No. “I’m fine.”
I turned around quickly and stared straight at the slab of rock in front of me, then started to climb down. Kendrick moved in silence below me for the next hour. The effort of securing pitons and retying the rope every twenty feet was exhausting and made conversation difficult.
The valleys below us were still distant green blobs when Kendrick finally spoke again. “I love how you’re still trying to hide the fact that you’re an acrophobe.”
“So it seems,” I said, looking down at her. I almost laughed when I saw her eyes roll.
“Anyway, I was just thinking … since I don’t really have an issue with heights … it’s good that we’ve been paired together.”
“All right, you got me,” I said, keeping my focus straight ahead. “I’m scared of falling off this mountain … and it’s not like you weren’t shaking up there in the helicopter.”
“I wasn’t worried about the height. I was afraid I wouldn’t have the answer, wouldn’t have a clue where we were. Being lost freaks me out.”
Okay … so what? We’re gonna get personal now? Talk about our hopes and dreams … great fears? Yeah, right.
* * *
Finally, after hours of climbing, we reached less vertical terrain. Agent Kendrick and I unhooked our rope and stuffed everything into our backpacks. When I looked around at our surroundings, I could hardly believe my eyes. “This is right near headquarters.”
Kendrick nodded, smiling a little.
“Did you know where we’d end up when you picked our landing spot?” I couldn’t help asking, and sounding slightly impressed, which I was.
“Yeah,” she admitted. “But not right away. It was a good guess. And now maybe we can pass the test and record the fastest return time. I’d love to win a day off.”
“Impressive,” I said. “You’re not just trying to live through this, but also attempting to win. Did you see anyone else?”
She swept the area with her eyes, then sighed. “We’re either way ahead or way behind … Damn, this place is beautiful. This is where I want to go for my honeymoon. In one of those little villas right at the base of the Alps.”
I nodded in the direction of the underground pathway. “Let’s win Marshall’s contest first and plan honeymoons later.”
We raced toward the secret entrance and shifted the giant stacks of hay to the side. Both of us grinned, knowing we were most likely the first to come through. It would have been impossible to push the hay back after crawling into the hole.
“I already know what I’m going to do with my day off,” Kendrick said. “Eat … and eat … pastries … lots of pastries.”
My foot was already feeling around for the ladder, excitement and adrenaline rushing through my veins.
I lifted my eyes to look at my partner and nearly shouted as several figures, blurred by the sun’s glare, appeared around us. Kendrick’s shout was muffled instantly. A strange, almost metallic-smelling gas filled my nostrils, and then a foot made contact with the side of my head and my vision completely dissolved.
The thud of my head smacking the ground echoed through my ears and all I could think was—he found me.
After my months of obsessing over every ounce of data on this man, we’d finally get to face off again.
Copyright © 2012 by Julie Cross
Meet the Author
JULIE CROSS lives in central Illinois with her husband and three children. She never considered writing professionally until May of 2009. Since then, she hasn't gone a day without writing. Tempest was her first novel.
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I now know why this book was named Vortex. It took me on a backwards and forwards journey through time that is still making my head spin. Vortex starts off right where Tempest left off and the whirlwind adventure continues to even more towering heights. I can’t believe that Julie Cross has added even more twists and turns to this already face-paced story. If you guys remember at the end of the first book Jackson completely alters the events that happened to him and Holly by going back in time and changing the day they met. After that he decides to jump right into Tempest to get away from everything he is feeling. Then the story gets more complex and things get more and more disastrous for Jackson and the new and old people in his life. I loved how this sequel starts and how it dives right into the story. Jackson’s whole world has turned upside down and now he needs something to occupy himself. Of course he would jump right into tempest agent training. I really liked the Tempest Agent Training Diary that Jackson writes to Adam and it was the perfect way to get the book started. It really adds to how Jackson had to grow over time and deal with his feelings and how he decided to cope with them. Learning to be an agent with Jackson was one of my favorite parts of the story. I loved learning about the different divisions of Tempest and how all of the skills they were learning would come into play later in the book. His adventure from beginning to end had me wanting for a happy ending but knowing that anything could happen at any time. Jackson’s life as an agent is definitely different from the first book and in the end you don’t know if Jackson will survive everything he has had to go through. Jackson is one of my all time favorite male character points of view. You don’t really see that many male perspectives in YA and I appreciate Julie Cross for creating this amazing universe through his perception. I really feel a connection to Jackson, that in some ways we are a lot alike, and that is one of the main reasons I have loved this series so far. All of his mental struggles with his abilities, friendships, and love interest are relatable in so many ways. You can really tell that his love for Holly will be forever, no matter how many times he changes things and that is something to draw you in to this story. The introduction to some new characters in this book was something I really enjoyed getting to read about. Lily Kendrick, who is Jackson’s partner, is one of my favorite characters from this series. She was so relatable to me and was one of the realest characters I have ever read about. I loved her genius and how she cared about other people, but could really kick ass at the same time. All of the agents in Tempest have horrible pasts and I really liked getting to know some of them, to really get a sense of the background to all of their characters. Overall, I really loved reading Vortex and all of the new elements and twists and turn that added to the complexity of the story. I have no idea what is going to happen next in the third book of this story because that ending was definitely a wicked cliffhanger. Julie Cross put all of the characters in a real sticky situation that I really hope everything turns out all right for everyone in the end, but who knows, anything can happen with time travel. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the book there were still some flaws I can’t help but mentioning. I did get confused sometimes during the book because you really have to remember a lot of the details of the story to pay attention to the plot and some of the places Jackson time travels to. That is why I recommend rereading Tempest before you read Vortex. When the third book comes out I plan on rereading all three together to complete the story for me. Also this book is very fast-paced that for some readers they might not be able to keep up with it. I like my books somewhat fast paced and I was able to understand for the most part everything that happened. So really it is your discretion if you think you can handle this amazingly adventurous book. I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of fast paced thrilling reads who can handle some science fiction thrown there way. If you read Tempest then you have got to get this book and read it immediately, your head will spin at the amount of things that are contained within its pages. Julie Cross is an amazing writer who has an amazing talent at spinning up an adventure filled book at every turn of the page. She puts another thank you paragraph to her fans and readers in her acknoledgements and I just love that she does that. So I want to take the time now to thank her for writing such an amazing book series so far. Definitley check this book series out, you don't know what your missing. =]
“Tempest” and “Votex” are parts of the same story, but they are different books. In “Tempest,” Jackson is lost. He has no idea who he is or what he is capable of. Most of all he has seen the girl he loves get murdered and he will do anything to prevent those events from happening. “Tempest” is raw with emotion. It is filled with confusion and self-discovery. “Vortex” is a whole new world, literally. Jackson goes from a confused boy to a focused young man. He is alone, undervalued and resented, but Jackson keeps trucking. He is determined to learn more about his abilities and the enemies of time. He was unprepared to face his enemies before and he will do anything to prevent having to see someone he loves die, again. The first few chapters of this book were difficult for me to get into. The reason being that I love Jackson so much I wanted him to be ok and he is not. The second reason is that there is a lack of emotional connection in the first third of this installment that was very prevalent in “Tempest.” Jackson is cut off emotionally, he is traumatized, suspicious and on constant guard. He has a very good reason to be this way. I stuck with it and was so relieved and engaged at the first sign of life returning to this character. There are moments in “Vortex,” that left me SHOCKED. I am not often surprised. There are reveals about a main character that I just did not see coming. I didn’t see it coming and I am not sure what it will mean for Jackson, but it is such an interesting twist. The one failing of this book is the end. The end is not bad; it just gets a bit confusing. Characters pop up and I am not sure how they can possibly be there. Jackson’s enemies and his role in the universe get more complicated and a lot vaster than he expected. I gave this book four stars instead of five, because the ending just kind of rushes at us and I am not sure exactly what it all means. I was gripped and entertained, but my first thought on conclusion of the book was “What?” Honestly, read this book. The ending lost me for a few minutes, but I caught right up. It is obvious that Julie Cross left things up in the air, because she intends to explain it all in the sequel. I am not a huge fan of Sci-Fi literature, but I love this series. Julie Cross takes her readers to so many different emotional, mental and scientific places. This series is as smart as it is entertaining and as emotional as it is thought provoking. This series works, because its plot is good, the writing is fantastic and the main character is someone you will root for until the end.
Loved it. It was awsome one of the best books ever! Anyone know when the next one is coming out? LOVE THIS SERIES!
I read the first one and then the online one and now this one and the 3rd book doesnt come out till next year :( I hate to wait. Jackson is so real and you cant help feel for him. I will not give anything away so if you wonder about Vortex then I think that you should read this wonderful book.
This book is one of the best books that i have ever read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As much as I liked the first two books, I didn't quiet connect with this book. I was expecting to see more of Jackson and Holly (More cute moments). I thought the book started off really slow, mainly because not a lot of things happen in the beginning. Reading books from a guy's point-of-view is a bit different from reading a girl's point-of-view, so that might be why I couldn't connect with the book as much. The life of a secret agent is really hard from seeing all the training that Jackson has to go through. In this particular book, his journey starts off by accepting the role as a Tempest agent, his training leads him to discover new friendships, and new adventures. From seeing how much he goes through, I still couldn't believe how he was able to leave Holly, but it's no surprise that this story has its twists and turns. There were a lot of times when I would just put off from reading the book (because it wan't getting interesting), but then I would go back and keep reading (finding myself unable to put it away). With new characters and secrets, Vortex is definitely a book that is packed with action and surprises. The ending left me wanting more, so I'll be looking forward to reading the last installment of this series.
I liked this book. The beginning kinda dragged for me. I could have done without him writing in his journal. With that being said, this book was action packed and kept me guessing. There was parts that I was literally shocked and didn't expect that to happen. Jackson made a decision to keep Holly and Adam safe but it doesn't go as he planed. We meet some new interesting characters. We also find out a little more about Emily. The ending I was a little confused with some people that were there that shouldn't be, but I'm sure we'll find out in the next book. Which I don't think I can wait a whole year for it to come out. I need it now. :)