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Following the Leader (Amber J.)

Just along for the ride

Tomorrow is Today (Tempest, #0.5) - Julie Cross So after the robust discussion that led me to this author in the first place, I’m a little nervous about writing a review of someone’s work, especially if the book/novella/material is free. (But since it’s highly unlikely anyone will read this, I’m probably in the clear lol).I did enjoy reading this so let's start this off on a good note: I like that Cross has created a charismatic protagonist with a realistic male voice; I like that we get a glimpse of Jackson and Holly pre-relationship; I like that the characters attend my mother’s alma mater; I like that my city is the backdrop for this story…I like Adam; I really like Adam :D (I hope there’s a lot more Adam in Tempest).I really like the concept of this book (even though the mad scientist inside of me finds the whole changing-the-past-doesn’t-affect-the-future premise, and his ability to jump out of his body into the past while he also stays behind in the present as an incapacitated “vegetable”, a little hard to swallow). Cross has created a unique time traveling paradigm with rules and consequences that I had never considered before. Jackson’s jumps don’t change the present, but they do have a symmetrical effect, sort of, in the space-time continuum. When Jackson jumps, the pleasure he experiences in the past is muted, and the injuries he sustains are almost nonexistent when he returns to the present (e.g. his leg is crushed by a semi truck in the past but he only has a bruise to show for it when he comes back). And when he does come back only seconds have passed in the present, compared to the hours he has spent in the past. I’m interested to see what else is added to this blueprint (like jumping to the future, perhaps) as the story progresses.And I really like the excessive use of ellipses. I guess that’s like Cross’s writing signature...the same way Mafi uses crossed out thoughts in Shatter Me My only real issue so far is Cross sort of hit the snooze button when it came to fleshing out a certain aspect of Jackson’s character. She’s created this rich and refined yet down-to-earth guy, but she doesn’t take full advantage of the opportunities to show us that sophisticated side of him. For example, Jackson supposedly knows French, Spanish, and German; but when he tries to calm a snooty mother at the Y by speaking French to her son, all we read is, “I crouched down and stuck my hand out to Hunter and said, in French, using my best accent, ‘Good morning...I’m so glad you’re in my group this summer, We’re going to have lots of fun.’” For someone who speaks several languages, shouldn’t he, at some point, actually speak in another language? I think it would have been better if the author just translated his statement to French. We didn’t need to know what he actually said since his ability to speak in another language to placate the mom was the focus.There were other instances of this happening, like Jackson allegedly knowing entire sections of Charles Dickens’ work, and being able to recite them by rote, but does he do this? Nope, he just tells us he did this: “The British man’s voice still played so I started reciting the book with him.” And then he asks Holly if she wants to hear it in French; when she says ‘Yes’, does he actually do that? Nope: “I closed my eyes and switched to a different language, which was almost easy. French sometimes flowed off my tongue more rhythmically than English...” Too bad we never get to see it.I am glad I read this prequel, and the beginning of Tempest. I look forwarding to purchasing the book when it's released.