Tuesday, November 12, 2013

(W)REC(K) A BOOK: Tempest

Sixteen-year-old Janelle never thought the gray spiral birthmark on her arm meant anything special. That is, until she meets Gary, a boy her age with a birthmark exactly like hers. Gary's attractive, brooding, and perfectly normal... except for the fact that he materialized out of a dangerous hurricane right in front of her. Janelle's certain of only one thing. Gary's mark- and hers, too -means something, but he's reluctant to tell her what.

At last she squeezes the truth from Gary about their markings. And the truth is utterly terrifying: Janelle and Gary are more connected to the destructive power of nature than she ever dreamed possible. And learning the truth about herself is only the start of her nightmare.


I recommend this to young teens. Not so much for (young) adults who prefer to not be spoon-fed the information (and then some) while reading a novel.

It starts off with Janelle and her father getting caught in the middle of Storm Gary in Florida, her dad's hometown which they just recently relocated to after a job opportunity. Her dad's calm and nonchalant attitude towards the dangerous storm annoys her to no end, but after going to a shelter, she sees the hurricane die down- and produce a boy right before her eyes.

The mysterious boy with the birthmark on his forearm is taken to the hospital, and her determination to get to the bottom of this "coincidence" leads her to then finding out about her heritage. Turns out, she, Gary and her father are Tempests, a race with the power to transform into storms at the touch of Florida's ocean water. Their names are pulled up on a list; and according to Tempest Law, they must transform. Andrina, Gary's guardian, has revealed a keen interest in Janelle, and it's later discovered that it isn't just her name coming up on the list that's got the High Leader interested. She's her mother.

Andrina is a power-hungry Tempest bent on starting a war with the humans, but at the end of the story, after Andrina is dealt with, Janelle is comforted with the real reason as to why they all must transform when summoned. As hurricanes, they balance the earth's surface and ensure humanity's survival.

A few things weren't clear to me, and that gives me a headache because this story repeated the obvious while avoiding to elaborate on the other things, like why the ocean in Florida transformed Janelle, or how the transformation of Tempests works in other places of the world. Or what about people who share the same name on the list? Which "Stacy" or "Mark" gets turned into a hurricane? Both? Neither? It was things like this that bothered me a little, but every once in a while, something amazing or a certain phrase in the book would come up, and then I'd wonder if I'd judged the author's work too soon.

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This book had a lot of promise: the thought of people transforming into hurricanes blew me away! I was amazed and interested and- well, just stunned. But then things turned bad. As I turned the e-pages of my eBook, I found myself growing less interested and more annoyed whenever obvious things were reiterated and then explained again almost nearly at the end of its reveal. The explanations were either in accompanying paragraphs or the dialogue. It was both distracting, sightly insulting and just not my kind of book in the end. If I'm flipping pages to get to the end, something's wrong.

The character development was off, to me. Janelle is a very.... erratic child I'd have liked to raise better right. Her inner thoughts and logic was young even for someone her age, as if she didn't catch on very easily to the happenings around her. Gary wasn't very interesting to me, but he didn't have annoying characteristics to point him out like Janelle did for me. I skipped a lot of the details and only read the dialogue, but even then, it was a little too slow for me.

But hey, everyone's different.

Happy Reading  :)

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