Steven Gould's SF classic, Jumper.
Davy can teleport. He first discovers his talent during a savage beating delivered by his abusive father, when Davy jumps instantaneously to the safest place he knows, his small-town public library. As his mother did so many years before, Davy vows never to go home again. Instead, he sets off, young and inexperienced, for New York City.
Davy gradually learns to use and control his powers, first for sheer survival in an environment more violent and complex than he ever imagined. But mere survival is not enough for Davy. He wants to know if his mother disappeared so completely from his life because she, too, could Jump. And as he searches for a trace of anyone else with powers like his own, he learns to use his abilities for more than escape and theft.
A young man with nothing to lose, and the ability to go anyplace he wants, can help a lot of people. But he can also make a lot of trouble, and sooner or later trouble is going to come looking for him. The one way Davy can think of to locate others who can Jump is to make himself visible to them, but if he does, the police will surely find him too.
About the Author
STEVEN GOULD is the author of the beloved classic Jumper, basis for the 2008 film of the same name, as well as Wildside, Helm, Blind Waves, Reflex, and Jumper: Griffin's Story. He is the recipient of the Hal Clement Young Adult Award for Science Fiction and has been nominated for both the Hugo and the Nebula awards. Gould lives in New Mexico with his wife, writer Laura J. Mixon.
Read an Excerpt
The first time was like this.
I was reading when Dad got home. His voice echoed through the house and I cringed.
I put the book down and sat up on the bed. “In here, Dad. I’m in my room.”
His footsteps on the hallway’s oak floor got louder and louder. I felt my head hunching between my shoulders; then Dad was at the door and raging.
“I thought I told you to mow the lawn today!” He came into the room and towered over me. “Well! Speak up when I ask you a question!”
“I’m gonna do it, Dad. I was just finishing a book,”
“You’ve been home from school for over two hours! I’m sick and tired of you lying around this house doing nothing!” He leaned close and the whiskey on his breath made my eyes water. I flinched back and he grabbed the back of my neck with fingers tike a vise. He shook me. “You’re nothing but a lazy brat I’m going to beat some industry into you if I have to kill you to do it!”
He pulled me to my feet, still gripping my neck. With his other hand he fumbled for the ornate rodeo buckle on his belt, then snaked the heavy Western strap out of his pants loops.
“No, Dad. I’ll mow the lawn right now. Honest!”
“Shut up,” he said. He pushed me into the wall. I barely got my hands up in time to keep my face from slamming nose-first into the plaster. He switched hands then, pressing me against the wall with his left while be took the belt in his right hand.
I twisted my head slightly, to keep my nose from grinding into the wall, and saw him switch his grip on the belt, sothe heavy silver buckle hung on the end, away from his hand.
I yelled. “Not the buckle, Dad! You promised!”
He ground my face into the wall harder. “Shut UP! I didn’t hit you near hard enough the last time.” He extended his arm until he held me against the wall at arm’s length and swung the belt back slowly. Then his arm jerked forward and the belt sung though the air and my body betrayed me, squirming away from the impact and…
I was leaning against bookshelves, my neck free of Dad’s crushing grip, my body still braced to receive a blow. I looked around, gasping, my heart still racing. There was no sign of Dad, but this didn’t surprise me.
I was in the fiction section of the Stanville Public Library and, while I knew it as well as my own room, I didn’t think my father had ever been inside the building.
That was the first time.
The second time was like this.
The truck stop was new and busy, an island of glaring light and hard concrete in the night. I went in the glass doors to the restaurant and took a chair at the counter, near the section with the sign that said, drivers only. The clock on the wall read eleven-thirty. I put. The rolled-up bundle of stuff on the floor under my feet and tried to look old.
The middle-aged waitress on the other side of the counter looked skeptical, but she put down a menu and a glass of water, then said, “Coffee?”
“Hot tea, please.”
She smiled mechanically and left.
The drivers’ section was half full, a thick haze of tobacco smoke over it. None of them looked like the kind of man who’d give me the time of day, much less a lift farther down the road.
The waitress returned with a cup, a tea bag, and one of those little metal pitchers filled with not very hot water.
“What can I get you?” she asked.
“I’ll stick with this for a while.”
She looked at me steadily for a moment, then totaled the check and laid on the counter. “Cashier will take it when you’re ready. You want anything else, just let me know.”
I didn’t know to hold the lid open as I poured the water, so a third of it ended up on the counter. I mopped it up with napkins from the dispenser and tried not to cry.
“Been on the road long, kid?”
I jerked my head up. A man, sitting in the last seat of the drivers’ section, was looking at me. He was big, both tall and fat, with a roll of skin where his shirt neck opened. He was smiling and I could see his teeth were uneven and stained.
“What do you mean?”
He shrugged. “Your business. You don’t look like you’ve been running long.” His voice was higher-pitched than you’d expect for a man his size, but kind.
I looked past him, at the door. “About two weeks.”
He nodded. “Rough. You running from your parents?”
“My dad. My mom cut out long ago.”
He pushed his spoon around the countertop with his finger. The nails were long with grease crusted under them. “How old are you, kid?”
He looked at me and raised his eyebrows.
I shrugged my shoulders. “I don’t care what you think. It’s true. I turned seventeen lousy years old yesterday.” The tears started to come and I blinked hard, got them back under control.
“What you been doing since you left home?”
The tea had gotten as dark as it was going to. I pulled the tea bag and spooned sugar into the cup. “I’ve been hitching, panhandling a little, some odd jobs. Last two days I picked apples—twenty-five cents a bushel and all I could eat. I also got some clothes out of it.”
“Two weeks and you’re out of your own clothes already?”
I gulped down half the tea. “I only took what I was wearing.” All I was wearing when I walked out of the Stanville Public Library.
“Oh. Well, my name’s Topper. Topper Robbins. What’s yours?”
I stared at him. “Davy,” I said, finally.
He smiled again. “I understand. Don’t have to beat me about the head and shoulders.” He picked up his spoon and stirred his coffee, “Well, Davy, I’m driving that PetroChem tanker out there and I’m headed west in about forty-five minutes. If you’re going that way, I’ll be glad to give you a ride. You look like you could use some food, though. Why don’t you let me buy you a meal?”
The tears came again then. I was ready for cruelty but not kindness. I blinked hard and said, “Okay. I’d appreciate the meal and the ride.”
An hour later I was westbound in the right-hand seat of Topper’s rig, drowsing from the heat of the cab and the full stomach. I closed my eyes and pretended to sleep, tired of talking. Topper tried to talk a little more after that, but stopped. I watched him out of narrowed eyes. He kept turning his head to look at me when the headlights from oncoming traffic lit the cab’s interior; I thought I should feel grateful, but he gave me the creeps.
After a while I fell asleep for real. I came awake with a start, unsure of where I was or even who. There was a tremor running through my mind, a reaction to a bad dream, barely remembered. I narrowed my eyes again and my identity and associated memories came back.
Topper was talking on the CB.
“I’ll meet you behind Sam’s,” he was saying. “Fifteen minutes.”
“Ten-four, Topper. We’re on our way.”
Topper signed off.
I yawned and sat up. “Jeeze. Did I sleep long?”
“About an hour, Davy.” He smiled like there’d been a joke. He turned off his CB then and turned the radio to a country and western station.
I hate country and western.
Ten minutes later he took an exit for a farm road far from anywhere.
“You can let me out here, Topper.”
“I’m going on kid, just have to meet a guy first. You don’t want to hitch in the dark. Nobody’ll stop. Besides, it looks like rain.”
He was right. The moon had vanished behind a thick overcast and the wind was whipping the trees around.
He drove down the rural two-lane for a while, then pulled off the road at a country store with two gas pumps out front. The store was dark but there was a gravel lot out back where two pickups were parked. Topper pulled the rig up beside them.
“Come on, kid. Want you to meet some guys.”
I didn’t move. “That’s okay. I’ll wait for you here.”
“Sorry,” he said. “It’s against company policy to pick up riders, but my ass would really be grass if I left you is here and something happened. Be a sport.”
I nodded slowly. “Sure. Don’t mean to be any trouble.”
He grinned again, big. “No trouble.”
To climb down, I had to turn and face the cab, then feel with my feet for the step. A hand guided my foot to the step and I froze. I looked down. Three men were standing on my side of the truck. I could hear gravel crunching as Topper walked around the front of the rig. I looked at him. He was unbuckling his jeans and pulling down his zipper.
I yelled and scrambled back up to the cab, but strong hands gripped my ankles and knees, dragging me back down I grabbed onto the chrome handle by the door with both hands as tight as I could, flailing my legs to try and break their grip. Somebody punched me in the stomach hard and I let go of the handle, the air in my lungs, and my supper all at once.
“Jesus fucking Christ. He puked all over me!” Somebody hit me again as I fell.
They grabbed my arms and carried me over to the open tailgate of a pickup. They slammed me down on the bed of the truck. My face hit and I tasted blood. One of them jumped up on the truck bed and straddled my back, his knees and shins pinning my upper arms, one hand gripping my hair painfully. I felt somebody else reach around and unbuckle my belt, then rip my pants and underwear down. The air was cold on my butt and upper legs.
A voice said, “I wish you’d gotten another girl.”
Another voice said, “Who brought the Vaseline?”
“Shit It’s in the truck.”
“Well…we don’t need it.”
Somebody reached between my legs and pawed my genitals; then I felt him spread the cheeks of my butt and spit. His warm saliva splattered my bottom and…
I pitched forward, the pressure off my arms and hair, the hands off my bottom. My head banged into something and I struck out to hit my hand against something which gave. I turned, clutched at my pants, pulled them up from my knees, while I sobbed for air, my heart pounding and my entire body shaking.
It was dark, but the air was still and I was alone. I wasn’t outside anymore. A patch of moonlight came through a window six feet away to shine on bookshelves. I tasted blood again, gingerly touched my split upper lip. I walked carefully down to the patch of light and looked around.
I pulled a book from the shelf and opened it. The stamp on the inside cover told me what I already knew. I was back in the fiction section of the Stanville Public Library and I was sure I’d gone mad.
That was the second time.
The first time I ended up in the library, it was open, I wasn’t bleeding, my clothes were clean, and I just walked away…from that building, from that town, from that life.
I thought I’d pulled a blank. I thought that whatever my father did to me was so terrible that I’d simply chosen not to remember it. That I’d only come back to myself after reaching the safety of the library.
The thought of pulling a blank was scary, but it wasn’t strange to me. Dad pulled blanks all the time and I’d read enough fiction to be familiar with trauma-induced amnesia.
I was surprised that the library was closed and dark this time. I checked the wall clock. It read two o’clock, an hour and. five minutes later than the digital clock in Topper’s truck. Jesus Christ. I shivered in the library’s air-conditioning and fumbled at my pants. The zipper was broken but the snap worked. I buckled the belt an extra notch tight, then pulled my shirt out so it bung over the zipper. My mouth tasted of blood and vomit.
The library was lit from without by pale white moonlight and the yellow glare of mercury streetlamps. I threaded my way between shelves, chairs, tables to the water fountain and rinsed my mouth again and again until the taste was gone from my mouth and the bleeding of my lip had stopped.
In two weeks I’d worked my way over nine hundred miles from my father. In one heartbeat I’d undone that, putting myself fifteen minutes away from the house. I sat down on a hard wooden chair and put my head in my hands. What had I done to deserve this?
There was something I wasn’t dealing with. I knew it. Something…
I’m so tired. All I want is to rest. I thought of all the snatches of sleep I’d had over the last two weeks, miserable stolen moments on rest-stop benches, in people’s cars, and under bushes like some animal I thought of the house, fifteen minutes away, of my bedroom, of my bed.
A wave of irresistible longing came over me and I found myself standing and walking, without thought, just desire for that bed. I went to the emergency exit at the back, the one with the alarm will sound sign. I figured by the time any alarm was answered, I could be well away.
It was chained. I leaned against it and hit it very hard, an overhand blow with the flat of my hand. I drew back, tears in my eyes, to hit it again but it wasn’t there and I pitched forward, off balance and flailing, into my bed.
I knew it was my bed. I think it was the smell of the room that told me first, but the backlit alarm-clock face on the bedside table was the one Mom sent the year after she left and the light from the back porch light streamed through the window at just the right angle.
For one brief moment I relaxed, utterly and completely, muscle after muscle unknotting. I closed my eyes and felt exhaustion steal over me in a palpable wave. Then I heard a noise and I jerked up, rigid, on the bedspread on my hands and knees. The sound came again. Dad…snoring.
I shuddered. It was strange. It was a very comforting sound. It was home, it was family. It also meant the son of a bitch was asleep.
I took off my shoes and padded down the hall. The door was half open and the overhead light was on. He was sprawled diagonally across the bed, on top of the covers, both shoes and one sock off, his shirt unbuttoned. There was an empty bottle of scotch tucked in the crook of his arm. I sighed.
Home sweet home.
I grabbed the bottle neck and. pulled it gently from between his arm and his side, then set it on the bedside table. He snored on, oblivious. I took his pants off then, pulling the legs alternately to work them past his butt They came free abruptly and his wallet fell from the back pocket I hung the pants over the back of a chair, then went through the wallet.
He had eighty bucks plus his plastic. I took three twenties, then started to put it on the dresser, but stopped. When I folded the wallet, it seemed stiffer than it should, and thicker. I looked closer. There was a hidden compartment covered by a flap with fake stitching. I got it open and nearly dropped the wallet. It was fall of hundred-dollar bills.
I turned the light off and carried the wallet back to my room, where I counted twenty-two crisp hundred-dollar bills onto the bed.
I stared down at the money, four rows of five, one row of two, my eyes wide. My ears were burning and my stomach suddenly hurt. I went back to Dad’s room and stared at him for a while.
This was the man who took me to the mission and the secondhand stores to buy clothes for school. This was the man who made me take peanut butter and jelly to school every day rather than part with a crummy ninety cents’ worth of lunch money. This was the man who beat me when I’d suggested an allowance for doing the yard work,
I picked up the empty scotch bottle and hefted it, shifted my grip to the neck. It was cold, smooth, and just the right size for my small hands. The glass didn’t slip or shift as I swung it experimentally. The glass at the base of the bottle was extra thick where the manufacturer had chosen to give the impression of a bigger bottle. It looked very strong.
Dad snored away, his mouth open, his face slack. His skin, pale normally, looked white as paper in the overhead light. His forehead, receding, domed, lined, looked egglike, white, fragile. I felt the base of the bottle with my left hand. It felt more than heavy enough.
I put the bottle back down on the table, turned off the light, and went back to my room.
I took notebook paper, cut it dollar-bill-size, and stacked it until it felt as thick as the pile of hundreds. It took twenty sheets to match the stiffness of the money—maybe it was thicker or just newer. I put the cut paper in the wallet and put it back in the pocket of his slacks.
Then I went to the garage and took down the old leather suitcase, the one Granddad gave me when he retired, and packed it with my clothes, toiletries, and the leather-bound set of Mark Twain that Mom left me.
After I’d closed the suitcase, stripped off my dirty clothes, and put on my suit, I just stood looking around the room, swaying on my feet. If I didn’t start moving soon, I’d drop.
There was something else, something I could use.…
I thought of the kitchen, only thirty feet away, down the hall and across the den. Before Mom left, I’d loved to sit in there while she cooked, just talking, telling her stupid jokes. I closed my eyes and pictured it, tried to feel it.
The air around me changed, or maybe it was just the noise. I was in a quiet house, but just the sound of my breathing reflecting off walls sounded different from room to room.
I was in the kitchen.
I nodded my head slowly, tiredly. Hysteria seethed beneath the surface, a rising bubble that threatened to undo me. I pushed it down and looked in the refrigerator.
Three six-packs of Schlitz, two cartons of cigarettes, half a pizza in the cardboard delivery box. I shut the door and thought about my room. I tried it with my eyes open, unfocused, picturing the spot between my desk and the window.
I was there and the room reeled, my eyes and maybe my inner ear just not ready for the change. I put my hand on the wall and the room stopped moving.
I picked up the suitcase and closed my eyes. I opened them in the library, dark shadows alternating with silver pools of moonlight. I walked to the front door and looked out at the grass.
Last summer, before school, I’d come up to the library, check out a book or two, and then move outside, to the grass under the elms. The wind would ruffle the pages, tug my hair and clothes around, and I would go into the words, find the cracks between the sentences and the words would go away, leaving me in the story, the action, the head of other people. Twice I left it too late and got home after Dad did. He liked supper ready. Only twice, though. Twice was more than enough.
I closed my eyes and the wind pushed my hair and fluttered my tie. The suitcase was heavy and I had to switch hands several times as I walked the two blocks to the bus station.
There was a bus for points east at 5:30 A.M. I bought a ticket to New York City for one hundred and twenty-two dollars and fifty-three cents. The clerk took the two hundreds without comment, gave me my change, and said I had three hours to wait.
They were the longest three hours I’ve ever spent. Every fifteen minutes I got up, dragged the suitcase to the bathroom, and splashed cold water in my face. Near the end of the wait the furniture was crawling across the floor, and every movement of the bushes outside the doors was my father, belt in hand, the buckle razor-edged and about the size of a hubcap.
The bus was five minutes late. The driver stowed my suitcase below, took the first part of my ticket, and ushered me aboard.
When we passed the tattered city-limits sign, I closed my eyes and slept for six hours.
Copyright © 1992 by Steven Gould
What People are Saying About This
Jumper gives us the best of both worlds: a smashing adventure story that grows from a wonderful novel of character.
This is a book that you won't want to miss. It reminds me of why I first came to love science fiction, and yet I didn't have to be twelve to have a great time reading it.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Jumper the book was so much better than the movie. The movie did a lot of twisting with the book and added characters and other problems that made it confusing. But the book,wow, Steven Gould wrote a masterpiece. The best Sci-Fi book I've ever read. It's a personal favorite for me!
Jumper: Griffin's Story was a very good read. I enjoyed the storyline, the macrebre touches, and the background on Griffin O'Connor. I actually enjoyed this book out of the previous two Jumper novels. It actually made sense. I wished the book could have been longer, or told how Griffin and Davy met. It actually introduced the Paladins and spoke briefly about Roland. I really enjoyed this novel and suggested it to any kind of reader. Good job Mr. Gould!
Not like the movie, and actually a lot better (and I liked the movie!)
I had seen the movie and was intrigued by it, thrn when I heard it was based off of a book I had to read it. The book is AMAZING!!!!! I could not stop reading it and wishing I could teleport and have a ton of money. In short, a great book and a must read.
Having read the first two Jumper books by Steven Gould, I was interested in seeing if this book would fit into the continuity of the books or the movie adaptation (which departed from the books significantly). Apparently, it's the latter, much to the detriment of the book. It's quite unfortunate actually, that this book and the movie seem to overwrite the events of the first two books with a completely different story. Personally, I preferred the world of the first two books, where jumpers were extremely rare, jumping didn't damage the environment around the jumper and bring debris from one location to the next, and most importantly, jumping could not be sensed by "sensitives." On this last point, the book focused a lot of time talking about how jumps could be sensed by Paladins, whereas the movie seemed to completely ignore this ability. Why waste so much time on an issue the movie doesn't even use? The Paladins aren't a bad idea, but they were ineffectual in the book (actually, you find out nothing about who they are and why they do what they do until the movie). The villains of Reflex (Jumper 2) were much more cool and fun. The main thing missing from Griffin's Story is the sense of wonder, introspection and investigation into the nature of jumping that David Rice had in the first two books. Like David, Griffin uses his powers to help himself, but unlike David, he doesn't eventually decide to use his powers to help people (except the ones he has led into trouble himself). In any case, my recommendation is to skip Griffin's Story and the movie and just read the first two books. [Disclosure: This review also appears on FingerFlow.com, a site for review and discussion of creative works.]
Davy lives with his alcoholic, stingy, abusive father. On one occasion, Davy accidentally "jumps" (teleports) away just as his father is about to beat him with a belt buckle. Seizing the opportunity, Davy runs away from home but finds himself accosted by a quartet of truck drivers. Luckily, he teleports away again. Realizing he has a strange and unbelievable talent, Davy decides to make his way in the world alone. Once in New York City, Davy finds that his age (seventeen years old) doesn't allow him to register for school or work without a parent or papers. In desperation, Davy plans a bank heist that can only be accomplished with his unique ability. After walking away with a sizable sum of money, Davy lives the high life: living out of hotels, buying expensive clothes and eating at expensive restaurants. Despite having nearly everything he needs only a "jump" away, he discovers that he can only teleport to places he has been to before and can clearly picture in his mind. Backed by his bank heist money, he travels extensively in order to accumulate a large number of teleportation sites. Eventually, Davy puts his ability to use in stopping airline hijackers, but this catches the attention of the NSA, which seeks to understand Davy's ability and use him for their own purposes. Despite the intriguing concept behind Steven Gould's Jumper, the novel doesn't offer much of a conflict for its protagonist until more than halfway through. While it is intriguing to follow Davy and see how he utilizes his ability, the plot is mostly just watching him figure things out. Much of the novel feels like a thought exercise in the best way to utilize such an ability to benefit oneself or others (within the confines of the mechanics of teleportation that Gould has established). It appears the drastic changes made to the movie adaptation was to create a conflict and a plot, which the book is lacking. Jumper is clearly aimed at a young adult audience, as Davy's angst may come across as childish or simply corny to older readers. Gould's description of New York City, and specifically Times Square, comes across as dated (the area hasn't been that way in over a decade and a half!). Despite the plain writing style and the sometimes annoying angst of Davy, the book was still interesting enough to keep me reading almost non-stop until I was finished. I guess it was after finishing the book that I realized that I wish more had happened. Make sure to check out Reflex, the sequel to Jumper, for a more action-packed (and better-plotted) story with Davy and teleportation. If anything, a movie should have been made from Reflex, with Jumper only serving as an introduction to the better story. [Disclosure: This review also appears on FingerFlow.com, a site for review and discussion of creative works.]
The book may have too much explicit language for younger readers such as myself.(Guffaw) Other than that it is a jolly well good book!
Great book set in sci-fi fantasy. a boy struggles with revenge and forgiveness.
Very fine writing highlight a well told tale of a teleport and his escape from an abusive father and a mother that (it appears) abandoned him.
Couldn't resist this one since the hero discovers he can teleport at will, my superpower of choice. I enjoyed the movie version as well but I've enjoyed some of this author's other novels better than this one. The sequel, Reflex, was also better.
I had heard that this book is better than the movie, but after seeing the movie--which was awful!--I just couldn't bring myself to read this. Especially with its incredibly lame cover. (I've seen at least four different covers for this book and all of them suck.) However, I finally did read this book and it turns out that it's actually quite good! The main character is a seventeen-year-old who discovers he can teleport. He doesn't know why, he doesn't know how, he just knows he can. He uses this talent for the first time accidentally to get away from his abusive alcoholic father. He figures out he can teleport to anywhere he's been (and can remember accurately) or anywhere he can see. Now what? He's certainly not going home to his father and his mother left home years ago never to be heard from again. This is the story of love, loss and revenge, an exploration of right and wrong. It's not a difficult read but it's definitely a page-turner. If you saw the movie, forget it, this is nothing like that. This is a good, fun read with a hint of depth.
As my first jump into YA science fiction, this was a great introduction. Gould's characters are believable for the given situations, and the point of view of the young character works well for the story. In a way, this reminds me quite a bit of the Harry Potter books, though the central character is more physically solitary, and the premise is based in science fiction instead of fantasy. On the whole though, I would say that fans of one will enjoy the other. Another interesting tidbit is that while this is the third book in the series, it was the first to be written after the movie went into production; as a result, Gould made the choice to write the 'science' to go hand in hand with the movie, not the earlier books. Still, this isn't a book "of" the movie--it's a stand alone piece of science fiction that draws you into the series with no need for interested readers to have read the earlier books.In the end, highly recommended to fans of YA science fiction/fantasy of YA action/adventure. I'll be searching out the rest of the series.
This book is pretty good except that it is very confusing. Unfortunatly i would not reccomend it.
In case the gratuitous labeling on the cover doesn't give it away, this book is a prequel to the film, not a sequel to the original book. (The re-release of the original book with cover art that is more in line with this new book is somewhat misleading.) The details of Griffin's abilities and supporting characters are therefore in line with those portrayed in the film, not those in the original book. I suppose if you tried hard enough you could line up the two in a semi-seamless way, but really each is perfectly enjoyable in its own right.This book starts with Griffin's childhood and his first jump, much like the original book, but immediately speeds up from there. It's assumed that you've either read the original book, or seen the film, or at a bare minimum read the back of the book -- because from there on out it's full-speed ahead. This book is written like an adaptation to the film prequel that never was: it has much less introspection and exposition, while much more action.The book leaves off far enough from the beginning of the film so that there is enough room to wedge a whole series of books in between. That's a good thing, however, as this book is a nice, quick read for a lazy Sunday, and there are always more lazy Sundays ahead.
I read the book, I saw the movie, and then I found out that Gould wrote a second book, a prequel, about Griffin, whom we met briefly in the movie, but not in the first Jumper book. And I'm glad that I picked it up-- it was great!Though it is different from the first book, and the movie too, for that matter, I still enjoyed Jumper: Griffin's Story. It had action, adventure, laughs, time travel ('jumping') and even a good dose of romance and coming-of-age subplot. From page one, you'll be hooked, pulled deep into the story, wanting to know what will happen next, what Griffin's life is like. I like that it mixes real life fiction and science fiction together. Even the little bit of romance makes the book even better. 5/5 stars! A great book, with a little bit of everything in it, a definite must read for any book lover, a nice retreat away from everyday life.
I read the original "Jumper" a long time ago, and only recently discovered that there was a sequel (Reflex), and this book, Griffin's Story, which is the movie tie-in. I didn't see the movie, but I loved Jumper when I read it, so I checked this out of the library. I enjoyed it a lot. I was very drawn in to Griffin's story, and like another reviewer, liked the fact that when characters spoke a different language (albeit briefly), sometimes Griffin translated the words, and sometimes he didn't. I thought that lent an air of authenticity to the foreign lands he traveled through. The one problem I had with the book was that I felt Griffin was written as much older than he was supposed to be in the book. The story is told in first person, and Griffin is 9 at the beginning of the book. He had been homeschooled by educated parents, so I'm sure he would have been a bit more educated and well-read than the average 9 year old, but if I hadn't been given his age at the beginning I would have assumed him to be around 15, maybe. People he met were always being surprised by his young age, but I just thought it would have made more sense if he had started out as, say 12, instead of 9. Small point, though. The book was great.
I don't like the protagonist much, and the other characters and events often don't ring true, but it does get points for being a page-turner.
The novel Jumper is an excellent foray into the world of teleportation. The concept of teleportation is fascinating, and the way in which Gould's character teleports is less fantastical than the movie trailers portray (I have been waiting to see the movie until I complete the sequel novel, Reflex). This makes Davy's teleportation more "believable", which now that I say that sounds ridiculous! This novel can be very heavy, and I would not recommend it to anyone younger than High School level. The main reason for it's showing on the Top 100 Banned Books is in the very first chapter, so if you can get past that, then you are on your way to enjoying the vast character development Gould provides. This novel takes a little while to pick up action-wise, but it deals deeply with the inner struggle Davy maintains. The pain of abuse from his Father, the struggle to come to terms with his ability, it weaves a tangled web inside Davy's character who can seem almost at the brink of schizophrenia.I enjoyed Jumper the novel, and have yet to see the movie. From what I have seen, and the non-spoiler plot points I have heard from friends, is that the concept of teleporting and the main character in name, though not entirely in his history, are the only uniting features of the novel and movie. I think the novel is more about dealing with your inner demons, dealing with past abuses, and figuring out how to get past that to lead a productive life, and break the generational cycle. Many sci-fi works have dealt with teleportation, but Gould's take on it is definately worth the read.
I'm not quite sure how to rate this book. I bought this book after seeing the movie. I enjoyed the movie a lot and decided to see where it all started. When it arrived, I dove right in. I read half the book in a day, and then put it down for over a week before I finally finished it in an airport waiting for my plane. It was a good story, don't get me wrong, but it bore little resemblance to the film. In the film, a 17 year old boy discovers he can "jump" after falling into a freezing river. Then he robs a bank and lives the high life for 8 years until a secret organization starts to hunt him down. Good action flick, so I expected a good action story. But in the novel, our hero is 15 and a victim of serious child abuse. This is why I walked away from the book for so long. The first half was depressing. Really depressing. Another reviewer pointed out that the main character is almost raped. True, but that is only the tip of the iceberg in his sad life. Warning: some may consider the next paragraph a slight spoiler.Davy makes his first jump trying to avoid a beating. Then we follow him as a 15 year old runaway. Who is almost raped while hitch-hiking. Who can't hold a job because he has no social security card, or high school diploma. Who can't get a GED without his parents' approval. Who robs a bank so he won't starve. Who learns his mother left him after being nearly beaten to death herself. Who worries his father can jump and will find him. It goes on and on like that for far too long. This book does a good job of shining light on the ugly, harsh reality of life as a runaway. Only real runaways can't "jump" out of danger. The story finally picked up once he started traveling and attracted the attention of the NSA. Davy has a serious (and once again sad) motive for all his traveling besides wanting to see the world. After finally reuniting with his mother, she is killed by an airline hijacker. And he wants revenge. The NSA catches on to his visits to hot zone countries and subsequently learns his secret. There is no secret organization of Paladins and he never meets another jumper. But, the second half is very exciting as he cleverly eludes NSA agents, creates an illegal identity for himself, romances a college girl and jumps all over the world. There is also a good bit of humor in the second half too.The story is told in the first person, and has a lot of internal monologue. Sometimes, I got a little annoyed as Davy described everything he was seeing or thinking. However, this book is intended for young adults and the descriptive detail makes sense in that light. There isn't a lot of dialog compared to many other books, but there is a lot of action in the second half. The author doesn't reveal much about the "why" of jumping (as in the movie), but Davy does consider the issue throughout the book.Overall, I enjoyed the second half of the book enough that I'd like to read the sequel. It's too bad the sequel is currently out of print. I hope the movie attracts enough buzz that it re-released. Recommended.
I like this book, but not as much as I expected to. The writing was a little juvenile for my tastes. The concept of the book, however, was really interesting, and it did entertain me quite a bit.
Felt like author started with a premise rather than a plot. Gets good ratings for the premise but it fell apart halfway through. Fun for the dated 80's references, especially with regard to Manhattan and Times Square.
Great book. Great series :)
Th characters. Griffin is the main character of the book. In the movie its different. That is where they went wrong.