"Jumper" by Steven Gould, and sequels

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"Jumper" by Steven Gould, and sequels

Postby Jorpho » Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:28 am UTC

I picked up Jumper completely on a whim in a used bookstore several years ago, some time before I became aware that the Hayden Christensen movie of highly dubious merit (which is very loosely based on the book) was in the works. Something about the cover just grabbed me.

Jumper is ostensibly the tale of a young man named Davy who discovers he has the ability to teleport at will to any location he's familiar with. But what's really refreshing is that this isn't quite central to the plot. In the hands of another author (Bruce Coville, maybe) there would be lengthy, boring chapters about testing and exploring the limits of his capabilities, but Jumper becomes more about Davy's recovery about the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father. Even the bad guys that eventually enter the picture are a little more well-rounded than usual.

There was a movie tie-in novel, Jumper: Griffin's Story, which follows a different continuity and is mostly forgettable, if not necessarily bad. The true sequel to Jumper is Reflex, which isn't quite as appealing as the original – Davy gets kidnapped and there is considerable description of various bodily functions that gets just a bit too graphic. Plus, the novel starts to get a little bit bogged down in the mechanics of Davy's teleportation capabilities, which is a bit disappointing. But there's a decent amount of suspense, at least.

I'm posting this thread mostly because I just finished reading Impulse, which for some reason I could hardly put down. It's much better than it has any right to be. The central protagonist is Davy's daughter, Cent, who is easily something of a Mary Sue – she's wealthy, she can snowboard, she has a genius-level intellect and can get the attention of all the guys, despite having been homeschooled for most of her life, and of course her adversaries don't stand a chance against her. I guess the plot keeps moving fast enough that it's easy to ignore.

Fortunately the next book, Exo, is already out, and I eagerly anticipate getting it from the library.

Has anyone else read any of these books?

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Re: "Jumper" by Steven Gould, and sequels

Postby PAstrychef » Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:58 am UTC

I liked Jumper when I first read it years and years ago, and I probably read the sequel, but I haven't followed them since. Would recommend to friends, definitely.
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Re: "Jumper" by Steven Gould, and sequels

Postby Jorpho » Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:18 pm UTC

...Well, that was a little disappointing.

Exo turns out to be a rather different kind of book. The preceding plotlines are touched upon in a very perfunctory fashion, and while Cent's relationship problems factor in somewhat, the spotlight is strictly "hard"-SF speculation along the lines of what might be done if you could arbitrarily and cheaply stick things into orbit. The book could probably lose a quarter of its length by trimming down some of the extensive details, especially long lists of coordinates and vectors that I very much doubt any but a tiny fraction of the readers will have any interest in plotting. (I was kind of waiting for someone to declare, "All right! No more unit conversions! If we're doing this at all, we're doing everything in metric, and that's final!")

I suppose this is the sort of thing you can get away with only once you're established and on the fourth book in a series. Yes, the first book did go into extensive detail into what a giant pile of paper currency would look and feel like, but then, anyone confronted with something like that would probably be inclined to go into such extensive detail.

I don't really see anywhere the plot can go from here, so if there's anything else coming up, it will probably be in an entirely new direction. Oh well.

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Re: "Jumper" by Steven Gould, and sequels

Postby Freddino18 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:59 am UTC

I have read 1 and 2, and I couldn't be bothered to watch the movie, because I knew I was going to be disappointed (Percy Jackson, much?).

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Re: "Jumper" by Steven Gould, and sequels

Postby Bane Harper » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:23 am UTC

Read the first one few years back and still love it

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Re: "Jumper" by Steven Gould, and sequels

Postby Benjamin Bratt » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:50 pm UTC

Oh I didn't know that there is a book version! I only watched the movie version. I am now so interested in trying the books.

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