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Jumper: A Novel by Steven Gould

Jumper: A Novel (original 1992; edition 2008)

by Steven Gould

Series: Jumper (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,596576,890 (3.87)82
Title:Jumper: A Novel
Authors:Steven Gould
Info:Tor Science Fiction (2008), Edition: 1st, Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library, Audio, Sci Fi, Read
Tags:Audible, sci fi, 2016CC, Alpha, ROOT

Work details

Jumper by Steven Gould (1992)

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    Memoirs of an Invisible Man by H. F. Saint (gtown)
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» See also 82 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
Warning: Jumper contains some scenes that may be inappropriate for young or sensitive readers. Although not overly graphic, these include things like attempted rape, child abuse, consensual sex and gun violence. You have been warned.

Jumper is an interesting novel that was not what I was expecting. Unlike the more famous film - which is only loosely based on this novel - it is only a science fiction novel in the very loosest sense of the world. While the protagonists learns early on that he has the ability to instantly teleport (or "jump"), there is no other supernatural elements to the story. We never learn the origins of this power or if there are others like him. All he learns about his gift and its limitations is through trial and error, making it feel more like a superhero origins story than anything else.

The plot takes a long time to find its focus but is never boring. For the largest part, we just follow Davy as he tries to get his life on track. The discovery of his powers allows him to escape from his violent alcoholic father, yet he soon discovers that life is not easy on the streets for a minor with no social security number. The early chapters of the novel is largely a Ring of Gyges story, as Davy fights the temptation to use his powers for evil while, at the same time, doing some rather questionable things to survive.

In the last quarter of the novel, however, the plot takes a somewhat unexpected turn as Davy finds his calling. It was here that I must admit that the novel lost its appeal a little for me. While it was interesting to see the way that terrorists were portrayed in this novel (note that it was originally published before 9/11), the scenes in which Davy used his power to defuse hostage situations felt a little dry and surprisingly lacking in tension. Even when Davy comes face to face with the villain that he was hunting for, it did not feel as emotional as it could have been. The last few chapters felt a bit rushed, more like a setup for the next book than a satisfying conclusion for this stage of Davy's adventure.

Yet it was the characters that really sold this story. While Davy sometimes came across as being much older than eighteen, it was very easy to relate to him. His traumatic childhood subtly influenced his actions as an adult and it was interesting to see how he struggled with his power, knowing that his gifts gave him the ability to exact his revenge while still prevented from doing so by his nagging conscious. Davy's relationship with different characters in the novel - from his parents to the NSA agent who eventually pursues him - are very complex and develop organically as the story progresses.

I also felt that Millie provided a very strong moral voice in the story, often grounding Davy and helping him to think through his situation. While I wish that she had been a more active character in the story (she is largely absent over the climax), I did think that her relationship with Davy felt very natural as the two of them worked very well as a couple.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this book and will certainly consider reading more of Gould's novels in the future. ( )
  ArkhamReviews | Jan 7, 2019 |
I'd give this book 3.5 stars, if Goodreads would let me.

First of all - content warning for those of you interested: The book contains language (S***, and F***) and the like. It also contains violence, and a near rape scene.

David (Davy) Rice is a regular teen that just wants to make it in the world. His father beat him and his mother, and this caused a break up in his family. Davy learns tries to learn to deal with his father's behavior, until, in one traumatic scene, he discovers that he has the ability to teleport, or "jump," at will. At that point, he "runs" away from home.

Davy robs a bank for money, and begins an adventure in which he meets someone, hides his ability, discovers his long lost mother, and confronts terrorism.

From a reader experience perspective, about 1/3 of the way through the story, I was wondering where the story was going. I knew there was a kid with an ability, but it felt a little like the plot wasn't really going anywhere other than to develop the character. Once Davy found his mother, and the subsequent events happened (I won't put the spoiler in here) the book really takes off.

All in all, it was a good read once you get a good bit into the book.

( )
  wisealma | Nov 21, 2018 |
Pretty good. Better than the movie ( )
  Vulco1 | Oct 12, 2018 |
Ehh, to me, it was a really nice idea (guy can jump everywhere, woo teleportation), but *so* horribly Mary Sue'd that I nearly didn't finish the book. Eugh. ( )
  _rixx_ | Aug 30, 2018 |
Only recently picked it up (never saw the movie). A good read, very intriguing. I do wonder how it would work now, what with cell phones and extreme bank interest in large money transactions, plus the Patriot Act, etc. Hm. Maybe I will have to see the movie. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Mar 27, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Steven Gouldprimary authorall editionscalculated
Natale, VinceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
RomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For James Gould, soldier, craftsman, sailor, father
Laura J. Mixon, engineer, teacher, writer, wife
First words
The first time was like this.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
An extremely entertaining science fiction teleportation adventure young adult novel.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765357690, Mass Market Paperback)

What if you could go anywhere in the world, in the blink of an eye?  Where would you go?  What would you do?  
Davy can teleport. 
To survive, Davy must learn to use and control his power in a world that is more violent and complex than he ever imagined.  But mere survival is not enough for him.  Davy wants to find others like himself, others who can Jump.
And that's a dangerous game.
Jumper is a 20th Century Fox/New Regency production, starring Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, Diane Lane, and Jamie Bell. 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:29 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Blessed with the ability to "jump"--to teleport himself to any place on Earth that he has been to before--Davy is determined to locate others like himself, but interference from the government could prevent him from doing so.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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Average: (3.87)
1 8
1.5 3
2 16
2.5 4
3 93
3.5 28
4 155
4.5 21
5 109


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