Review: Jumper

JumperJumper by Steven Gould
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Quick note: If you don’t like sci-fi – you can probably still enjoy this book. The main character can teleport and that’s it. The reasons, science, etc are not explored. It’s just a plot device and the rest of the story is pretty much devoid of anything sci-fi.

Boy this kid really starts off in a crap sack world. It’s no wonder this was the most banned book in the 90s.

I think Gould does a good job creating a kid with the right mix of complexity and naïveté. Must of his actions seem quite plausible given his situation. He’s neither pure with his gift nor selfish.

I think it’s great when a book forces you to learn a new social fact. This book starts off with a very realistic portrayal of how bad it is to be a runaway.

One thing I kept thinking while reading it is how this book is very much of its time. Lots of the stuff he gets away with in 1993 wouldn’t fly in the 2010s. For example with smartphones someone would have captured video of him. Also post 11 Sept I think it would have been a lot harder for him to jump around in airports. Also I think the Feds would have tortured Millie. Also NYC isn’t so front anymore. I think the neighborhood he lives in is now yuppie.

That said, it’s crazy how long terrorism has been a thing. That aspect of this book is both timely and dated ( in their hijacking)

One nit pick: skills have been FBI, not NSA going after him.

Overall a good read, especially to see what’s changed and what’s the same.

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