‘What if you could go anywhere in the world, in the blink of an eye? Where would you go? What would you do?’
A catchy title, Jumper is a very impressive debut novel by Steven Gould. A science fiction author with eight previous works, Jumper was his most successful one. Written in 1992, it was adapted as a movie by the same name and became a blockbuster in 2008. The book too was re-released in 2008 to coincide with the film’s release.
It tells the story of a 17-year old boy who finds himself with the ability to teleport himself or ‘jump’ wherever and whenever he wants. Of course, with great power comes great responsibility and the protagonist David Rice finds himself in trouble soon enough. It takes him everything to find the line between his personal life and a jumper’s life. Since the novel is written in first person, there is hardly any trouble to place ourselves in the shoes of the protagonist. This makes it all the more fun to read. We read on as David tries to test out his powers to the maximum with exciting results.
The first few pages of a really good novel are the best, I say, to catch someone’s attention and Steven Gould here seems to have done exactly that. The base of David’s character is formed in a very normal way, something that I as the reader could associate myself with. While the length of the novel may be average in terms of the amount of pages, there is no dearth of action and the occasional adrenaline-rush in these pages. People who have seen the movie first and read the book later would be treated to a completely new premise, with the absence of a second jumper, as in the film, since the story is as different as heads and tails in the two settings. Nevertheless, it is a treat for the mind and it’s the kind of book you can pick up any lazy afternoon to read again; timeless it is. This is one of the very few books that continue to hold a very special place on my bookshelf.
Rating: 7.5/ 10
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