Jumper is the first of a series of novels by Steven Gould about a boy who finds out that he can teleport to any place that he’s previously been to. It is at its core a super hero origin story. The 2008 movie of the same name borrows the characters and the basic premise but leaves out the majority of the plot and character development. I have not yet read the sequel novels so I can only assume that the movie is borrowing elements from those other novels.

As a stand alone superhero origin story, I liked Jumper. We can believe the arc this 17 year old goes through as he learns about his power and chooses a path for his life. The story tries to follow its own internal scientific logic. The NSA reaction is much more believable in the novel. There is no mention of the Paladins. Perhaps that and his mothers fate are addressed in later novels.

The main character, David Rice, has to deal with mundane issues like getting an apartment while being a minor. He comes to the attention of the NSA for apparent border control error such that they think he’s working for another government agency. David’s attention turns toward anti terrorism in a day when the advice to pilots was to comply with hijackers and smoking was still allowed on a plane. The world has changed but this story holds up and is worth a read.

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