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September 07, 2005


I'd heard Steven Gould's Jumper described as a 'young adult' science fiction novel, and though it's usually spoken of favorably, this categorization had led me to put off reading it. Considering that the central character is a runaway who has been beaten by his alcoholic father, abandoned by his abused mother, nearly raped at a truckstop, and who launches his independence by burgling a bank of nearly a million dollars, I can see why it's such a hit with young adults.

Seriously, this is a classic adolescent power fantasy, viewed through the filter of a rational science fiction writer. Gould tries to imagine what a smart teenager would do with the power of teleportation, short of becoming a megalomaniacal sociopath. Davey Rice of course, coming from a broken home, starts off a little rough, but is genuinely good-hearted, so the story doesn't take too dark a turn. In point of fact, other than the protagonist being a teenage male, I don't think this really is a 'young adult' novel. It's just a decent science fiction novel, and I can imagine myself reading the sequel someday.

Posted by dpwakefield at September 7, 2005 09:04 PM