Jumper is a minor science fiction franchise. It started with Steven Gould's 1992 novel Jumper, a sequel in 2004, followed by a 2008 film set in a slightly different universe, with an accompanying novel set in the movie's universe and an accompanying video game. Then one more short story and two more novels in the original universe. This makes it a bit hard to review. However, I have it easy, because the only entities in this collection with the name Jumper are the book and the film, and I have not seen the film. It should be noted that the video game and the novel accompanying the movie are entitled Jumper: Griffin's Story, and might be referred to as Jumper, but for simplicity's sake, we will use the full titles here.

Jumper, the original novel, follows the teenage Davy as he learns that he has an unsuspected ability: he can teleport anywhere, instantaneously, on the condition that he can remember visiting the target destination previously. He initially discovers this in escaping from his abusive father, and gets further chances to practice escaping from other abusers; life is hard for a runaway, even one who can teleport. Davy slowly builds a secret life for himself, stealing when he needs to, playing vigilante when he can, and always remaining on the run, mostly from the US government.

This is very much in the spirit of superhero fiction, although Davy appears to be the only superhero. The plot is a never-ending series of bad guys coming after Davy, and Davy finding clever ways to use his power to escape or protect himself. It is not an ODTAA plot, however, with a romantic subplot, some vengeance, a battle of wits with the government, and an epic battle against evil (spoiler in the link) all intertwined, resulting in a crowded and fast-moving adventure.

Jumper and its sequel, Reflex, are good, fast-paced reads. They are also rather dark, with lots of very bad guys, and a strong the-world-is-out-to-get-you vibe. Davy just happens to run into all the crappy people in the world, and gets a chance to beat them up. The latter books in the series, while still having the same problems in the same setting, start to get more into the dorky lets-find-out-all-ways-we-can-manipulate-this-ability mode, which I tend to enjoy more. Regardless, all the books are engaging reads, and it's worth checking out Jumper; there's a good chance you'll end up enjoying the entire series.

The Series: