Literature / Jumper

Jumper is a 1992 Coming-of-Age Story sci-fi story by Steven Gould about a teenager who finds out he can teleport and his attempts to find out if he's the Last of His Kind.

The novel has a 2004 sequel called Reflex, where Davy is kidnapped and Millie must track him. People who are carried along on enough jumps and have a moment of stress where they feel like they might die might Oh, she unconsciously learned how to Jump.

Inspired a 2008 film with a companion novel, Griffin's Story.

The 2013 third book in the series, Impulse, details the adventures of their daughter, Cent, who learns to Jump to escape an avalanche.

The 2014 fourth book in the series, Exo, was released in September 2014.

Jumper contains examples of:

  • Author Appeal: At one point in the novel, one of the teenagers who tried to seduce Davy while drunk hawks Alanon (Alcoholics Anonymous... for the affected family and friends). Davy is a complete teetotaler, and often tips generously or tries to help out those who are less fortunate. Apparently becomes something of a character weakness in the sequel, Reflex, but it's still heavily present.
  • Abusive Parents: A major subplot of the book. Davy leaves his abusive father and has to come to terms with how the abuse had affected his and his mother's life. Leaving home was why he even Jumped in the first place!
  • Attempted Rape: Davy, by a trucker. It's the second time he Jumps.
  • Badass: A terrorist with a gun, knife, and grenade gets dropped into the sinkhole where Davy has already imprisoned Brian Cox, who at the time is naked. When Davy returns, Cox is the one holding all three.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: After spending the whole novel afraid or resenting his father... Davy Jumps the old man to his mother's grave, tells him why he sucks and forces him to finally join AA and sober up.
  • Die or Fly: David first Jumps to escape a beating from his father.
    • In the second book, Reflex, Millie learns to Jump when she falls off a hundred-foot cliff.
      • In the third book, Impulse, their daughter, Cent, learns to Jump to escape an avalanche.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In Impulse, we learn everything we need to know about Cent before we even meet her based on this note she pastes on her bedroom door.
    Help, I'm being held captive by two teleporting aliens. Please send friends. Will accept ice cream.
  • High-Altitude Interrogation: Overlaps with Not the Fall That Kills You. Davey does this to the terrorist who killed his mother but in a particularly nasty way. Davey can teleport, so he teleports the guy to the top of the World Trade Center, drops him, and teleports down to catch him just before he hits the ground. Then he does it again, and again, letting him get closer to the ground with each drop...
  • Inertia Is a Cruel Mistress: Averted. Every time Davy jumps, his momentum is cancelled.
    • In the third book, Impulse, Davey's daughter, Cent, figures out how to un-cancel this momentum, granting her very temporary boosts of Super Speed and Super Strength.
  • Intangibility: It's discovered that whenever Davy jumps he becomes a gateway for a fraction of a second. Taken to the next level in book 2 when he works out how to "twin" himself, basically opening a Davy-shaped hole between any two locations.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: Averted. Davy is a virgin at the start of the novel. It takes a long time for Davy to feel safe enough to have a sexual relationship with Millie, most likely due to barely escaping a gang-rape at the hands of Topper Robbins and his trucker buddies.
  • Meganekko: Millie, whose designer glasses catch Davy's eye in the first film.
  • Missing Mom: Davy's mom leaves father and son because of the abuse. Just when the two are starting to reconcile, she is killed in a terrorist attack.
  • Mundane Utility: Davy uses Jumping to travel the world and make moving faster. After the Time Skip before Reflex he has an off-the-books job with the US government inserting intelligence agents.
  • Older Sidekick: Millie, in the book. Sort of.
  • Randomly Gifted: As far as he knows, Davy is the only jumper in existence. At least until book 2.
  • Restraining Bolt: Part of an ongoing arc beginning in Reflex - an unnamed Nebulous Evil Organisation implants Davy with a Shock Collar that directly stimulates the pain center of his brain on command or when he Jumps outside safe zones - which doubles as an Explosive Leash capable of blowing his head off. Davy discovers that every member of the NEO have similar implants - and are pain-conditioned to believe they requested the implants as proof of loyalty. This extends even to the old man initially assumed to be the Big Bad - who is killed in the final confrontation of Reflex without naming his superiors. They're still at large in Impulse, breaking out the Femme Fatale who nearly seduced Davy in Reflex, who proceeds to challenge Cent.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Davy himself.
  • Wife-Basher Basher: David in the book. Though it's more because his father used to beat him and his mother.