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Jumper: Griffin's Story Mass Market Paperback – Feb 5 2008

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (Feb. 5 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765357852
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765357854
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 2.1 x 17.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #501,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Fleshing out backstory for the upcoming motion picture Jumper (based on Gould's 1992 debut novel of the same name), this breakneck-paced SF adventure revolves around a character created specifically for the film. Griffin O'Conner, a precocious nine-year-old jumper (a person with the power to self-teleport), becomes the target of a ruthless cabal hell-bent on killing him. After assassins murder his parents in their San Diego home, Griffin barely escapes with his life by jumping to a location hundreds of miles away. But every time Griffin relocates, the mysterious operatives somehow track him down and kill those close to him. As the once naïve Griffin grows older, he learns to use his abilities in ingenious ways and ultimately embarks on a quest to avenge the deaths of his parents and others who died just because they befriended him. While series fans will almost literally be jumping for joy, newcomers may not fully appreciate the saga's thematic scope and history without first reading Jumper and its sequel, Reflex (2004). (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Steven Gould is the author of Jumper, Wildside, Helm, Blind Waves, Reflex, and Jumper: Griffin's Story, as well as several short stories. He is the recipient of the Hal Clement Young Adult Award for Science Fiction and has been on the Hugo ballot twice and the Nebula ballot once for his short fiction. Steve lives in New Mexico with his wife, writer Laura J. Mixon and their two daughters. As he is somewhere between Birth and Death, he considers himself to be middle-aged.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9f7cf294) out of 5 stars 70 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f53fe10) out of 5 stars No, not as good as the original JUMPER, this one paves the way for the movie... Oct. 1 2007
By H. Bala - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Three and a half stars for this one.

The way I understand it, Steven Gould's 1992 debut novel JUMPER was opted for the cinema, but, predictably, along the way, it got tweaked and tweaked some more. JUMPER: GRIFFIN'S STORY then is Stephen Gould's attempt to reconcile some of the changes that were effected: call it a book adaptation of the film adaptation of the original novel. Note: the film's main protagonist will still be the original JUMPER's Davy Rice (played by Hayden Christensen). Griffin O'Conner is, however, a key character. This book tells his story.

Plot SPOILERS now.

Griffin was 5 years old when his innate teleporting talent began manifesting. Since then, his parents had become cautious to the point of paranoia. They established a set of rules for Griffin to follow: 1) Never jump where he can be seen. 2) Never jump near home. 3) Never jump to or from the same place twice. 4) Never, never, ever jump unless necessary or Dad or Mum tells him to. And they were right to be concerned. At 9 years old, Griffin makes an inadvertent "jump" in karate school which results in the shocking murders of his parents at the hands of a shadowy and well-resourced organization. The rest of the novel follows Griffin down the years as he tries desperately to survive on his own. Criminy, it's not easy being underaged and still maintain your homeschooling, brush up on your Spanish and French, develop a crush on a beautiful but much older girl, and repeatedly thwart your relentless would-be assassins.

As comparisons with the original source would leave JUMPER: GRIFFIN'S STORY much the worse for it, I'll leave it at this: yes, the first JUMPER is better. On its own merits, GRIFFIN'S STORY has certain things going for it: namely, a very young but precocious and intrepid protagonist, some fairly gripping action sequences, a fast pace, and, of course, the wondrous sci-fi aspects of "jumping." Someone somewhere compared Gould's novels to Robert Heinlein's young adult books (THE ROLLING STONES, RED PLANET, STARMAN JONES, etc), and there's some truth in that. A charming innocence and sense of wonder permeate Gould's novels, especially JUMPER and WILDSIDE. Though not as evocative in these pages, these elements are still present.

Gould once again weaves in themes of friendship and family, isolation and self-reliance, and, most stridently, the abuse of power and authority. As Griffin tries to make it on his own, he meets up with several folks who end up being his fast friends and allies. These relationships do allow him to achieve a semblance of normality for a while, but then, inevitably, something happens and the chase would be on again. Griffin's life from early childhood to teenhood is shot thru with one tragedy after another, with the occasional lull. And as Griffin's losses mount, one wonders how much more grief he can take before he starts looking for serious answers.

GRIFFIN'S STORY is quite stingy with several key explanations, but maybe it's because Griffin is only part of the story in the film and so certain things needn't be as yet divulged. Whatever the case, the book doesn't go at all into the how, what, and why of Griffin's ability. Mention is nonchalantly made of other jumpers and then is teasingly left at that.

We also don't get to sniff out too many details about Griffin's indefatigable and scary pursuers, in terms of who they are and why they're so hell bent on killling jumpers. We do find out that several of these agents have the ability to sense when a jumper teleports and that their preferred weaponry is a projectile gun which shoots out electrified cables. For what it's worth (and THIS IS A SPOILER), what the book doesn't reveal is that the villains, called Paladins, belong to a secret society that has existed for uncountable centuries and that their primary objective is to hunt down and kill jumpers simply because their "jumping" gift renders them too powerful to be allowed to exist.

By no means is JUMPER: GRIFFIN'S STORY a classic. Yep, it's a ripping good yarn on the surface, but it cries out for more depth and follow-through. I do get why Gould didn't go more into the how and what of Griffin's talent; it would've been mere repetition of what he wrote in JUMPER. But the end effect is a certain hollowness to this book and a chance that it'll leave you ultimately unsated, especially if you've read the wonderful Davy Rice series (JUMPER and REFLEX). In writing this book, Steven Gould is helping to pave the way for the upcoming film, and, as such, GRIFFIN'S STORY will serve to fill in some gaps. Mind you, I did enjoy reading it and am very curious about what happens to Griffin. And now I'm keenly anticipating the film adaptation. Speaking of which, JUMPER releases on February 15, 2008 and is projected to be the first in a hopefully thrilling and thoughtful trilogy (but Hayden Christensen, yikes!). For this one, I'm fervently crossing my fingers and toes and everything else I can think of...
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f53fe64) out of 5 stars Hollywood doesn't make stories, it makes movies Feb. 15 2008
By A. Bodmer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm guessing the order of events probably has Gould getting Jumper optioned by some studio or director, followed by an 'adaptation' that had "young boy" and "teleportation" in common with the novel. The rest of what we've seen added in - the visual effects of jumping, the 'paladins', the big evil conspiracy - changed the story from Jumper to something else.

Gould, in what must have been a difficult decision, agreed to the changes that significantly altered his work, a la Postman, but managed a concession - it would be based on a new novel that he would write, one that would change his story setting to match the movie.

And so, we have this.

I don't know if that is what happened, but given the input and the output, its not hard to figure out who had to make concessions to whom, and who would be demanding story changes of such magnitude.

I can't criticize Gould for agreeing to this - everyone needs to pay the rent, but as a long time fan of science fiction, and of --good-- cinematic storytelling, I have to say I'm getting tired of studio execs trying to drive the creative process, since I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen an adaptation that had major changes to the story only and still emerged as something I enjoyed.

My advice - read this story, as any further Jumper novels will be based on this world not the original canon, and since its obviously and dreadfully set up for a sequel. Gould, even though he is clearly confined to adapting an absolutely excremental screenplay, is still an amazing writer, who I still enjoy reading. Let us hope he is more careful in allowing options of his other works. I have nightmares centered around an adaptation of Wildside that has the tunnel leading to a world of elves and orcs, with a conspiracy of elite masonic assassins trying to close the tunnel before the magical creatures enter our world.

Or something like that. --{retch}--

Please note the above idea is copyrighted and not available for option. Anyone trying to make such an adaptation of Wildside will be sued. Or something like that.

** Edit Spring 2015: I'm updating this to tone down the harshness and add that Gould has since published sequels to Jumper ( EXO for an example) that are a continuation of the original Jumper novel and ignore the movie altogether. Terrific and much appreciated. It is the sort of stuff that has me still throwing down money for anything that has his name on the spine.
25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fd902b8) out of 5 stars Kill them young. It's easier... or is it? Sept. 16 2007
By Anthony Hinde - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've just finished Gould's reworking of the Jumper series. At first, having read the, "Note about the Novel," I felt a little cheated. Had I just paid for a re-hash of one of my favourite novels? In short, the answer is, 'no'. Despite having a completely new setting, plot and characters, I loved Griffin's Story as much as the first Jumper novel.

I was expecting a story about Davy and Millie's child but, instead, was taken into a world that had no connection with the earlier books and had a slightly different take on the main premise, (teleportation). In the original novel I felt the whole aeroplane high-jacker angle was a little bit of a conceptual stretch, although it admirably served to explore Davy's abilities. Many fans will not be able to let go of the original Jumper universe. After a brief struggle, I did just that and fell deeply into the new story.

This novel doesn't require the "Jumper" to be quite so unique. It also manages to throw frightening challenges Griffin's way, without any improbable coincidences. In fact, Griffin is almost always in defensive mode because his opponents keep him that way. They achieve this due to their impressive resources, competence and experience. By contrast Davy always had plenty of time to regroup, consider his options and then take control. As a nine year old boy, Griffin is nowhere near that comfortable. This is a darker tale and yet the central character, Griffin, is just as warm and likeable as Davy ever was.

The story as a whole, as well as the wide open ending, seem to be setting up for a TV series to follow the film adaptation. The shadowy group which is pitted against Griffin, has barely been described. We still have plenty to learn about their abilities, structure and purpose. And what of the implied existence of other Jumpers? Why are they such a threat. Do any work for the enemy? I can't wait to find out.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fd902a0) out of 5 stars Extreme disapointment Sept. 3 2007
By Jay Moseley - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read and re-read Jumper and Reflex numerous times and was looking forward to Griffin's Story so much that I ordered it in advance of publication, which is rare for me. I wish that I had waited and saved myself the disappointment that washed over me the entire time I read the book.

Most of the negatives have already been covered by the other reviews that preceded mine, so I won't reiterate them. I would add that where Jumper and Reflex were fast-paced, the action always seemed to flow smoothly. Griffin's Story seemed so choppy that at times I almost experienced motion sickness. Then I realized that the story was either written explicitly to be made a movie or was derived from a screenplay, and suddenly the choppy feel made sense. If I wanted to watch an "action" movie, I would, but I instead chose to read a novel that I presumed would inherit at least some of the characteristics of the two prior novels the author had written set in the same universe.

All the criticisms of the other reviewers I agree with - shallow protagonist, silly and poorly developed/explained "bad guys", immature and inappropriate romantic interests for protagonist that never reach the level of development and belief of David and Millie (in Jumper and Reflex), and lack of a suitable conclusion at the end of the book.

I do hope that Gould will eventually continue the story of David Rice and Millie Harrison in another book, but not if it is planned/written as poorly as Griffin's Story.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fd90660) out of 5 stars Skip this one and read the first two in the series instead Aug. 5 2010
By Joseph Copeli - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having read the first two Jumper books by Steven Gould, I was interested in seeing if this book would fit into the continuity of the books or the movie adaptation (which departed from the books significantly). Apparently, it's the latter, much to the detriment of the book. It's quite unfortunate actually, that this book and the movie seem to overwrite the events of the first two books with a completely different story.

Personally, I preferred the world of the first two books, where jumpers were extremely rare, jumping didn't damage the environment around the jumper and bring debris from one location to the next, and most importantly, jumping could not be sensed by "sensitives." On this last point, the book focused a lot of time talking about how jumps could be sensed by Paladins, whereas the movie seemed to completely ignore this ability. Why waste so much time on an issue the movie doesn't even use? The Paladins aren't a bad idea, but they were ineffectual in the book (actually, you find out nothing about who they are and why they do what they do until the movie). The villains of Reflex (Jumper 2) were much more cool and fun.

The main thing missing from Griffin's Story is the sense of wonder, introspection and investigation into the nature of jumping that David Rice had in the first two books. Like David, Griffin uses his powers to help himself, but unlike David, he doesn't eventually decide to use his powers to help people (except the ones he has led into trouble himself).

In any case, my recommendation is to skip Griffin's Story and the movie and just read the first two books.

[Disclosure: This review also appears on [...], a site for review and discussion of creative works.]