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The Second Jumper Origin Story
on 28 July 2008
In the brief foreword of this spin-off novel Author Steven Gould points out that this novel focusses on the supporting character from the movie. It is a prequel to the movie, not the novel. Though there is a similarity in writing styles between this novel and the original Jumper novel. Both books are written as a First Person Narrative - as if you are reading the actual thoughts of the protagonist.
It first happened to Griffin when he was 5 years old, after accidentally `jumping' in front of a packed tourist coach in the university city of Oxford. Only days later an attempt is made on Griffin's life when a mysterious driver tries to run him down in a public place. It demonstrates the extreme audacity of the fanatical Paladins in their quest to wipe out all jumpers, and is responsible for a hurried flight to safety by Griffin's family as they have to cross an ocean to protect his secret. Judging they are safe the O'Connor family settle down to a normal life in San Diego, with Griffin enrolling in a local school whilst being trained by his father to hone his teleportation skills. But the feeling of safety doesn't last long as Griffin involuntarily teleports to avoid being beaten by a school bully when cornered in the changing rooms after Karate practice. It isn't long before the Paladins come calling, murdering Griffin's parents before his eyes and thereby changing Griffin's life forever.
Found badly wounded in the wastelands outside of San Diego after surviving by the skin of his teeth, Griffin takes up with a group of Mexican folk involved in covert attempts to smuggle illegal immigrants into the United States. Safe for the time being, Griffin blends into the sunny melting pot of rural South America, making friends whilst trying to decide whether he can trust any of them with his secret. Learning the properties of his gift, Griffin `jumps' in secret to some of he locations he has been to before: the author having already established the rules which apply to the skill of teleportation. Though Griffin is seemingly unaware of the sensitivity of some of the Paladin's technology. He narrowly escapes a number of attempts on his life during this period. It is a number of years before the Paladins track him down however - displaying an absolute merciless determination to exterminate the whole race of Jumpers - a revelation to Griffin as he learns he is not the only person who shares this gift.
Realising that the Paladins cannot be either properly understood or reasoned with, Griffin resolves to make himself their enemy and immerses himself in the study of not only a plethora of languages, but with rigorous instruction in the martial arts. He jumps frequently to his life in London, making friends with a member of the club, in preparation for playing the Paladins at their own game. He falls in love along the way and struggles to maintain the friendships he has made. But it is all in vain, almost everyone Griffin befriends suffers a terrible fate, the Paladins leaving a trail of bodies in their wake as they try relentlessly to hunt him down.
This novel is a swift snappy read and absolutely perfect reading if you are going on holiday and want something to pass the time with whilst sweltering under a sunshade. It is fun, fast and easy to read, short on thick unnecessary exposition and high on action. It is 296 pages long and wets your whistle for the other books in the series. And trust me, after immersing yourself in this adventure, you will be wishing that you could teleport as well. The Jumper movie released in February 2008 was a very good adaptation of the first book. We can only hope director Doug Liman decides to make more Jumper movies, possibly with a version of Jumper: Griffin's Story.