Jumper: Griffin's Story
Written by: Steven Gould
Published By: TOR
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
When I first saw the movie, Jumper, I was intrigued by the character of Griffin and his obsession with destroying the Paladins. Griffin does not appear in the novel and I believed his story would remain a mystery until Steven Gould gave us Jumper: Griffin’s Story.
In a note to readers, Gould explains that when his original novels, Jumper and Reflex, became the basis of a movie, the stories’ events and circumstances were changed during the adaptation process. Gould wrote Jumper: Griffin’s Story with the intent of giving us a back story for Griffin’s character that is consistent with the film and not his previous novels.
The novel begins with a nine-year-old Griffin learning the rules of safe jumping and the art of self-defense from his father in a desert far from their home in San Diego, California. Ever since his first jump in the UK at the age of five, Griffin has been hunted and although his parents don’t fully understand his power or why anyone would want him dead, they are determined to keep him safe, laying down very strict rules about when and where he could use his abilities.
Unfortunately, Griffin violates one of these rules in an act of self-defense against a bully. His mistake snowballs when he decides not to tell his parents for fear that they would decide to pack up and move him to a safer location. That night, his unknown assailants descend upon his household and Griffin is forced to watch his parents die. He barely escapes with his own life.
Griffin is found by a kind couple and nursed back to health, but the people hunting Griffin are not about to give up on their prey. Griffin’s life becomes a series of near misses and pain-filled losses as Griffin struggles to understand who is hunting him and why. After one two many senseless murders of people Griffin cares about, he decides to go on the offensive. The hunted has now become the hunter!
I wasn’t sure whether Jumper: Griffin’s Story would be as enjoyable as the original Jumper novel, but I was craving information about Griffin and the Paladins. Steven Gould supplied us plenty information about both, creating a credible back story for the Jumper film scene stealer. After reading this novel, I can completely understand Griffin’s single-mindedness when it comes to hunting down Paladins and his reasons behind wanting them dead. These are people that caused great harm, and in some instances murdered, everyone he had ever cared about. Their relentless search for Griffin has lead him to believe that the only way to stop them is to kill them…and, of course, it doesn’t hurt to exact a bit of revenge for the friends and family he has lost, right?
Jumper: Griffin’s Story is full of action and suspense, mystery and intrigue. This is a fast-paced novel that captivated my attention so much, I didn’t want to put it down until I had reached the last page. Once I made it to the end, I found myself wanting more. Readers will find themselves yelling at the book every time they can see the mistake in Griffin’s actions before he does. It’s like yelling at the movie screen when we know a character is about to open a door that they shouldn’t. In fact, Gould’s descriptive writing is such that this novel plays out just like a movie, the reader completely able to visualize every event taking place in the novel.
Jumper: Griffin’s Story, although not exactly in tune with the other Jumper novels, is nonetheless a perfect addition to the Jumper series. Fans of the movie will find many a question is answered in this novel. Fans of Griffin will gain a much better understanding of his character. Fans of science fiction in general will love adding this book to their sci-fi collection.