‘Impulse’ is a progression from ‘Steven Gould’s two earlier ‘Jumper’ novels. It is some years later and the two married teleporters, Davey and Millie Rice, now have a daughter, Millicent aka Cent. What follows is a tale more of family bliss and school problems with a teleportation twist. They still have to avoid being pursued by the authorites but need to ensure Cent is educated and use various schemes to ensure this. Along the way, they help out their friends in odd places around the world although not revealing how they do it.
If anything, Davey and Millie’s story is subsidiary to Cent’s problems at school with the bully Caffeine (she wasn’t called that at birth but prefers that to Camilla – must be an American thing) and as she unwraps what is going on. There are some contradictions in that although Cent was home taught and probably thinks Caffeine is just a bully before catching onto the bigger picture of what is going on. There are some extra twists but they would be considered as spoilers.
Unlike her parents, Cent teaches herself a different teleportation technique by jumping slightly and taking advantage of the relative acceleration. Considering that Gould takes the teleportation as matter-of-fact, adding this extra dimension gives some extra use to the ability. Teleporting upwards and taking advantage of the velocity isn’t so new though as the X-Man Nightcrawler was doing that back in the late 70s.
Although the story wouldn’t be out of place on an afternoon TV movie, ‘Impulse’ is actually a very readable page-turner. As a Science Fiction tale, I’m not so sure. Gould does make the effort to explore other techniques but doesn’t go far enough in regard to where do these jumpers draw their energy to teleport from. All gain but no problems of this nature leaves too much in the air so to speak.
Since there is a certain amount of bad language, appropriate to the situation and writer Steven Gould hasn’t held back, you might want to preserve your younger teen-age sprogs, even if they enjoyed the earlier books or the film based off it. As Cent is a sixteen year-old, this might be seen as the guide to the reading age.
(pub: TOR/Forge. 368 page small enlarged hardback. Price: $25.99 (US), $29.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-7653-2757-4)
check out website: www.tor-forge.com