Exo (A Jumper novel book 3) by Steven Gould (book review).

‘Exo’, the third novel in the ‘Jumper’ series, focuses more on Davey and Millie’s daughter, Cent. Not named after the American currently, but to interpret the same name ‘Millicent’ that she and her mother share. Life is relatively safe for this family of teleporters now and Cent with a sense of adventure wants to see how high up she can teleport and then finds she needs a pressure suit to go low orbital. The story then tracks how she gets the custom pressure suit built and turns this into a business with the NASA being the chief employer even if they don’t know how she does it as she puts satellites into orbit and removes space debris within certain weight limits. Cent’s chapters of the novel is done in first person with the rest in third person.


The science of the pressure suit and such seems to be based on that high altitude record-breaker Felix Baumgartner but the science becomes a bit more wobbly when it comes to teleportation. Although author Steven Gould doesn’t explain what happens to Cent’s momentum until about fifty pages in and then dusts it off as nothing as something easy to do. Everything in the world moves at the same momentum on the ground. In the air, it’s different, especially when you’re dropping at zero velocity because that is a lot of kinetic energy to get rid of. To just say they dispersed it isn’t enough, simply because this is a lot of energy and that has to go somewhere. It’s not even rocket science to think up a reasonable solution, like expending the energy into the ocean, especially as Gould explains an element of ‘ghosting’ and diverting energy and resources using it.

Much of this story is purely adventure for local space exploration by teleportation and when an attack is carried out, Gould literally jumps over it than the repercussions of the event and even loses the emotional momentum of the event which is a mistake that I’m surprised his editor didn’t ask him to resolve. This doesn’t happen later when Cent is captured but this is such a tiny part of the story.

Although the earlier books were aimed at the young adults, if you’re worried about bad language for your sprogs, you might want to waiting until they’re gone 14 before letting them loose on ‘Exo’. Mind you, they’d probably need to know a bit more about science to appreciate some of the technical details where Gould displays his research.

I can see why Gould wanted to move on from the past two novels. I mean, how long can you go on have Davy and family having to fight off being chased by the Daarkon Group and various government agencies without wanting to show some positive uses for teleporters. In that respect, this book could be used as a template should we ever have any, assuming they can move more than their own body mass. However, there are rarely any surprises in this book because so much of it moves along in predictable paths and played by the numbers.

GF Willmetts

October 2014

(pub: TOR/Forge. 460 page small hardback. Price: $25.99 (US), $29.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-7653-3654-5)

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Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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