Impulse, by Steven Gould (2013)

Genre: Science Fiction
Interest Level: 16-Adult
ImpulseThis turns out to be the third in a series that began about 20 years ago with Jumper. Didn’t realize that at the time I picked it up, but it wasn’t an issue. This one stands on its own just fine. Cent (short for Millicent) is about 15 and lives with her parents off the grid in the Canadian Rockies, which the author mistakenly places in the Yukon, though the range actually ends in B.C. He also refers to the Yukon as a province. Clearly Tor (the publisher) needs a new copy editor. But I digress. Cent discovers that she, like her parents, can teleport (what she calls jumping) to anywhere in the world. Bad people are after her parents, so they’ve lived in hiding all her life, jumping only to do their relief work. But now, with her newfound ability to jump as a negotiating tool, Cent convinces her parents to move to a small town in the U.S. where she can be a real teenager, make friends and go to school. It doesn’t go as well as she’d hoped, and Cent is soon jumping herself in and out of trouble. She learns to control it, and uses her physics and math skills work give it a new twist – increase velocity while “jumping” in place. It’s a geek’s delight, and I enjoyed working out the science to the extent I was able. Marketed as an adult novel to appeal to fans of the series who are now in their 30s, I’d argue it’s solidly in the YA genre (teen protagonist, short timeline, set largely in a high school). The novel moves the series along beautifully and though I puzzled over the backstory at time, it still succeeds as a stand-alone, with a fun plot, interesting science and realistic characters and dialogue. But it still needs a better editor (it’s a vice-principal, not vice-principle, for pete’s sake).
More discussion and reviews of this novel:


About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

One Response to Impulse, by Steven Gould (2013)

  1. Robert Southern says:

    It kinda brings to mind “The Last Book in the Universe” by Rodman Philbrick, which I’ve used with my freshman English class.

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