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By Alex on 01-30-14
Black mark on the series
I'll start by saying, I chose to listen to this novel despite other reviews because I didn't want to miss any plot points leading into the 4th book, which looks interesting. This was a mistake. There are no plot developments in this book. Nothing of lasting import happens. I suggest skipping ahead.
Where the first book was about Davey resolving emotional trauma, and the second was about his imprisonment, this one is almost entirely about their daughter and her trials as a teenager. The only problem with this character-centric story is that the character is uninteresting. She is the perfect child in every way. She's good at sports, a genius, beautiful, loved by all, has super powers that she uses frequently in front of people without anyone noticing, and doesn't fail at a single thing through the whole book. In short, she's not a realistic human being.
As other reviewers have said, this is very much a high school drama (heavy on the drama) and has almost nothing to do with Davey and Millie. Not my cup of tea to start with but I have enjoyed such things from time to time. However, the character issues make this a bad book even for that genre. To be fair, there is a good bit of action. Cent does her share of butt kicking but she always wins without effort. There is no suspense. The only bit that piqued my interest was when the NSA came into it but it was over within 15 minutes and nothing came of it. All the more disappointing after I spent the whole book HOPING the NSA would capture Cent to put a stop to her nonsense.
There are other problems as well. Cent has a nemesis that is pure evil to the extent that she has the same problem as Cent's character. No shades of gray. She also has a posse who are all, likewise, one-dimensional. Gould tried to remedy this with an explanation for their behavior at the end but it was unconvincing to me, not to mention disturbing...
Cent discovers that she can use her teleportation ability to manipulate her speed. For one, I have trouble believing that Davey never thought of this, considering it was he who realized decades earlier that teleporting effects frames of relative motion. That aside, Cent uses this ability at literally every opportunity with little regard for observers. Issues with its use are also overlooked. For example, she uses it to gain inhuman bursts of speed running, ignoring the fact that the sudden acceleration would cause her to trip. Moreover, all the effects to her body of high speed impact and sudden acceleration are ignored. This might not be so jarring if the author had not, up to this point, given significant consideration to the physics of "jumping" previously. I had very much enjoyed the attempts to make the physics consistent and this oversight was a disappointment.
Then there's the old problem of the characters having seemingly read and memorized every book in existence and teenagers speaking in very unnatural manners for their age. Presumably, these teenagers converse as the author himself would if he could go back in time. Not only does Cent manifest this but also her boyfriend and, to some extent, her friends.
The narrator was wonderful and deserves none of the blame. She did a great job with making Cent's voice sound like that of a teenager and was pleasant to listen to. The male voices were a bit off but only to the usual degree when mimicking the opposite sex.
I will probably still go on to the 4th book because the synopsis sounds much more exciting but I can't say this one was encouraging.
19 of 21 people found this review helpful
By Brian on 07-13-14
This book is a good continuation of the jumper series. It introduces new uses of their power and focuses on the teenage daughter of Mili and David. This was my concern about the story. I was afraid it was going to follow the Twilight like highschool teenage angst. The girl who doesn't fit in and cant find love and is generally depressed the whole time till she find a guy to fix her. But it did a refreshing job of breaking a bunch of those stereotypes.
Cent is a strong female character. She finds her own solutions to dangerous situations she finds herself in . A guy doesn't come in to rescue her. She's good at math and science. The whole story is peppered in small daily uses of math and science experiments. I liked that it highlighted math in a positive way. Yes Id agree that Cent is too good at math for her age but were listening to a book about people who can teleport so maybe some suspension of disbelief is required :). There some romance in the book but its not much and fits with the storyline.
Also its nice that the super-powered beings are doing what Id hope people with their gifts would actually be doing in real life. Their not always fighting crime, their concerned with environmental causes and try helping out people in various communities using their gifts to bypass military blockades and getting food to impoverished areas. There are also consequences to using their powers to help people. Things get out of their control that they cant fix and people get hurt because of their actions. So they have to think about how they use their gifts before they act.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful