Review + Giveaway: Impulse

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review + Giveaway: ImpulseImpulse by Steven Gould
Series: Jumper #3
Published by Tor Books on January 15, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Thriller
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher

Steven Gould returns to the world of his classic novel Jumper in the thrilling sequel Impulse.

Cent has a secret. She lives in isolation, with her parents, hiding from the people who took her father captive and tortured him to gain control over his ability to teleport, and from the government agencies who want to use his talent. Cent has seen the world, but only from the safety of her parents’ arms. She’s teleported more than anyone on Earth, except for her mother and father, but she’s never been able to do it herself. Her life has never been in danger.

Until the day when she went snowboarding without permission and triggered an avalanche. When the snow and ice thundered down on her, she suddenly found herself in her own bedroom. That was the first time.

First Sentence: “It was more of a lodge than a cabin but ‘cabin’ is what they called it.”

As ever, unsolicited copies can be a real mixed bag, especially when the book turns out to be a later book in a series you’ve never read. I almost didn’t read Impulse because I really hate reading series out of order and I had neither time nor free resource by which to acquire and read the first two. However, the publicity contact assured me that Impulse works as a standalone, so I decided to give it a go because Tor publishes quality stuff. Anyway, I am very glad I gave Impulse a chance, because it turned out to be super awesome, the only problem being that I now really want to read Jumper and my library still doesn’t have it.

Now I can certainly infer a lot about the plots of the previous two books from what I read in Impulse, but I was never had to sit through any long infodumps about the plots of the last two. Nor was I ever confused or out of place because I hadn’t read the first two. Impulse functions well as a standalone, since the main character was not a part of the previous books (from what I can tell). You do not need to read the prior books to appreciate Impulse.

The main character of Impulse is the daughter of the original young adult hero from the first books. He’s now grown into the over-protective father of a sassy, brilliant teenage daughter. Cent, short for Millicent, has lost patience with their isolated lifestyle. Now that she’s sixteen, she wants to go to a real school, make friends, and enjoy a social life that consists of more than just her parents for the first time ever. Though fearful that his enemies will track them down, Davy agrees, because he loves Cent so much.

Seriously, I love how loving this family unit is. They’re way closer than most because they’re literally the only people they can completely trust, as evil types are trying to hunt down Davy and use his powers for evil. Millie, Davy and Cent argue, but there’s never a time where it’s not completely obvious that they all love one another. When it comes time for big decisions, they make them as a family, and Cent trusts them with details about her life that most kids don’t share. Of course, Cent’s a teen too, so she does keep some shenanigans under her hat, because sometimes what you’re parents don’t know can’t hurt them, right?

Cent does occasionally embarrass herself in her first experiences with other teens, but, honestly, she’s just a champ. She’s ballsy, friendly, incredibly bright, sporty (she snowboards – how cool is that?), and pretty, so she was never going to have a horrid time of it. Despite that, she immediately attracts the attention of a bully, Caffeine, who becomes obsessed with taking Cent down after Cent embarrasses her by moving out of the way and letting Caffeine go down hard. I love how Cent takes everything in stride. She has this crazy confidence about so many things, because of her powers, experiences, and intelligence, but on the other hand being confused by boy drama can make her cry. Cent’s such a fun heroine.

Also, the story focuses mostly on the bullying, which has a wider impact than Cent initially realized, rather than romance. However, the romance is actually super cute, even if it does get a bit instalovey at the end. Up to that point though, she and her boy have some great banter, AND he’s a smart, sweet reader. Yes to that!

The one aspect that didn’t really work for me was the more fantastical side. All of the jumping is fun, sure, but the endless practice sessions that Cent did got a little old. Plus, any time the third person limited perspective switched to Cent’s mother (relief work in other countries) or father (researching the people looking for him), I felt my attention waning, though thankfully their chapters were really short. Still, I don’t really think those chapters were needed, except as an incentive to fans of the first two books.

Whether or not you’ve read Jumper and Reflex, Steven Gould’s Impulse is an action-packed read with a kickbutt heroine. Impulse has humor, adventure, plotting, fighting and a little bit of romance. The series has appeal for male and female readers alike.

Favorite Quote:

“It took some more work to find out what he liked to read. I had to swear not to reveal his dark secret.
I could’ve kissed him on the spot.
‘She only wrote the six books,’ I said.
‘There are her letters,’ he said, ‘and the juvenilia are really very funny and the novella Lady Susan—wait, you knew she only wrote six books?'”

The folks at Tor were kind enough to send me two copies, so I have one to share you with you lovely people. US/CAN only, since I’m paying for shipping. Sorry about that, international peeps. Check the sidebar for INT giveaways.
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21 responses to “Review + Giveaway: Impulse”

  1. erin says:

    Thanks for the review! This is the first I’ve heard of this series as well and I’m definitely interested! But I’m a stickler at reading books in order whether they are connected or not 🙂

    • Christina says:

      It might not SEEM that way, but I’m a stickler about that as well. Unfortunately, I didn’t have an option, because my library didn’t have this series. I’m not going to buy them if I might not like them, you know? Plus, I don’t have time in my schedule. So this happened.

  2. Christina K. in the rafflecopter

    Love how there’s a focus on bullying as well as romance.

    I too find things drag when we read about the parents.

    Lovely review:)

  3. Kat Balcombe says:

    Oh I haven’t heard of this before, but it does sound interesting – kudos to you for reading out of order, because I’m waaaaaaaaay too anal to do that!

    I like the idea of the family being so close and involved. Definitely going to have to check this series out!

    • Christina says:

      The whole series! I now want to try the first two, though I still would have to purchase them to read them, so I don’t know if it’s going to happen. Stupid library not having the things I want!

  4. OH i like that this one worked so well for you even though you haven’t read the first two. So funny that now you are faced with the dilemma of wanting the first ones but they aren’t at your library. This sounds really good and I like the cover quite a bit. Too bad not all of the perspectives worked for you and the details of the jumping really got to you but the family sounds great (and that’s always needed in YA) Id never heard of this series before, so.. cool.

    • Christina says:

      I’m glad it worked for me too. I had really low expectations, but it was awesome!

      The family dynamics were just so great, even if I didn’t care about the plot lines the parents were involved in. :-p

  5. Kelly says:

    I absolutely LOVE when books have great family dynamics – it automatically makes me warm up to everything! Cent sounds like the type of heroine I love – ballsy and not afraid to put herself out there. It’s also nice to hear that the romance doesn’t overwhelm the plot.

  6. You know, I have heard of this series before. I have a notebook that I write down the books I like and want to get. And I do have this book in my notebook. But honestly I forgot about this book. But then when I started reading what the book was about I started remembering and now I know why I added the book! For me, I have to read the series in order. Even when they say its a stand alone.
    Your review is GREAT! I also really like when the family has a strong and loving relationship. I guess because I can related to that in my own life. The story sounds really good and something that I would really enjoy reading. It reminds me of the movie Jumper. And I sooo love that movie! I wish I could teleport! It would save me a lot of money on traveling!! Thank you for sharing your review and I really enjoyed reading it!!

    • Christina says:

      That’s so funny! This is why you have the notebook. 😉 Yeah, I generally have to read in order, but every so often I don’t know or have no way to read it in order, so I just have to grit my teeth and deal.

      I saw that movie once on an airplane, but I remember nothing. Teleportation would be a great skill, especially since my friends live all over the country.

  7. Tricia C. says:

    As soon I finished this, I’m going to investigate the first two books in this series. This one sounds like a lot of fun. I’ve never read books out of order, but it sounds like it’d work in this case. OK – a bully named Caffeine?? What a cool name! I’m off to search my library’s database for the first two. Thanks for the heads up on this series!

  8. Anita Yancey says:

    I enjoyed your review on this book. Sounds like a good read, and I’m glad it can work as a stand alone even if you haven’t read the first books. I really like the characters and would enjoy this book. Thanks for the chance to win it.

  9. Tim Ward says:

    Thanks for sharing about this being a standalone. I loved the cover and use of snowboarding, but was a little overwhelmed by having to read two other books to get to this.

    • Christina says:

      No, no, it’s NOT a standalone; I’m just saying that it can be read as a standalone without confusion. It is still part of a series, and perhaps even more enjoyable when read in its place in the series.

    • Tim Ward says:

      I understood, but my shorthand comment wasn’t clear. I’ve heard great things about Mr. Gould, and found him kind in his #sffwrtcht interview. I’d prefer reading from Jumper, but it is good to know that I could read Impulse w/o confusion if I only had time to read the one book.

    • Christina says:

      Ah, okay. I just wanted to make sure there was no confusion!

  10. Zaradaqaw says:

    Gould can go too far into minutiae sometimes, for my taste. Spelling out all the details of some process. It sounds like there is some of that in Impulse with all the practice sessions. Jumper didn’t lean that way as much as some of his other books, and remains my favorite of his.

    However, it sounds like Impulse focuses much more on the human relations, which is the real juice for me. I’m really looking forward to reading this!

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