Jump: Twinmaker By Sean Williams

Jump Twinmaker Book One
Written By Sean Williams
Science Fiction, Dystopian
Published November 1st 2013
416 Pages
Thank you to Allen And Unwin
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Clair lives in a world revolutionised by DMat, a global teleport system that allows people to transport themselves instantaneously around the world. When a coded note promises improvement, the chance to change your body any way you want, making it stronger, taller, more beautiful, Clair thinks it’s too good to be true, but her best friend, Libby, is determined to give it a try.

What starts as Libby’s dream turns into Clair’s nightmare when Libby falls foul of a deadly trap. With the help of Jesse, the school freak, and a mysterious online friend called Q, Clair’s attempt to protect Libby leads her to an unimagined world of conspiracies and cover-ups. Soon her own life is at risk, and Clair is chased across the world in a desperate race against time.
In a future where you can travel anywhere in the world within minutes through portals, the Lucky Jump separates society's cliques. The group calling themselves the Crashlanders, and finding he ultimate party destination will gain you instant celebrity. Clair's best friend Libby is vying for the Crashlander status, using the DMat booth to find their party location. On their seventeenth jump that lands in an abandoned warehouse in Switzerland, their status is sealed. For Clair, she has no idea how hectic and dangerous her life is about to become.

Clair is already playing with fire, her attraction with Libby's boyfriend Zep proving to be dangerous ground. Libby is unstoppable, taking credit for the Crashlader site that Clair found and fueling her already inflated ego. The new meme making the cyber rounds is called Improvement, what is seemingly an innocent trend in which the idea is to write a series of code words on a piece of paper of what you wanted to change about yourself, whether it be height, intellect or physical appearance. Hide the note on your person when using the DMat, and your wish will be grated... And Libby is involved. She wants to hide her birthmark, her insecurity caused by the hunch that boyfriend Zep is being unfaithful. Zep and Clair had shared a kiss, could their mistake be the reason for Libby's change? Then why at the Crashlander's party, does she find herself in the same position again?

When Libby fails to show for school, Clair knows that something isn't right. No doubt she had heard the rumor that Clair was referred to as Zep's girlfriend during the coverage of the party, but when a strange message from Libby comes through, gloating how beautiful she is and that the Improvement worked. Now Libby is receiving strange messages, and her headaches and mood swings are slowly destroying her. But surely the Improvement couldn't be real, the Virtual Transport Infrastructure Authority that oversees the safety of the DMat system wouldn't allow it. The official word is that Improvement is an urban myth, the authorities have dismissed it, the peacekeepers believe it's harmless, but when a grainy Air video call with Libby proves that her birthmark is no longer visible, Clair knows Improvement is more than the authorities are claiming, much, much more.

Jesse Linwood is the school freak who is involved with a group known as the Stainers, after their founder. The Stainers refrain from using the DMat portals, and generally labelled as terrorists linked with the WHOLE organisation, but it's Jesse's father Dylan that may just have the answers she seeks, but dismisses her entirely and leaves her back where she began. It isn't until Dylan Linwood is being broadcast in a heated argument with Principal Gordon of Manteca New Campus High School, Clair was justified not to trust him. But who can she trust? Answers may come in the form of the voice in her ear, simply known as Q. Q has been following the meme and after Clair attempts to use the Improvement herself, Q contacts her, having attempted to help Libby but to no avail. Q speaks in garbled quotes, all while Libby's condition is worsening. But Clair believes she may be onto something, and with the help of Q, Jesse and Zep tagging along for the ride, what they are about to explore is a world of hacked networks, coding, government assassin's, clones and the members of WHOLE, sending the teens on a race against the clock to save Libby's life. They aren't being improved, they're being taken over.

Kelly's Thoughts

Jump, or Twinmaker as it's known in the U.S, is an incredibly intricate young adult science fiction world, in which technology is the base for how we live, sustain ourselves, travel and interact. In the first in the Twinmaker series, the storyline follows Clair's point of view and although she's on a mission to save Libby's life after her transformation, she begins as a fairly ordinary friend, and I use the term friend loosely. The reader will possibly see her as a villain and the basis for Libby's breakdown, as is Zep, and in trying to help Libby when the Improvement takes hold, puts her own life in danger.

The real star of Jump is Q, she has the knowledge and know how to unravel the world that relies on technology to survive. She seems to live within the virtual world known as Air, that combines the internet, social media, chat and even a message system. This is where the reader will be kept on their toes and encouraged to use their imagination, with little insight into how we interact with the technology. Personally, I seen the system as somewhat of a Google Glass, which seems to be less than twelve months from release, but I can't imagine Jumping to ever be a part of our reality. Imagine just popping out to the shops... In Paris... When you live in Australia, and still be home within the hour? Now that is a droolworthy thought.

The Final Verdict

Don't be fooled into thinking this is a flimsy, lightweight teen science fiction, it's not. You're thrust into a world where you need to find your own way and it'll keep you on your toes. Fans of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series and Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky will really enjoy the world Sean Williams created, as will hardcore young adult science fiction fans.

1 comment

  1. Love the sound of this one, especially all the techy and futuristic stuff. I haven't heard of Google Glass so going to check that out too. Great review Kelly!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence


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