Ten thousand years ago, two teenage lovers – Ty and Sita - set out with two friends searching through a deadly forest for a tribe to save their cave-dwelling clan. The blood of a beast and Sita’s potions scramble their psyches, hurtling the dark-skinned seekers from their families’ prehistoric world into technology-driven Twenty-first Century Los Angeles. A young filmmaker, Darren, shooting carpet commercials for his rich, overbearing father, mistakes the Stone Age kids for a rap group. Ty’s courage and Sita’s shamanic wisdom force the pompous filmmaker to face his destiny. Disbelief slowly becomes trust. Still, Ty must find a way to travel back ten millennia with a miracle that will save his starving clan. The award-winning "THE SUN JUMPERS," tells the story of how teenage love is true in any world and how bravery and a willing heart can save a people and conquer one’s greatest fears.
A time-travel fantasy that transports four teenage cave dwellers to modern-day Los Angeles. Luber’s (Match to the Heart, 2009) fictional Kishoki people live 10,000 years ago in an unspecified location near the River Gan. They’re hunters and gatherers, and the harsh conditions have led most of their people to leave their settlement in search of something better. Others took the advice of their shaman, Man Who Stands Alone, not to follow the “Antelope People” who left. But if nothing changes, the remaining group will die out completely. Enter Sita, the spiritual leader of an adventurous pack of 14-year olds who are about to take a journey through time and space. She’s a “star stepper” who sees bits and pieces of the future in her dreams. She’s also a “shaman-in-waiting,” the first girl to ever be in such a position. Her boyfriend, Ty, is an adventurer who’s determined to find the long-departed Antelope People and learn their secrets of survival. Ko and Shum, Ty’s “wings” (buddies), agree to accompany him in his search. After they encounter a deadly “emmydactyl” and drink a potion mixed by Sita, they awake to find themselves in the 21st century on a hilltop where the neurotic, 24-year-old Darren Davies is shooting a commercial for his father’s carpet empire. The narrative explores the friendship that develops among Darren, Ty, and Sita, as each seeks his or her identity and purpose. Luber has constructed a lighthearted romp that’s permeated by humor regarding adolescent antics, 20-something angst, and a wealth of inevitable culture-clash misunderstandings. But it also deals with some serious issues, including modern-day bigotry (the Kishoki are a dark-skinned people), the sometimes-troubled relationships between parents and offspring, and the need to find and follow one’s own truth. The author’s Kishoki words are inventive, although the translations sometimes seem frivolous: “ ‘Shnikee!’ she gasped, Kishoki for ‘yikes.’ ” Some “Questions for Discussion” appended to the end also seem unnecessary, unless Luber intends the book to be read in schools.
A charming flight of fancy that provides a pleasant, thoughtful diversion.
"The Sun Jumpers" by Ken Luber is the story of how some ten thousand years ago, two teenage lovers set out to save their clan. But what they didn't expect is to end up in the 21st century. Along with two loyal friends, Ty and Sita embark on a daring vision quest, searching a deadly prehistoric forest for a tribe to save their cave-dwelling clan. But when the blood of a beast and Sita's shamanic potions combine to scramble their psyches, the dark-skinned seekers find themselves thrust from their familiar cave-land world into the technology-driven modern-day city of Los Angeles. Darren, a young filmmaker shooting a carpet commercial on a mountaintop, mistakes the Stone Age kids for a rap group and brings them to his home, where the teens discover the wonders of Star Wars, pizza, sunglasses, and skateboarding. Ty's courage and Sita's shamanic wisdom eventually force the pompous filmmaker to face his destiny, and disbelief slowly becomes trust. Still, Ty must find a way to travel back ten millennia with a miracle that will save his starving clan. But how? Or will Sita's potions hurl them into another, unrecognizable, even malevolent future? A witty yet moving tale of teenage love, the power of friendship, and how bravery and a willing heart can save an entire people "The Sun Jumpers" clearly showcases author Ken Luber's genuine flair for creating a consistently compelling, original, and memorable story populated by deftly crafted characters and replete with unexpected twists and turns. Highly recommended for school and community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections.
I loved the story behind this book and can imagine this playing out well in a movie. It is a fun, very positive/happy read following the adventures of a group of teenagers who end up 10,000 years in the future. Most of the book follows their adventures in trying to get to grips with the modern world and is a story of deep friendship, love and acceptance in a sometimes difficult world. The book has a slight philosophical edge that makes you stop and think, but definitely doesn’t get bogged down in details as could easily happen with a story of this kind; Luber is skilled at making you stop and think without things becoming too deep or ruining the light-hearted, playful theme.
Travel Back in Time with Award-Winning New Novel by Ken Luber
Dog Ear Publishing reviews a new award-winning novel starring a teenage couple and their two friends, who set out to save their Stone Age clan but end up in the 21st century.
IDYLLWILD, Calif. – Strong characters help drive the story in Ken Luber’s latest work, “The Sun Jumpers.” It’s those same characters that led to his novel earning the Dog Ear Publishing Award of Literary Excellence, and the author couldn’t be happier.
“I’m proud of the fact that it got the award,” he said. “Proud of getting an excellent review in Kirkus (Reviews). And I’m especially proud of what they said about the characters – that they were very endearing. I really liked that part because I worked very hard at making them relatable and interesting people. Besides plot – some genre books have such a heavy plot – you read it for the characters.”
Dog Ear’s editorial team determines award winners, with the managing editor, editorial services manager and publisher reviewing recommendations. Winning books include the award logo on their covers.
As Dog Ear editor Reba Hilbert wrote in her recommendation, "I'm giving this book a 5. It's a smooth, perfectly paced novel with witty dialogue and incredibly endearing characters. The
author combines the hilarity of four cave-teens transported to a modern world with the deeper themes of courage, integrity, loyalty, and love.”
Kirkus Reviews calls the novel “a lighthearted romp that’s permeated by humor regarding adolescent antics, 20-something angst, and a wealth of inevitable culture-clash misunderstandings. But it also deals with some serious issues, including modern-day bigotry (the Kishoki are a dark-skinned people), the sometimes-troubled relationships between parents and offspring, and the need to find and follow one’s own truth.”
“One of the other things you get from the book is we’re all part of the same family whether it’s 10,000 years ago or now,” the author said.
Writing the book had its challenges, including cutting it from 145,000 words to 85,000 words to provide more focus. “The other challenge was that actually I started it with the boy as a central character – he is the one who has the vision and wants to find a better life,” Luber said. “But as soon as his sweetheart opened her mouth, she kind of took over the book and I couldn’t stop her. … She had to butt into everything. I had to fight for him.”
Luber, who has been writing all his life in one form or another, lives in the mountain village of Idyllwild. He’s published two of the four or five novels he has written, and he’s written screenplays for film and television and directed theater, television and movies. He has a BA from Ripon College, attended graduate school at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is a graduate Fellow of the American Film Institute in writing and directing.
Luber also wrote “Everybody’s Shadow,” a book of poetry. His first novel, “Match to the Heart,” is available on Amazon.com, e-platforms, and bookstores. He is writing a new novel, “Falling From the Sky,” and is working with a composer on the finishing touches to “Esperanza – the Musical of Hope.”
For additional information, please visit www.thesunjumpers.com
The Sun Jumpers
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4575-5046-1 296 pages $16.99 US
Available at Ingram, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere.
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