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One Jump Ahead (Jon & Lobo #1)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  605 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Jon Moore: A nanotech-enhanced warrior who wants nothing more than a quiet life and a way back to his strange home world. Lobo: An AI-enhanced Predator-Class Assault Vehicle, a mobile fortress equipped for any environment from the seabed to interstellar space. TWO WOLVES IN A GALAXY OF LARGER PREDATORSJon Moore wanted only to relax on the pristine planet of Macken--but Mac ...more
Hardcover, 293 pages
Published June 5th 2007 by Baen Books (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,039)
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Dirk Grobbelaar
I’ll start off by saying that the author handles Lobo with admirable restraint. Let’s face it, there is a lot of potential for unprecedented mayhem here. Instead, there is a lot of tactical, and even strategic, plotting involved and the story focuses mainly on Jon Moore in this first novel. This is perhaps the best route to take, but I’m hoping the subsequent novels will see Lobo fully unleashed.

As far as Science Fiction adventures are concerned, One Jump Ahead has one or two tricks up its sleev
It's been ages since I read a mass market paperback. I picked this one up because the author was recommended to me by a friend whose opinions I generally trust, and I wasn't disappointed.

It's classic sci-fi adventure with a "lone wolf" protagonist successfully bucking the system using his wits and technological tricks. One of the great problems with these kinds of stories is explaining why the methods of the hero haven't been dealt with.

For example, (possible spoiler here, but it occurs in the f
A very fun, fast-pace, sci-fi adventure with a bit of a heist feeling. There's also a bit of military, a bit of technology, some humor, but not too much of anything. It has a great slightly old-fashioned feeling, like some of the anti-hero stories from the '60s and '70s. And Lobo is a great side-kick.

This was an accidental re-read. I originally read this before I discovered Goodreads and planned to read the sequels, but never remembered to look for them. Knowing when the next book in a series I
Mary JL
May 10, 2014 Mary JL rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Action/SF/ Adventure
Shelves: main-sf-fantasy
Yes, more military-actions SF. Those of you who read my reviews know it is a favorite type of SF for me.

The story basically introduces two partners. One is Jon Moore, former soldier--enhanced with non technology which gives him special abilities. The other "partner" is Lobo--a sentient AI (artificial intelligence)who is installed in the controls of a Predator-Class Assault vehicle.

Basically, it is a military SF tale with Jon and Lobo Vs. the villains.

Yes, there have been similar tales but this i
Aspen Junge
I was trying to figure out why I wasn't really connecting with the characters. The plot was fine, action driven. The characters had histories. The author is good with description, if he has a tendency to overexplain a little. Then I realized; I have no idea what Jon, the viewpoint character, is feeling. Since the book is written in first person, this lack is downright creepy.

He's got a tragic past. He's an action hero. He saves the girl right off. He makes a new best friend. And I have no idea
‘One Jump Ahead’ is Van Name’s first novel and it’s a heck of a debut. I read this book in a quick couple of sittings, ignoring other distractions (even The Sims 3 – which anyone who knows me can tell you is one mean feat!) until I finished it.

'One Jump Ahead’ is the where not only where we meet Jon Moore and Lobo, but they meet each other. Jon Moore has a colourful and distinctive past as a mercenary soldier and private courier. But before that time he was a test subject in a secret nano-techn
Jun 19, 2012 Nancy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: scifi
I read an excerpt of Jon & Lobo #5, No Going Back, before I read this and I feel like it really gave me a leg up on the universe. If I hadn't read the excerpt first the learning curve on various things - Lobo, Jon's nanomachines, talking to electronics - would have been a lot steeper. I imagine I would have been a lot more confused and therefore enjoyed it less.

However, I enjoyed it just fine. Fast-paced, SF action adventure that for the most part was a fun read. I loved Lobo. And the talkin
Précis A former mercenary is bio-engineered with outlawed nanotechnology and is the only known survivor of the ill-fated Aggro experiments. He teams up with an intelligent armored vehicle named Lobo and they get caught up in a corporate battle for control of the jump gate aperture near the developing colony world called Macken.
During the ongoing adventure he meets an old friend from his mercenary days, has to work with SAW - the organization he worked for before Aggro - and botches a kidnapping
For a first book in a sci fi series this is very good. The characters are believable and entertaining to read about and the action is excellent. The interaction between Jon and his PCAV battle vehicle's AI (Lobo) is great. Probably my favorite part of this book is the future technology that Mark envisions for his worlds. It's a realistic blend of organic and technology, which is probably what the future will end up being more like versus an all metal world. I give 3.5 stars to the story itself a ...more
Mark L Van’s debut novel was a pleasure to reading from the first page to last. It’s one of those books that was so fun I read it too quickly and then wished I had savoured the plots twists and turns more carefully. One Jump Ahead was a wonderfully balanced novel that balanced science fiction with thriller and adventure elements. The non-stop action, compelling first-person narrator and a witty AI-controlled combat ship.
A light science-fiction read with some interesting ideas. There are a few light moments with the main character giving personalities to different futuristic appliances, but overall, it reads as a science fiction/military adventure with the main character prepping adventurous plans to perform espionage in a futuristic setting.
An excellent beginning and I'm pleased to have more books in the series to devour before I go locust somewhere else. If someone doesn't mind reading science fiction instead of fantasy and found The Goblin Emperor to be sweet (and wonderful) but wanted some of that same kindness in an older, more world-wise character, this series is shaping up to be a perfect balance. Lobo is a little annoying because the main character find him so and I'm not seeing enough personality to balance the whining, but ...more
So far, this is a pretty good sci-fi novel. Author Mark L. Van Name mixes semi-hard scii-fi with quirky comedy to create a novel that is better than the sum of its parts.
I enjoyed One Jump Ahead. I was in the right mood to enjoy old fashion space opera. Moore is a loner with a troubled past. He takes jobs, and they go south, so he has to clean up messes as well as he can. There is some odd science tech. The FTL issues is solved by Gates which are mysterious artifacts. He has nano-tech in his body that helps on missions. He acquires an AI brained combat craft that is part companion, part military weapon.

I liked that Moore keeps thinking he wants to avoid killing

For year now, I have lamented about the lack of SPACE OPERA.. i.e. real Science Fiction stuff... Once in awhile I discover someone like Timothy Zahn or Elizabeth Moon is still writing old fashioned Science Fiction with new fangled ideas...

One Jump Ahead is aptly named, because it appears to be one jump ahead from most of the Science Fiction out there. We are introduced to Jon and his attack vehicle (Lobo)-- but there appears to be a lot of backstory for Jon that we simply see hinted at...

Jon i
Per Gunnar
The burb for this book sounded quite interesting which was why I decided to read it. However, on the first few pages of this book I started to wonder what the f… this was. I certainly wasn’t impressed.

That far in the future almost any electronics device would have an AI, including washing machines, beverage dispenser etc, that I could perhaps live with. That a human, in this case Jon, who was nano-machine enhanced could communicate with them, well okay…maybe. That these machines all had a perso
Joe Martin

Take one jaded, burn-out mercenary. Jon Moore. Give him an AI-enhanced Predator-Class Assault Vehicle. Lobo. One desparate to live a quiet life, in an out of the way spot. The other itching to leave the quiet, out of the way spot and get back into action. Mix in some corporations eager to gain an edge and some corporate officials willing to lie and cheat to gain an edge. The end result is an angry mercenary with a lot of weaponry and a burning desire to both gain revenge and set things right.


This is the first book in the Jon & Lobo series. Jon is a man with a troubled past. His planet was destroyed and he was subjected to experiments that left him nanotechnology enhanced. Such enhancements are thought to be impossible and he needs to keep them a secret from those who might profit from them. Suffice it to say, he is a sort of super-soldier. He takes on the task of freeing a kidnapping victim. This simple act entangles him in a complex web of intrigue involving powerful corporatio ...more
Grady McCallie
The blurbs on the back are attributed to John Ringo, David Drake, and Eric Flint, signaling the subgenre and target audience for this debut novel: military science fiction read by young men. The main character of this book, Jon Moore, is emotionally young himself (though he's chronologically a centenarian) and suffers continuing trauma from past experiments that left him equipped with nanotech implants. The character and plot reminded me a bit of Richard Stark's pulp crime hero Parker: a former ...more
This is a quick read and a good, if formulaic, story. If you're a fan of space opera you'll probably enjoy this, although I wouldn't say it's exceptional. The author is a tech guru and it shows in the book, both because the author has imagined a LOT of technology that would exist in the future and because the author is so familiar with current technology that some slips in without him noticing it would be horribly out of date one or two thousand years into the future.

I never really clicked with
D.L. Morrese
This is a military SciFi space adventure and whether or not you will like it depends on taste. It is well written, but, to me, the science was weak and the characters were unlikeable. The first person main character is credulous, rude, and prone to reacting with intimidation or violence. His one redeeming quality is that he regrets his actions afterward. The female sidekick who makes her appearance relatively late in the book is a borderline psychopath - she enjoys killing. The one bit of comic ...more
I have to admit that this is a book that I didn't buy in the past because of the cover. It looked almost exactly like the David Drake "Lt. Leary" covers, and I wasn't interested in reading a clone of that series, especially from an author I had barely heard of.

That was a mistake. Van Name puts together a pretty good tale of a hero who is by choice and circumstances, forced to be a loner. He comes into the posession of a powerful piece of self-aware military equipment. There's enough action to go
I love this series. Can't get enough of it. The interaction between the main characters, the situations they find themselves in, and manage to extricate themselves from. Superb. And, hey, you have to love a place called "Pickelponker"!
Reminds me - strongly - of the Pip and Flinx series by Alan Dean Foster. This is not a bad thing, as I loved that series growing up. I see that there are more of these guys, I'm going to go and look for them :)
Mar 03, 2010 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of space opera
Recommended to Eric by: Watch the Skies
This is my kind of book. It's fast paced, cleanly written and complex enough tht I didn't have everything figured out right away. The characters are believable withing the setting and had very human reactions.

If you feel the need to classify things I would call this space opera. I'm ok with that. I don't need to grasp nanotechnology at a textbook level to enjoy and finish the story, but all the technological wonders serve to move the story along.

The most important things I can say for this book
I picked up One Jump Ahead because a later book in ther series sounded interesting and I wante to start at the beginning.

While One Jump Ahead wasn't the worst book I've ever picked up, it certainly finishes in the top 10 most boring. It's not bad, just bland.

I think Van Name was trying to create a troubled hero, a dark-but-still-noble hero in Moore. Van Name failed. Moore isn't dark and brooding, he's just boring.

The pacing was slow, mostly because Van Name kept digressing into backstory (not wo
fun sci fi adventure. no sex or bad language. target audience is teen boy
Jeff Young
Nice world building, interesting and compelling characters and enough action to keep you flying through the book. Mark has created a world where his main character Jon has to live by his wits. Even though Jon has an easy out of a lot of problems with his nanomachine complement, Mark as done two smart things: he's found a way to make Jon limited in what he can do, and he's allowed Jon to make some very human mistakes. These and Mark's sense of humor which pervades the book without detracting in a ...more
I love this series!
Tim Williams
Weak. The hero is essentially superman. He never is in any real damage and he just goes from place to place bountifully assisted by the incompetence of his antagonists. Oh, and then there are his nanos that can do just about anything. The character is just above paper thin, and there just isn't anything to feel vested in. A friend who recommended this one to me is usually good but I think I am going to have to have a discussion with him...
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Other Books in the Series

Jon & Lobo (6 books)
  • Slanted Jack (Jon & Lobo, #2)
  • Overthrowing Heaven (Jon & Lobo, #3)
  • Children No More (Jon & Lobo, #4)
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