This was very good! Fast-paced, griping, fun, and interesting! I will definitely be waiting to read the next book to see what happens next! The author has certainly got plenty of things to work with in the next book!
But for all that, I have to say that I was never really drawn into this world. I was always just removed enough to easily put the book down, and occasionally would even think parts of story came off as a little silly. It wasn't the plot, it was a hint of flatness in the writing that did it. Every now and again a weak point would break through my suspension of disbelief, and the writing wasn't quite strong enough to hold me captive in the story when that happened.
It's the action more than anything else that keeps you reading this story, but that is very well done. There aren't any slow segments in the book.
Wow though, I don't envy the Travelers any more than the Harlequins! Their experieces in the fourth realm didn't sound all that great, and the other realms look much worse! I don't think I'd be interested in going back to the second realm, and I'm not sure why they'd want to either. And while visiting such a place would certainly provide a lot of perspective on life back home, I really can't see how it would embue the Travelers with all the spiritual mysticism with which they are accredited. The Travelers' spiritual connections seemed very weakly explained in general.
One of the best books I've read in a while...a great new near future world...with computer surveillance and Big Brother overtones. There are still a few Travelers who can move beyond our realm and change the way others view the world and those who protect them. About halfway through the book I found myself hoping it would be a series and was pleased at the end to find it will be!
Bobbie H. (BobbieH) reviewed The Traveler (Fourth Realm, Bk 1) (Audio CD) (Abridged) on
Helpful Score: 4
This was an interesting, thought-provoking book, and a little disturbing at times. The Big Brother allusions are well earned, but the heart of the book revolves around the Travelers, the people trying to protect them, and the people trying to destroy them. I enjoyed seeing modern tech and The Patriot Act taken to logical extremes, and what we've seen of the realms the Travelers go to are quite inventive. I look forward to the next book. If you like old-school SF or lighter cyberpunk, you'll likely enjoy this book.
I found this book to be very interesting and kept my attention through most of it. The female lead was awesome and the idea of living "out of the grid" was done in such a way that I was looking behind me for days.
Probably my favorite book of all time. I was in pain when I found I had to wait for the second installment (Dark River--which was almost better than this one) and now again I have to wait for the 3rd---BUT IT IS WORTH IT! Not only does this this book have action and mystery, it has some of the greatest characters I have had the chance to meet. Enjoy
A very fast read! It was interesting and action packed. The writing is choppy, and the "facts you need to know" could have been introduced in a way that helped character development, rather than seeming like a rattling off of the facts by whichever character was nearby. Still, an entertaining read, and if more books of this series come my way I would read them.
Eric S. (Shooter) reviewed The Traveler (Fourth Realm, Bk 1) (Audio CD) (Abridged) on
Helpful Score: 2
This book was in the science fiction section at Borders and although it has some elements of science fiction, a lot of the book's concepts are grounded firmly in reality. The technology, at least for the most part, is in existence already today and we all are being surveilled almost constantly, particularly in big cities. The plot of this novel was relatively fast-moving but I found myself wishing there were more action, or maybe just less exposition, and maybe more description of the places Maya and the traveler went. All in a good novel, and I waited anxiously for the second novel in the series.
This is an interesting book in that the brothers grew up "off the grid" ie without leaving traces of their identity - all cash, no electricity, no driver's license etc etc as their father directed. They realize why when they grow up. Good mystery, Interesting time travel angle and an absorbing read
"A world that exists in the shadows of our own. A conflict we will never see. One woman stands between those determined to control history and those who risk their lives for freedom. Maya is hiding in plain sight in London. The 26-year-old has abandoned the dangerous obligations pressed on her by her father, and chosen to live a normal life. But Maya comes from a long line of people who call themselves Harlequins, a fierce group of warriors willing to sacrifice their lives to protect a select few known as Travelers, a small band of prophets who have influenced the course of history. Travelers are able to attain pure enlightenment, and have for centuries ushered change into the world."
An interesting idea these days when modern technology seems to invade every facet of our lives. I found it an interesting story and was intrigued by how to live "off the grid" out of sight of those who want to monitor our every move. I'm curious to read the second book.
The Traveler is similar to books like Ishmael and The Celestine Prophecy, but I thought it was more exciting. It is good to read one of these books every once in a while to give you a healthy sense of skepticism and hope for a better future.
Bob B. (Ceilidh) reviewed The Traveler (Fourth Realm, Bk 1) (Audio CD) (Abridged) on
I wanted to like this book until I opened it and started to read. The plot is every bad made for TV movie you have ever started to watch and then thrown your hands up in disgust when your willingness to believe was stretched until it broke...page 10 in this underwhelming rehash of stereotypical and poorly drawn characterizations. I keep it on my shelf as inspiration for my own writing hopes. If John Twelve Hawks can get published, anyone can.
Traveler was a great read. To really appreciate it you have to read the second and final book in the series. It takes George Orwell's 1984 a couple of steps forward but the premise is the same. Control by technology...
Gabriel and Michael Corrigan are two of the last known
Travelers in existence. Like their father, who disappeared during their childhood, they have the ability to pass through various levels of reality in order to obtain enlightenment and use this knowledge to help others do the same.
Because their abilities are so valued and rare, the Corrigan brothers must be protected by Maya, a Harlequin (think twenty-something rogue spy with black-belt
ninja skills), in order to prevent the Tabula (Big Brother) from capturing the two and using their transcendental powers to brainwash the unsuspecting "normal people" (i.e. average,law-abiding citizens) who already are under constant surveillance
through computers, electronic tracking systems, and strategically placed cameras.
In a series of high-speed chases, combat-riddled
action sequences involving swords, and a couple of pulse-thumping cliffhangers, these three groups continue to duke it out until the end, which, of course, is to be continued.
As the first book in a trilogy, this book sets up the characters and the overall situation very well. Twelve Hawks does a good job of bringing the reader into this world, and I liked how everybody, including the antagonists (Brethren/Tabula), believed that they were doing the right thing. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, The Dark River.
I almost put this book down after the first dozen pages but my rule is I need to read 10% of the book before giving up on it. It has over 400 pages but by the time I hit page 40, I was hooked. I cared about the characters :) There's a touch of sci fi that can be easily believed and much to think about.
This is an excellent action-fantasy tale set in the present to immediate future. The "good-guys" are regular people....some with extra training; the "bad-guys" are corruptible regular people that have bought into a Big Brother-like philosophy because it gives them the power.
As the book hooked me early on, I was hoping it would be a series and was pleasantly surprised when I looked up John Twelve Hawks to learn it was the first book in his The Fourth Realm Trilogy.
Paranoia and big brother is really a secret society that wants to control everything and stifle orignality and freedom. Oh, and out of body experiences is the way to find other realms and come back with a better way toward freedom.