Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The Golden City: Book Three of the Fourth Realm Trilogy
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VINE VOICEon September 13, 2009
I was turned on to the `Traveler' series "way back" in 2005. I was working at a different bookstore then and we, literally, had twelve advanced reader's copies sitting in our break room. They sat there... and sat there... and sat there. One day I picked one up and that's all it took. Literally, the first paragraph had me and has kept hold of me for four years. Having to wait two years between books hasn't been easy, especially since I devour them as soon as they hit the shelves. But I don't mind because I've really enjoyed this series.

`Golden City' was no different. I had my copy waiting for me, tore the cover off like it was Christmas, and told the rest of the world to leave me the hell alone. If you are a follower of this series you will love this book. How can you not? As I stated earlier, it's been over two years since `The Dark River' so it took me a minute or two to get back in the flow. Gabriel, Michael, The Tabula, Boone, Hollis, The Evergreen Foundation, The Brethren, the Harlequins, and my girl Maya. It was so nice jumping back in their lives and adventures.

This book is fun. Yeah, there are some seriously true political undertones here, but that wasn't what I focused on because I wanted... well... to have fun! I read for entertainment and that is what this book gave me. Others will read this and see the brilliance of JTH and his take on how society is slowly losing its freedom in the name of "protecting our safety", but that's up for you to decide. I enjoyed reading about Maya in the First realm, loved the tension between Hollis and Linden, stunned (not really) at the length The Brethren would go to implement their agenda, and Gabriel's travels through the Realms. There are a number of shockers in this book. What he does with Boone... man! The action is here and so are the futuristic martial arts that drew me in from book #1. The evil of The Brethren vs. the protecting nature of The Traveler creates a suspenseful, action filled ride you hate to get off...

Until the end...

Talk about throwing water on the fire, or yelling your ex's name in the throve of passion... the ending was not good at all. After 4 years of following this series and this is it? This is how it ends? I'm flying through this book like a 2010 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG on the Autobahn and then BAM!!! I hit a ten foot wall of solid concrete. There is only one thing that I can think of why this story ended the way it did: this isn't the end. Despite the assurance from websites, and the author himself that this is the last book, my conspiracy thinking self thinks otherwise. Rather, I HOPE otherwise. Will I think you guys like this book? I do. Will some of you like the ending? More than likely, I'm just one guy out of six billion. It's just, for me the end was a letdown after a truly superb series. Kinda like going to bed with Toni Braxton and waking up next to Star Jones (sorry for the visual).

Don't let the ending dissuade you from getting this book. It's 358 pages of wonderfulness; it's only the last five pages that have me scratching my head.
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on September 13, 2009
I loved the first two books and eagerly awaited the last. The book had an amazing beginning and had a lot of potential but it sort of petered out. It seems like the author didn't develop a lot of the book's content and there were a lot of convenient events, "I just happened to hear about an underground river running exactly where we need to go" and, "Oh yeah, there is this super cool computer hacker that can help us". Events didn't have a developed explanation, they just kind of happened. I didn't get a real sense of a climax, It just happened to end and left me with more questions. Where is Gabriel and his brother the cold traveler? are they still in the fire barrier? are they fighting in another realm? Why did they both travel at the same time in the end anyway? It didn't make scene with that course of events, "Tag! you're it! You can't catch me!". Overall a decent book. Just don't put too much thought into it.
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on September 21, 2009
I haven't been this let down by a series since Stephen King's Dark Tower. The Fourth Realm series was wonderful up until there were only 10 pages left and I realized that there would be no ending. What a letdown.
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on January 6, 2011
This is the third book in the Fourth Realm Trilogy and my least favorite. While the premise for this trilogy is brilliant, relevant and timely, this final installment was a bit disappointing. I found the narrative to be very disjointed, some of the character discussions to be ambiguous and convoluted, and some of the plot points to be too easy and unrealistic. For example, Gabriel is trying to find a door that Maya can use to come back from the Fourth Realm (Hell) that hundreds of years ago people used to cross over but no one has used in ages. Based on a rumor of one in Egypt, Gabriel magically finds such a door on his first try and brings Maya back. It just seemed a little too pat. That said, the trilogy is well, well worth reading. Many of the characters from these books are unique and fascinating, Maya, Hollis and Alice being only three of them. This is an incredibly original, exciting and interesting trilogy.
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on January 20, 2011
John Twelve Hawks delivers a lackluster conclusion to the Fourth Realm trilogy, after the great start with The Traveler, and less impressive The Dark River. In his author's note, Hawks feels he has explored his world to the fullest and explained everything he needs to, and while some questions are always apparent at the end of a series, The Golden City leaves readers asking a lot of questions and "What abouts?"

Hawks does a good job of clueing in the reader on who's who, as it's been a couple of years since the last book. The quick rundown: there are Travelers who are able to travel beyond our world into other realms and have existed for a very long time; the Tabula is a group seeking to kill all Travelers and wipe them out; Harlequins are specially trained people appointed to protect Travelers. The Tabula now seeks to complete the Panopticon, which will allow essentially total control and world domination by the Vast Machine. Gabriel, one of the last Travelers, along with his Harlequin, Maya, must work to put a group together to stop the Tabula and bring down the Vast Machine once and for all.

Hawks addresses and resolves the story of the Vast Machine and the Panopticon, meanwhile the "Golden City" of the title is only briefly visited in one of the realms, while in another is a strange place previously visited in The Dark River better known as Hell, while in yet another realm there exists a strange culture of people who consider themselves gods because they have computers and their own Panopticon in place, while the rest of society are simple peasant folk. With no doubt more realms to be discovered, Hawks provides an entertaining simple story in The Golden City, but leaves a large universe relatively unexplored.

Originally written on October 6 2010 ©Alex C. Telander.

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on November 18, 2010
Seldom have I ever gone through a trilogy that got worse with each new installment, but this one manages it. After greatly enjoying The Traveler and moderately enjoying The Dark River, I was UTTERLY disappointed by The Golden City. Talk about an author 'mailing it in'. The book has no energy, does not resolve earlier scenarios, sets up new scenarios that it does not resolve, and ends with one of the weakest wrap-ups I have ever listened to. Overall it was BORING and I forced myself to finish it because I'd already invested the time on the series. Even if you have gone through the first two books, don't feel obligated to waste your time on this one, it is a total let-down.
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on December 8, 2014
This is one of those trilogies that you shouldn't start unless you have all three books........You won't be able to stop reading. It TOTALLY sucks you into the story.....so much so that you'll find yourself slowing down on reading when you know you're almost done....I think John Twelve hawks could have made this into a few more for the series, but it is what it is and I'd definitely read them again and again. When they said High-tech, fast paced, schizophrenic thriller, they weren't kidding!.
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on January 3, 2015
This is the third book in a trilogy which explores the ways, and the extent to which, we are willing to give up our personal freedom in order to feel safe. One premise of the book is that all governments use events, often exaggerated or even totally manufactured, to create the fear that makes us willing to give up our freedoms. We turn over our lives to the government so it will 'protect' (read 'control' ) us. I find these books, although fiction, to be extremely accurate in the assessment of current society. We must all become more aware and more cautious if we are to retain any personal freedom at all.
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VINE VOICEon September 24, 2009
To this day, when I wait at a traffic light and see the cameras, I think of The Traveler and John Twelve Hawks.
His first book, The Traveler, told of a world gone to the nth degree of interfering with our privacy and trying to control things. I think of this when I'm at the grocery store, and the coupons that spit out after the transaction are the same type of products I've just bought - there is little those who want to follow our actions can't do with a flick of a computer, and what we've spent, where, when - there it is.

Enter The Travelers - beings who can enter realms and have the freedom to elude the Vast Machine - in other words, they are a threat to those who want to control our every move.
The Corrigan brothers seem to be among the last of these Travelers. These twins, Gabriel and Michael choose different sides - Gabriel with the Resistance and Michael with the machine.

The travelers are usuallly guarded by folks who are called Harlequins. Maya is Gabriel's protector, but they have fallen in love. Not a good move when you're on a dangerous mission to save the world from domination!

The latest, and apparent, last of this series, The Golden City, is the race of the brothers to reach the golden city - where the gods reside and can bestow powers. At least that's what they think -

Both brothers appeal to the public via different ways - Michael has children kidnapped to create a campaign to put tracking devices into children, who, as they grow,can be tracked every second of their lives. Gabriel appeals to the masses to stop and see what's really happening -

Whatever you say about John Twelve Hawks, he certainly makes you stop and think how much of the electronics we use, the cameras on the streets, etc. could be used for evil, and what can be done to potentially stop it.

It is, as I said at the beginning of this review, a series to give pause -- and see the potential danger we could be in as individuals and collectively as a society.
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on September 20, 2009
is nowhere as powerful as the first. That said, if you did read the other two, you will enjoy this but won't love it.

If you want specific plot points, read the other spoiler-ridden reviews. Safe to say though, this book is not as well-written as the other two.

The author might have been a bit heavy-handed in presenting his thesis here. In the first book all he had to do was describe the actions of the Tabula.

Others have complained that the book didn't end well. I am just going to say it ended inelegantly.

The book was not a waste of time though. It was fun to read. Anyone who read the first two will want to see how things turn out, even if JTH rushed through writing this. (He should have; having the book come out a couple of days after the new Dan Brown novel was untimely).

I wonder what John Twelve Hawks next project will be.
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