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The Traveler Paperback – July 18, 2006
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"A Criminal Magic" by Lee Kelly
THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly's new magical realism, crossover novel and casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties. Learn more
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Top Customer Reviews
But these issues, while perhaps interesting topics of discussion, are ultimately much less relevant than the fact that this is a highly entertaining thriller, with a premise that will appeal to fans of "The Matrix" franchise and an anti-control theme that will resonate with conspiracy lovers and Robert Heinlein readers. Heinlein once wrote that "political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire." Mr. Hawks's work fully embraces this same theme as well as the Aldous Huxley-ish viewpoint that science without mysticism is ultimately meaningless.
In the tradition of the best thriller writers, the author manages to avoid the pitfalls common to many first-novelists, juggle multiple points of view, and keep the pages turning with cliffhanger chapters. He also writes with a direct, unpretentious style that aids in the suspension of disbelief and fits well with the technology-laden world he has created. And his characters, particularly Maya and Gabriel, have more depth than the cookie-cutter heroes common to books of this sort.Read more ›
The set-up for the story is pretty good. The author postulates the six realms of Buddhist teaching (gods, demi-gods, humans, animals, hungry ghosts, hell) as real places coexisting in the universe. The realm we live in is the human realm, fourth in the numbering system used by the author. OK, an interesting spin on the many realities idea used so well by Philip Pullman in "His Dark Materials".
Our world is controlled by a secret society and the events in the news are staged to keep us ordinary folk distracted and diverted while the people who really run the show do - well we don't get to learn what they actually do except know people who can do things for them everywhere and try to stamp out the Travelers, who are able to do out-of-body travel to the other realms and then come back with insights that make people less like sheep, and the Harlequins, who don't write Romance novels as you might think, but are instead extraordinarily trained and dedicated fighters who protect Travelers. Sort of The Matrix and a few others.
In the time covered by this book, the bad guys have changed their strategy with the Travelers.Read more ›
The main protagonist, Maya, is a Harlequin, although a reluctant one-- she has been trained to devote her life to protecting Travelers, people who can shift into alternate universes. However, she doesn't really want to be a Harlequin, but she is forced into it by her father's death. She takes on her assigned duty of protecting Gabriel and Michael because it is her duty, not because of any emotional affection she may have for either of them.
When Michael is captured by the opposition, who want to use him for their own nefarious purposes, she focuses her energy and her fighting expertise on protecting Gabriel. She stubbornly tries to focus on the mission while he just as persistently tries to focus on the human side of things-- demanding that Maya take risks in order to save friends or intervene when a group of road warriors terrorize a waitress and her father at a roadside cafe.
Yes, the symbolism of Michael and Gabriel hits you rather heavily between the eyes (think archangels, folks.) However, I still enjoyed the book. There's nothing wrong with derivative fiction if it's done well and if the author puts his or her own twist on it. John Twelve Hawks accomplishes this in The Traveler, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love it! Any rebel, any paranoid person will love this adventure!Published 3 months ago by Andrea J Bogdan
Intense page-turner. I could not stop reading until I finished this one.Published 4 months ago by Susan Galemanley
An old theme wrought new with technology. Well conceived, artfully written. Will download next book immediately.
Better than Dan Brown could do!