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The Traveler: The First Novel of "The Fourth Realm" Trilogy [Hardcover]

John Twelve Hawks
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 28 2005
Gabriel and Michael Corrigan are two young men living just beneath the glittering surface of life in Los Angeles. Since childhood, the brothers have been shaped by stories that their father was a Traveler — one of an elite group of prophets able to attain pure enlightenment. The Corrigans, who may have inherited their father’s gifts, have always lived “off the grid” — that is, invisible to the intricate surveillance networks that monitor people in our modern world.

Thousands of miles away, Maya is attempting to lead a normal life in London. The attractive twenty-six-year-old designer wants to ignore the fact that she comes from a long lineage of Harlequins — a band of warriors pledged to protect the Travelers at all costs. When Maya is summoned to Prague by her ailing father, she learns that Gabriel and Michael have just been located in California. The brothers may represent the last surviving Travelers, and are in desperate need of protection. Maya is reluctant to be drawn into the solitary, destructive life of her ancestors, but she has been trained to fight since she was a young girl.

Also searching for the brothers is Nathan Boone, a disciplined mercenary working for the Tabulas — ruthless men who are determined to inflict order on the world by invisibly controlling its population. Boone and the Tabulas fear the power of the Travelers, and for generations Tabulas have hunted them down. When Maya flies to California in search of Gabriel and Michael Corrigan, a colossal battle looms that will reveal a secret history of our time.

In this stunningly suspenseful first novel, reminiscent of George Orwell and Philip Pullman, John Twelve Hawks has created a vividly imagined world that runs parallel to our own. Moving at lightning speed from the back alleys of Prague to the underworld of Los Angeles to a guarded research facility in New York, The Traveler goes beneath the surface to give us new insights on history and our own lives.

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From Publishers Weekly

This production opens with an unintentionally hilarious interview with the author, who "lives off the Grid," according to his bio, and protectively distorts his voice for a discussion of his book's relevance to the contemporary matrix of governmental and corporate interference in daily life. The author's grandiose paranoia is overblown, but Carradine does a solid job of keeping a straight face with his reading. Carradine's gravelly, folksy voice conveys the twists and turns of Hawks' action-adventure narrative, lending a weary dignity to his tale of Maya, a twentysomething scion of a group of mercenaries whose sworn duty it is to protect the Travelers, a secret group of great men. Maya yearns to break free of her obligations, but she is forced to help Gabriel and Michael, two brothers who discover that they are Travelers. Carradine may not be able to save Hawks' book entirely from its aura of pompousness, but he makes a fine effort nonetheless.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Two brothers in Los Angeles may be among the last surviving members of a once-powerful secret society known as the Travelers. But their lives are in jeopardy: they have been targeted for assassination by members of another secret society, the Tabula, who are dedicated to the complete eradication of the Travelers and to total control of the world. All that stands in their way is a young woman, part of a small band of warriors who call themselves Harlequins. Their mission: to protect the Travelers at all costs. If this all sounds a little wacky, don't panic: the author, a gifted storyteller, makes this surreal and vaguely supernatural good-versus-evil story entirely believable. Although he has a lot of explaining to do (he has to tell us about three distinct groups of superbeings, to start with), he manages it without clogging his narrative with whopping great chunks of exposition. He writes about Travelers and Tabula and Harlequins as if we already know what they are; he thrusts us into this world as though we already know it and lets us pick it up as we go along. The pace is fast, the characters intriguing and memorable, the evil dark and palpable, and the genre-bending between fantasy and thriller seamless. There are dozens of ways Twelve Hawks could have tripped up, and he avoids every one of them. Assuming this isn't a one-shot, he could be a force to reckon with. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book should be read quickly... Dec 12 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Like me, you may have seen some hyperbolic coverage of this book. You may feel you must read The Traveler, or risk feeling out-of-it at the next literary soiree. You've read a couple of novels by Dan Brown; they weren't that bad; the numb parts of your brain eventually resumed functioning. Could The Traveler be any worse?

This book should be read quickly, so the reader will waste as little time as possible. It's really just a comic book without pictures and you should not spend more than an hour on it. Skip the character descriptions -- they are just cardboard cut-outs -- and ignore the pseudo-science and techno-mumbo-jumbo.

The book consists of a series of battles between a little band of super-heroes and the twisted mercenaries of an evil foundation that seeks to control human destiny. The heroes fight with swords, kung-fu and automatic weapons. Biff, boing, bang. They always triumph, so you can really skim the plot.

If you can get through the book quickly enough, you won't feel like you have wasted too much time on mindless drivel. And when some cool-jerk asks if you've read The Traveler, you can roll your eyes and laugh.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Over hyped but still a good debut July 2 2005
I agree with an earlier reviewer that this book is being over hyped. I did enjoy it, but it is not "Da Vinci code" caliber. In fact it should not be compared to Da Vinci, other then it is being pumped as the next big thing. The characters somewhat one dimensional, the plot is pretty good showing lots of promise but did not come to full fruition in my opinion. The action scenes where like something out of a summer block buster which I did not care for, like it was written as a screen play. Not at all realistic, but I am sure that is where this book is head (straight to the box office). Overall an interesting debut novel that is entertaining though over hyped.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST BOOK I'VE READ THIS YEAR July 9 2005
I'm giving this novel five stars because it actually made me see the world from a different perspective. It breaks and combines every genre you could think of trying to give you a complete vision of the society we live in right now. I liked the two brothers, Gabriel and Michael, and "Victory From Sin" Fraser (read and you'll find out who she is. But my favorite character was Maya, the young woman forced to claim her role as a Harlequin. She has such tension about her desiny and sees life in a COMPLETELY different way. This was the kind of book that made me say to friends: "Did you know..." but presented all this information in a fast-moving, entertaining way. I can wait for Book Two!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Noel I Have Read in Years May 10 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Wow! This is an amazing book. I read between 150 and 200 books a year and I must say that this is one of the best books I have read in a decade. It is like a cross between the Matrix and Blade Runner, or Dan Brown's Angel's and Demons and a Tom Clancy novel. Or like a little known author James Bryon Huggins, it has mystery, suspense and intrigue, weapons and people who know how to use them.
The main premise is that there is a war going on in this world, but it is a war that most are unaware of. Like all wars there are two sides, The Harlequin's and the Tabula or as they prefer to be called 'The Brethren'. The Harlequin's are warriors committed to protecting the Travelers; Travelers are people who have the ability to send their life energy from their body and travel to other realms. They are lonely isolated people who live to serve. The traveler's often become gurus or healers or prophets. The traveler's after returning from a different plane of existence return changed and their views of life challenge other people to look at their own lives and to seek something more. The Tabula on the other hand want to control the world. They want to have control over every person's life.
Michael and Gabriel Corrigan are brothers and believed to be the last descendants of travelers. Michael ends up with the Tabula and Gabriel with the Harlequin's. This becomes a battle between good and evil, and a battle between brothers, like Cain and Able of old, the brothers will war. Also of significance is their names, only three angels are named by name in the Bible, and the brothers each bare one of those three names.
The book is a literary treasure filled with religious and literary reference from around the world and across traditions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars goofdsummer read July 16 2005
"The Traveler" mixes conspiracy theory, science fiction, quantum theory and old fashioned thriller genres to produce a very readable novel. The plot is, of course, overdone and the situations are absurd, but that's what books like this are all about. I recommend it as an excellent summer read
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