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After finished this book I realize that this has certain elements that Crichton would never put in his book make this an enjoyable original piece of fiction. If the Matrix trilogy had originally been made into a book trilogy and done by a good writer, it would've been something like The Traveler. The book is set near to the present day or perhaps twenty or thirty years into the future.

The world is pretty much like it is now, except for being a little more high-tech and with better gadgets. There is a group of people known as Travelers who have the unique ability of being able to leave their bodies and travel to other worlds or realms.

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They have existed for many thousands of years, Jesus and Mohammed are though to have been travelers. There is a group of people known as the Tabula whose job it is to eradicate these travelers by whatever means necessary. They have also been in existence for a long time. Then there is a group called the Harlequins whose job it is to project the Travelers by whatever means necessary; again they have been around for a very long time. In the present it is thought that no travelers are in existence anymore, having been wiped out by the Tabula, while the Harlequins have been reduced to very small numbers.

Our main character is the daughter of a Harlequin whose father is soon killed in the book and while she had renounced her duty as a Harlequin, due to the lack of these people remaining, she has been summoned to become a Harlequin once more, because two offspring of a traveler have been found alive in California. The traveler's gift is usually passed down through genes, though this is not certain. It is her job to find those two brothers and keep them safe. The Tabula also know of the existence of these two brothers, but their modus operandi has changed dramatically. They no longer wish to kill the Travelers, but to harness their powers.

The reason being that using past Travelers they have been in contact with another race living in one of the other realms that the Travelers go to, and this race is vastly superior and more intelligent and has been sending them new inventions and technology such as creating quantum computers that can measure how Travelers pass into these other realms as well as being able to send additional matter into these realms.

So they want to use the Travelers as guinea pigs to work with this new race. This the setting of the book with a lot more details than I have given and features great chase scenes and amazing fights. The Harlequins are taught from when they are children how to fight with different weapons. At the same time the Tabula basically have the Internet, all technology, the government, police, etc.

If you liked this review, and would like to read more, go to BookBanter. Jun 27, Chris Van Dyke rated it did not like it Shelves: abandoned. Its pure summer fluff, but it is sooo bad I almost can keep reading. I just can't waste my time on this crap. It's a bit of the Matrix, a bit of Highlander, with a lot of John Woo thrown in for good measure.

This book has every cliche known to man or rahter, known to 12 year old fan-boys tossed together into one badly written mess -- the reluctant warrior who tried to walk away, drawn back in by destiny and the death of her father; the paranoid drop-out from society, who rides fast motorcycles and has the feeling that some "vast machine" is out to get him; hardened agents of said "vast machine," who have military cropped hair and narrow black ties.

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There's the aloof british character, the honor-bound japanese character, the money-seeking American character. There's a former general, a brilliant scientist who doens't know he is being manipulated by an Illuminati like organization, and a dying mother's death-bed confession. Everyone who keeps talking about how "cool" the premise is must have never read a single paranoid-dystopian novel before. There's some vast, logical-yet-evil organizaiton seeking to make the world "perfect" by controling everyone's lives, watching us at all times, and destroying the forces of chaos that seek to oppose it.

Dick novel ever written. Insult to injury is the fact that the writing is, at best servicable, at worst wooden and just as cliched as the concept behind it. Far too much time is spent on descriptions of weapons, black-leather clothing and vehicles, all of which sound like they were copied word-for-word from some Shadowrunner source-book.

This is basically an above average work of fan-fic or a decent RPG campaign bound in novel form and hyped up by the laughable gimic of an "unknown author" who has never been photographed and only communicates with Random House via untracable satalite phone. Apparently, Dick Cheney has spent his time in that undisclosed location writing a bad sci-fi novel. Moving on. View 1 comment. Sep 04, Amy rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction. This book was not at all what I expected The author raised tons of important points regarding "big brother" and how easily our every move can be monitored by the "vast machine.

I loved Maya's character the female harlequ This book was not at all what I expected I loved Maya's character the female harlequin wrestling with emotion and destiny. Is her future necesarily bound by the harlequin tradition or is she free to pursue friendships. Being a theologian at heart I was fascinated by the books take on religion. It basicaly describes the religious experience as being a result of measurable brain activity. They joke about the God in the box and the idea that God is all in our head, and is as explainable as the sensation of smell or touch.

I jumped on the sequal: The Dark River and eagerly anticipate the final book in the trilogy. I read "The Traveler" a couple of years ago and I still think about it occasionally. The whole concept of what a Traveler can do was kind of New-Agey, but I thought the idea of people trying to live off the grid without anything connecting up to computers was very unique. If you read the blurb, you'd think this was a science fiction novel. I suppose it can be argued that it is a science fiction novel.

However, in retrospect, I consider it to be a fantasy novel that uses a lot of modern technol I read "The Traveler" a couple of years ago and I still think about it occasionally. However, in retrospect, I consider it to be a fantasy novel that uses a lot of modern technology. It has an epic quest, a centuries-old battle between good and evil, swords, and a secret society of knights protecting people with special powers.

I call that fantasy even if they use GPS systems, cell phones and computers. I think the biggest problem is the New Age ideas cloaked in the guise of science fiction.

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As I stated before, this is really a fantasy novel, but it's trying very hard to be science fiction. Unfortunately for the author, he just doesn't get that when one's "light" leaves one's body and crosses barriers that are related to the "elements" of fire, air, water, etc. He uses things like a quantum computer, monitoring cameras and GPS devices like magical items.

In his world, the tools of the Vast Machine have no basis in real science and technology. This is essentially a New Age Conspiracy Theory novel. However, I still found "The Traveler" to be an engaging read despite it's rather obvious flaws. The pacing is good and there's plenty of action.

I did downgrade it from 4 to 3 stars though. Even though the whole New Age angle really ticked me off both times I read it, I still liked the plot and the characters. Jun 18, Elizabeta rated it really liked it Shelves: owned. Conspiracy with paranormal twist, great! Jun 06, Erica Satifka rated it did not like it Recommends it for: nobody.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Protected by his bodyguard, an oddly-named "Harlequin" whose family has protected Travelers for generations, they prowl various government buildings reenacting dialogue from The Matrix. His twin brother is an evil Traveler brainwashed by the government. Bet you didn't see that one coming! What I thought: The writing in this book is incredibly awful.

Dialogue and description flatter than the state of Kansas where the author apparently lives in an underground bunker writing this crap and avoiding the gubmint , stereotypical characters Asian-American character wielding a samurai sword given to him by his traditional father?!?! And worst of all, the book's cover did not indicate that it was the first in a series. I do not read series books unless the entire series is published I'm not that patient! Stay away from this one, folks. It's utter shite. This might be the worst book I've read in years.

I gave it an extra star just for being kind of 'neat' in the premise, but the writing leaves a lot to be desired. Nov 19, Rob rated it it was amazing. Probably my favorite book of the last couple of years. The Traveler and its follow-up are a very cool blend of techno-thriller and fantasy, and they move along at an incredible pace.

I live a very busy life and usually can read books only in page bites before I pass out at night, but these books are load-up-on-Pepsi-Max-'cause-you-ain't-going-to-bed-brother kind of books. The story arc deals with two brothers and their inherited ability to travel between dimensions, but much of this first boo Probably my favorite book of the last couple of years.

The story arc deals with two brothers and their inherited ability to travel between dimensions, but much of this first book is a nifty "chase" novel, with pursuers who have easy access to security cameras, credit card machines, traffic light computers, etc. I can't let my wife read it The final book came out this fall I just learned , so I plan to schedule a new-year's marathon reading the entire series again.

You can tell when a book is good because it opens your mind to other possibilities. And his book truly did that for me. I loved it so much. A fantastic re-read! Highly recommended!! Welcome to the world of The Traveler — a world frighteningly like our own. His name is but a pseudonym. His publisher and editor have never met him; and he communicates using only a satellite phone with a voice scrambler. It gives people the right to live and think in new ways. Travelers are people born gifted with the ability to travel into different dimensions by means of their light source or soul. People like them, like Gabriel and Michael Corrigan, exercise freedom beyond the limits of norm.

Their mere existence spreads awareness to the people. For centuries, the Tabula have worked hard to eliminate their kind. They are trained warriors, cunning and unblinking killers. Like her father before her, Maya was trained since she was but a child in the art of death. Her fate is intertwined with the Corrigan brothers.

She must do everything she can to keep them off the grid. Maya knew who she was: a Harlequin. Yes, it would be difficult, but she would stay with Gabriel. The Traveler is a fast-moving, high-tech, spiritually-complex thriller. View all 4 comments. Mar 25, Jim O'Donnell rated it did not like it. Pretty tiresome tripe. While the subject matter is very interesting, the book becomes a slog.

It is weighed down by its own cliches and overly worn themes. Essentially, there exists a group of people with special powers to cross over to other dimensions.

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Then there are a group of people who are sworn to protect them. Then there are a group of people working to hunt them down. All this takes place in a very near future dystopian surveillence society future as in Its ba Pretty tiresome tripe. Its basically the Matrix with swords. Oh yeah The Matrix and like There is nothing origional here and that's what I found most annoying oh yeah They are persued The Bretheren. And the protectors are the Harlequins. Good Lord. The most ridiculous aspect to the whole book is the ever so tiresome fascination some people have with a fantasized historical Japan of golden swords and ninjas and secret societies.

The Bretheren want to kill all the Travelers and of course the last Harlequin that can defend them is some hot chick named Lara Croft I think someday, someone will do something origional. Nov 11, Mike the Paladin rated it really liked it Shelves: fantasy. I liked this novel of conspiracy and danger. The series is delving into some eastern areas of belief as it moves. The characters here are well imagined and the story told well. The background of the book I found fascinating.

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Anyone familiar with Jeremy Bentham and the idea of the Panopticon would I think find this book interesting. While at first glance it the fears of the character and the situation they struggle against seems very far fetched, the idea of a "virtual Panopticon" becomes far more I liked this novel of conspiracy and danger. While at first glance it the fears of the character and the situation they struggle against seems very far fetched, the idea of a "virtual Panopticon" becomes far more acceptable as you look around.

The proliferation of cameras for instance is a fact and in the UK it's actually true that in the city your "virtually" always on camera. I liked the approach. The book takes an almost paranoid seeming conspiracist view and makes it believable. The individuals in the Tabula and it's overall plans are given but don't become detailed. This works however because they are supposed to be somewhat shadowy. Keeping them so while using them in the story is done pretty well.

The idea of the Travelers isn't a new one, and I find it the weakest pivot point in the book. It's handled in a way that holds together and fits into the authors milieu. Still while it works it seems a weak point to me. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I'm not Buddhist or that I disagree with Buddhism. I just think that the story would have worked better as a straight conspiracy piece, especially as the author makes it clear he is at least according to his postscript and so on a conspiracy believer. The best drawn but also somewhat enigmatic characters in the book and the one that will i think draw more readers in on a basic "action read" level are of course the Harlequins.

The book is enjoyable and while I think the series itself sort of plowed into the ground a bit later, this one was good. Apr 28, Scribal added it Shelves: an-embarrassement. I'm embarrassed that I actually finished this book. I thought it was so bad that I morally couldn't trade it in at the local used bookstore the one that has the biggest sci-fi section and enough actual patrons to keep it changing--and they sell new books too.

I considered burning it but then I lost interest until I started re-reading some Foucault, and it brought the Panopticon to mind and then this book, which I now have to say: This is the Worst Book I ever finished reading. To cut to the ch I'm embarrassed that I actually finished this book. To cut to the chase, despite how badly written it is, the truly stupid annoying part of the book is the conceit that a shallow unexplored insight is interesting and important.

Why I hate it: it's yet another popular, promoted book in a genre I love that is absolutely horribly written. The sentence structure is like a first grade reader. The characters are simpler and more cliched than the sentences. Everything else is more derivative if possible and you can sense the author struggling with moving the characters through space.

The ideas are old and well-worn, but that's okay.

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Art reuses, reinterprets, re-imagines, and reinvigorates old concepts. But there's no art here. The characters take the ideas, and spout them like drunk undergraduates at people in general. And then those people, having been told "the truth," seem to say to themselves, "oh, I never thought of that before. Inertia maybe. It does have a Plot.

It doesn't hold together well and it's full of holes, but it does run the course of the book and that's a plus.

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It also has a Theme and an Idea. These are not bad, just not original and not explored in any intelligent way. When the most intriguing question about a book is the real identity of the author, you know something isn't working. John Twelve Hawks lives "off the grid" and his novel, "The Traveler" is a warning to the rest of us consider doing the same.

We may not know it, but our world is just one of many realms, though only a special few people can break the barriers from one realm to another. These people are called Travelers and they've apparently been at war with a group called the Tabula for years. The When the most intriguing question about a book is the real identity of the author, you know something isn't working. The Travelers are protected by the Harlequins, who consider it a duty and honor to protect them and possibly lay down their lives for them. Apparently, the Tabula are winning the war, using the horrors of modern technology to track down and destroy all the Travelers and Harlequins.

Except for two brothers, both of whom are Travelers. The book becomes a race against time for several players on both sides to try and get to the two brothers. One of them, Michael, is kidnapped and brainwashed by the Tabula. The other, Gabriel is saved and goes to an Indian reservation to begin his Traveler training. If it sounds like a lot of popular movies you've seen in the last twenty years or so, it's probably because "The Traveler" has borrowed a lot from the best of them. The story wants to have the same sense of pervasive paranoia that is a highlight of the stories and novels of Philip K.

Dick, but it comes up woefully short. Passages about how Maya, one of the last Harlequins, must change her physical features to avoid the vast machine seem to be ripped right out of the page of any good spy thriller of the past twenty years or the Bourne movies. The story is full of mystic mumbo-jumbo, little of it delved into at any great depth or even explained.

Basically, we're supposed to fear the machines and the only way to live is without the intrusion of machines into our every day life. Well, except for the occasional quick jaunt around the Internet to find information The novel plunges forward from one absurd moment to the next without any logic or reason, before coming to a close with a cliffhanger. It's one that you'll see coming, if only because looking at the number of pages left will clue you in that Twelve Hawks won't have time to wrap it all up in the time he has left. If the story were a bit more compelling, a bit less cliched and the characters anything more than archetypes, I might be a bit more inclined to wonder more about the identity of John Twelve Hawks.

Given how pedestrian and cliched the novel is, I find myself wondering if the author is more or less hiding behind the identity of Twelve Hawks not so that he or she won't be discovered by the vast machine, but so his or her name won't be associated with this lackluster novel. Sep 10, Arminzerella rated it it was ok Shelves: read-needs-tags , borrowed-from-the-library.

This book got a lot of publicity prior to publication. It was hailed as being phenomenal. It describes a future dystopian society, where privacy and individual freedom are compromised. The government wants in on that action, but the powers of observation and control are held by a group known as the Brethren who have all the cool toys — a quantum computer, the means to tap into all kinds of monitoring devices worldwide, and the ability to make genetically mutated animals. A group of protectors grew up to keep the Travelers safe from harm. These people are known as Harlequins.

With this setup, we meet Maya, a Harlequin, whose father is killed when he tries to pass a mission along to her. She declines until she sees him horribly murdered. Then she takes up her birthright to protect the Traveler, Gabriel. Meanwhile, the Brethren capture his brother, Michael, for their evil experiments. They discover that there are other beings in other planes and they make a deal to trade information for information. Michael, also a Traveler, is important to their plans. This could be a very gripping tale, and despite flat characters, it still is somewhat intriguing.

It does not have the visual power of the Matrix, or even the doomed frustration of or Brave New World. It tries to take advantage of our fears about our own civilization — where our powers of free speech and access to information seem to be under attack constantly, and where our privacy is being compromised for the sake of our protection. Yes, this is just a story, but I have the feeling it could have been a more moving one, a call to action, more emotionally gripping. But it fails to engage. Shelves: urban-fantasy. The first in a series, but neatly tied up at the end, so it can stand alone.

Classic plot with an interesting take on history, religion, and modern society Which makes it a very nice read, and I look forward to picking up the sequel when it comes out, which should be real soon now. Oh, yes, the plot: Maya should be a Harlequin. Harlequins protect Travelle Nice. Harlequins protect Travellers from the bad guys; in this case the secret cabal of the rich and powerful who make the world work the way they want. Travellers disrupt the carefully plans of the bad guys "Tabula" to our heroes, "Brethren" is what they call themselves.

We're down to a small handful of Harlequins in the world, and no known Travellers when we start aka "the end of hope for humanity" , and Maya changes things by the time we finish. Essay question for you: are you a citizen or a drone? Jul 17, Kara-karina rated it really liked it. Another ridiculously good book that found me by pure chance. All the conspiracy theorists of the world, this book is definitely for you. As I count myself one of the men in the tinfoil hats, that book felt like home.

My mom-in-law gave it to my hubby to read and it was gathering dust in our car, until one day I went to work forgetting my own book oh, horror!

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  5. I was so engrossed in it, I did not put it down until it was finished. Thanks, Mom! Somehow it had the style of Heroes despite a very different plot. I kept hearing this music in my mind, I swear! Maya is a Harlequin, a secret warrior trained since her childhood by her father to live off the grid and to protect The Travellers at all costs. Travellers are people who can astral travel in other dimensions and come back seeing the world as whole, preaching freedom from control and more harmonious society. This is why they are known as great spiritual leaders and get killed all the time by Tabula - a secret organisation striving for a total control over the world.

    When Maya is 17 she has to kill a member of Tabula. At that time she is standing guard over one monk - a sort of teacher for travelers, and the murder is as much as in self-defence as to protect her guy. Shaken, she breaks away from her dad and Harlequins and tries to live a normal life, getting education and starting working in one of London firms.

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