This sequel to John Twelve Hawks' The Traveler takes this futuristic brother-versus-brother epic to a tense new level. Siblings Gabriel and Michael Corrigan now know that they are Travelers, part of an ancient lineage of prophets, but the realization has effected them differently. Gabriel sees it as a calling fraught with responsibility; Michael grabs it as an opportunity, defecting to the enemy. In The Dark River, Gabriel learns that his Traveler father, who has been missing for 20 years, is alive, but his attempt to bring him to safety is jeopardized by his own brother's zeal to destroy him. Like The Traveler, this hybrid fiction rests on superbly researched settings, in this case including London and New York tunnels, Berlin ruins, and a Japanese coastal village.
At the start of the engrossing second entry in bestseller Twelve Hawks's Fourth Realm trilogy (after The Traveler), the Brethren continue to control civilization through a computerized information system, the Vast Machine, and a host of offshoot surveillance technologies. Opposed to the Brethren are the Travelers, an ancient clan with the mystical ability to slip in and out of several dimensions. The Travelers are guarded by Harlequins, a warrior caste with sharp swords and ferociously lethal skills. In the Cain and Abel story at the book's heart, the quest of two Travelers, brothers Gabriel and Michael Corrigan, to find their legendary father has split them irrevocably: Gabriel fights for the forces of good, Michael has turned to the dark side. A love story featuring Gabriel's beautiful, deadly but conflicted Harlequin bodyguard, Maya, adds human interest to an often superhuman tale, and Gabriel's out-of-body journey to a horrifyingly fascinating parallel world adds a particularly compelling component to a saga that's part A Wrinkle in Time, part The Matrixand part Kurosawa epic. Given the complicated plot and complex setting, readers are advised to read The Travelerfirst. (July)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Back from a trip to the best sellers lists, the eponymous hero of The Traveler returns to hunt for his missing father worldwide with the help of the Harlequin Maya. Second in the "Fourth Realm Trilogy," which boasts rights sales in 27 countries. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
The freedom-hating Vast Machine is at it again in this second libertarian-minded thriller from Twelve Hawks. The Traveler (2005) put forth a fairly standard hypothesis: The world is controlled by a massive, interlocking conspiracy labeled the Vast Machine, which has been fought throughout the millennia by interdimensional travelers known as Travelers. (The author goes for prosaic, no-frills names.) This sequel, the middle volume in a planned trilogy, starts off with a bang as Vast Machine mercenaries wipe out a peaceful community of off-the-grid freethinkers, but it provides few thrills or chills after that. Traveler Gabriel is hiding out with Maya, member the Harlequins, an ancient band of warriors sworn to defend Travelers. They're trying to find out what happened to Gabriel's missing father, spurred by the knowledge that Gabriel's brother Michael, who's joined the Vast Machine, is also hunting for him. A few decent action scenes ensue, but the narrative is too diffuse and muddled to create any sense of urgency. Composed of the usual suspects (heads of government, military and industry), the Vast Machine employs new surveillance technologies to curb humanity's freedom, but the author never makes clear precisely how the Travelers and their companions are supposed to combat it. Twelve Hawks' bad habits include indulging in lengthy excursions to poorly elucidated multiple dimensions and delivering multiple lectures a la Crichton. He does, however, deliver one really good line: "If privacy had a gravestone it might read: ‘Don't Worry. This Was For Your Own Good.' "Dull.
“A thrilling sequel.... Engaging and relevant.” —Time Out New York "Page-turningly swift with a cliffhanger ending . . . John Twelve Hawks has drawn upon both pop-cultural and literary touchstones and modified them to create a cyber-1984." The New York Times"The stuff that first-rate high-tech paranoid-schizophrenic thrillers are made of." Time"Portrays a Big Brother with powers far beyond anything Orwell could imagine . . . Political prophecy is rarely such fun." The Washington Post“Seductive . . . Quickly hooks you into its Matrix-esque world . . . [Let] the butt-kicking begin.”USA Today