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March 27, 2006

The Traveller - John Twelve Hawks

This is a great book, and I didn't realise until very near the end that the story had a long way to go and couldn't possibly finish properly before the back cover arrived. Happily, it's revealed in a postscript that there are another two in the proposed trilogy on the way.

If you feel paranoid about personal privacy, as I do, then you will love the vindication this novel provides that we're all headed for a hellish time in a few short years. It is set in a near future world, where the agents of The Vast Machine are using computers to monitor us and control us. If we think we are being watched all the time, then we will behave. There are a lot of methods to do this, like tracking our cell phones to see where we go, also our credit card purchases, and face recognition systems attached to CCTV cameras. Most authors would make a good novel out of this, but Hawks goes a bit further, and turns a future thriller into a science fiction story too.

In this world, there are people who can project their essence, their 'Light' to other dimensions. These people are called Travellers. The Vast Machine are a shadowy intelligence organisation. They want to control the world, and think these people can help them. I'll not give away the 'how' here, but it's an even more outrageous concept. Maya is a person who has tried to live 'off the grid', out of sight of the Vast Machine. She is a Harlequin, one of another group of people, but these ones are dedicated protectors of Travellers. They are conditioned from birth to be experts in fighting and other skills necessary to survive in a hostile world and keep the Travellers safe.

Maya finds out about pair of brothers who might be Travellers. Gabriel and Michael are sons of a known Traveller, and the gift is sometimes passed down to children. She disguises herself and heads to America from her home in England to try and find them to protect them.

There are hints of other recent media in here - 'The Matrix' and 'The Da Vinci Code' being the most prominent, and the combination of real life privacy concerns in a post 9/11 world, along with the mysticism of the Traveller idea, is an uneasy mix. It just about works however, and is an exciting and stimulating thriller.

I recommend this to anyone who thinks that removal of privacy by the government to help stop terrorism is fine. If you have nothing to hide, why should you worry? Well, you might worry when all this information gets into the wrong hands.

I'm very much looking forward to the next installments.

Posted by se71 at March 27, 2006 10:56 AM


Does anyone know when the next book in the Traveler Series is due to be published?

Posted by: steelers7 [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 17, 2006 08:44 PM

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