The Dark River by John Twelve Hawks

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Rating 7.8/10
While the storyline is intriguing it lacks emotional depth.

Fear stalks our lives. In the press. On the television. Over the airwaves. Across the internet. Everywhere we go, someone somewhere is always watching. Waiting for the mistake that will reveal secrets, truths, lies, the real story or what they want to believe. No longer is anonymity a given right. We are being controlled without our knowledge and we don't appear to care. Daily we sacrifice little freedoms that will never be returned. We are all victims. They are some who will fight to the death to protect those freedoms. They will not allow the forces of commerce and ideology to dictate their lives. They are off the grid. Gabriel Corrigan is one such man. The system doesn't like it. It says that you cannot opt out, that you have to participate. And it will do whatever it takes to return Gabriel to the fold - alive or dead. He can run but he can't hide - forever...

The Dark River starts with a rather dark scene as the community of New Haven suffer the consequences of having provided help and shelter to the Traveller. Meanwhile the Traveller, his Harlequin and their companions are hiding safely right under the Brethren’s nose.

Both Michael and Gabriel are determined to find their father. Gabriel is so determined he disappears off on his own, much to the annoyance of his Harlequin but her annoyance is short-lived as her own problems begin to pile up.

Michael on the other hand has his own plans as he is fed up of doing what the Brethren want him to do. He has his own plans and starts to try and achieve his own goals by manipulating those around him, a task that has become easier since becoming a Traveller.

John Twelve Hawks's action scenes are very easy to envisage and reminded me of a Hollywood action movie. By far the most interesting action is always when Maya gets into trouble and there is far more action in this second book, when compared to the first, as the sides clash more often and the Brethren go about their plans of total control.

I liked that there was a lot more travelling between the realms than was the case in the previous book, which gives the book that added something extra as you begin to learn more about the previous travellers and the travel between the different realms. What is interesting is Hawks's interpretation of the first realm, or ‘Hell’ - it is different to the kind of Hell that most people would imagine.

I found that The Dark River suffered the same kind of problems as the book before it. While the storyline is intriguing and a different take on the uses of security cameras and the increased security measures, it lacks emotional depth. Hawks has written a good adventure that spans the Atlantic and has good knowledge of the places he writes about. As feelings in Dark River start to run deeper then they did in The Traveller he falls into the trap of telling the audience how his characters feel instead of showing it.

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All reviews for: The Fourth Realm Trilogy

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