The Traveller by John Twelve Hawks

(7.8/10) By the end of the book I didn't want to put it down.

In today’s world trying to stay hidden from the Brethren is becoming increasingly difficult as cameras and sensors watch every movement. Security cameras have facial recognition and can follow any one person based on their biometrics. Chips in passports can be detected by scanners. It is the world that the Brethren have always wanted, a world of order and control, and a world that Maya now has to fight against with only a handful of people to help her.

Fighting against the Brethren are the Harlequins (protectors of the Travellers), humans who are able to pass between realms. They believe in the freedom of humans to be able to do as they wish without being followed or tracked.

The Traveller reminded me of 1984, where every movement made is watched. As George Orwell was able to foresee the future of the surveillance technology of his age, John Twelve Hawks has gone a step further and predict what will happen with our own surveillance technology, if it doesn’t already exist. As you read this book, and take it all in, it appeals to that inherent fear of being watched and creates a tingle whenever the characters are in the city.

The Traveller is an incredibly well researched and detailed book. Unlike some authors Hawks doesn’t fall into the trap of putting in so much detail that you get bored. He is very good at putting in the details that you need - enough to get an idea of character, environment and circumstance. It is clear he has either been to, or has thoroughly researched, the places he describes in his book.

The main problem with this book, however, is that besides the fear of the main characters getting caught or followed I felt little else in regards to the characters. I did not feel emotionally involved in the characters as I do in other books. You do start to sympathise with the characters, particularly with Maya, but that is all it is, sympathy. I rarely felt the sadness or loneliness that she feels, nor the heartbreak of a brother’s betrayal.

All in all this is a good book, and the fear of constantly being watched works well but is the story good enough to make up for the lack of emotional investment… However, I would highly recommend The Traveller to anyone trying to shift from high fantasy into the lower, more familiar realm of low fantasy. The book is well paced and the final few chapters keep the momentum of a fight going without making you think you’ve missed anything. The story was a little bit slow starting as Hawks establishes the world but by the end of the book I didn’t want to put it down.

Review by

2 positive reader review(s) for The Traveller

4 positive reader review(s) in total for the The Fourth Realm Trilogy series


The Traveller reader reviews

from Ghana

John Twelve Hawks is really a good writer.The Traveller is a book worth reading.If you look at the plot,the setting,the characters, it's just amazing. Anytime I read the book I always want to know what would happen next and I always wished I was in it.The book is also emotional and moves me.I love reading novels and besides I've only read the part 1 and also this is his first book I've read, but for this one,it is really interesting and wonderful.I would recommend this book to novel lovers.I love it.

from USA

Outstanding book. Wonderful ideas. Easy read.

8.9/10 from 3 reviews

Write a reader review

Your rating out of 10

All reviews for John Twelve Hawks's The Fourth Realm Trilogy series

The Traveller

The Fourth Realm Trilogy: Book 1 written by John Twelve Hawks

In today’s world trying to stay hidden from the Brethren is becoming increasingly difficult as cameras and sensors watch every movement. Security cameras have facial [...]

Published: 2006

Our rating: 7.8 | positive reader reviews


The Dark River

The Fourth Realm Trilogy: Book 2 written by John Twelve Hawks

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 mist [...]

Published: 2008

Our rating: 7.8 | positive reader reviews


The Golden City

The Fourth Realm Trilogy: Book 3 written by John Twelve Hawks

Struggling to protect the legacy of his Traveller father, Gabriel faces troubling new questions and relentless threats. His brother Michael, now firmly allied with the enem [...]

Published: 2009

Our rating: 8.0 | positive reader reviews


Books you may also enjoy

The Gunslinger

by Stephen King

In The Gunslinger, Stephen King introduces readers to one of his most enigmatic heroes, Roland of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner, on a spellb [...]

Series: The Dark Tower series: Book 1
Published: 1982

Score: 100

Our rating: 9.6 | 4 positive reader reviews



by Will Elliott

Aden awakens naked in a bath tub, knowing only that he is dead. His new world is Nightfall, a place filled with characters bizarre, grotesque and magical: Julius the duke, [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2012

Score: 96

Our rating: 9.6 | 0 positive reader reviews


Lord Foul's Bane

by Stephen Donaldson

He called himself Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever, because he dared not believe in the strange alternative world on which he suddenly found himself - the Land. But the Land [...]

Series: Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever: Book 1
Published: 1977

Score: 119

Our rating: 9.5 | 21 positive reader reviews


The Oversight

by Charlie Fletcher

Only five still guard the borders between the worlds. Only five hold back what waits on the other side. Once the Oversight, the secret society that polices the lines betwee [...]

Series: Oversight Trilogy #1
Published: 2014

Score: 96

Our rating: 9.5 | 1 positive reader reviews