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The Travelers

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A pulse-racing international thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Expats and The Accident.

It s 3:00 am. Do you know where your husband is? Meet Will Rhodes: travel writer, recently married, barely solvent, his idealism rapidly giving way to disillusionment and the worry that he's living the wrong life. Then one night, on assignment for the award-winning Travelers magazine in the wine region of Argentina, a beautiful woman makes him an offer he can't refuse. Soon Will's bad choices and dark secrets take him across Europe, from a chateau in Bordeaux to a midnight raid on a Paris mansion, from a dive bar in Dublin to a mega-yacht in the Mediterranean and an isolated cabin perched on the rugged cliffs of Iceland.

As he's drawn further into a tangled web of international intrigue, it becomes clear that nothing about Will Rhodes was ever ordinary, that the network of deception ensnaring him is part of an immense and deadly conspiracy with terrifying global implications and that the people closest to him may pose the greatest threat of all.

It's 3:00 am. Your husband has just become a spy.

433 pages, Hardcover

First published March 8, 2016

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About the author

Chris Pavone

6 books1,442 followers
CHRIS PAVONE is author of five international thrillers, including THE EXPATS, winner of both the Edgar and Anthony awards, and most recently the instant bestseller TWO NIGHTS IN LISBON. His novels have appeared on the bestseller lists of the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and IndieNext; are in development for film and television; and have been translated into two dozen languages.

He has written for outlets including the New York Times Book Review and Magazine, the Telegraph, and Salon; has appeared on Face the Nation, Good Day New York, All Things Considered, and the BBC; and has been profiled on the arts’ front page of the New York Times.

Chris grew up in Brooklyn, graduated from Midwood High School and Cornell University, and worked in publishing for nearly two decades at Dell Magazines, Doubleday, the Lyons Press, Regan/HarperCollins, Clarkson Potter, and Artisan/Workman, in positions ranging from copy editor and managing editor to executive editor and deputy publisher; he also wrote a (mostly blank) book about wine, and ghost-wrote a couple of nonfiction books. Then his wife got a job in Luxembourg, and the family moved abroad, where Chris raised their twin boys and started writing THE EXPATS. He now lives again in New York City.

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5 stars
1,139 (16%)
4 stars
2,757 (40%)
3 stars
2,117 (31%)
2 stars
626 (9%)
1 star
154 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 994 reviews
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,438 reviews78k followers
January 22, 2016
* I received my copy from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review

4.5 stars!!!

Have you ever requested a book in the heat of the moment and went back and thought "Crap, why did I do that???? This is not my typical read AT ALL!" I'm ashamed to say that's what I did with this book, but perhaps the best mistake I have made this year! I don't typically read a lot of spy thrillers, however, the last few I have read have caused me to rethink that.

Our story starts with Will Rhodes, who is a travel writer, being thrust into a journey with a mysterious woman based on some poor decisions on his part. The less you know about the plot the better, as the allure to this book is in the journey, not particularly the ending. Yes, the ending is a bit predictable but the entire book makes up for that. I felt right next to Will as he traveled from place to place and the descriptions were spot on. This was my first Chris Pavone novel and definitely will not be my last! Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Esil.
1,118 reviews1,336 followers
March 23, 2016
Chris Pavone writes quasi spy thrillers that are set in the publishing world. I've read Pavone's two earlier books, and quite liked The Expats but wasn't crazy about The Accident. Unfortunately, I wasn't thrilled with The Travelers. It's a clever concept but lagged in the execution. I don't want to say much about the plot to avoid spoilers, but essentially the book focuses on Will who is a writer for a travel magazine, who gets entangled in a web of spying intrigue. I say the concept is clever because the life of a travel writer certainly lends a good cover for spying. At the same time, infusing the publishing world with spy intrigue lends an edge to the world of publishing that is likely far from reality. Despite the clever starting point and set up, the execution fell a bit flat for me for a couple of reasons. The story felt too long and meandering -- I found myself losing interest in who people really were and what they were really up to. (Ironically, this is a book that could have used some serious editing and tightening up.) I also didn't really like any of the characters -- the women in particular were hard and soulless. 3 stars may be generous, but I did read the whole book and was quite engaged at some points, and I would probably not give up on Pavone yet -- I think the publishing industry setting keeps me curious. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
Profile Image for Diane.
1,080 reviews2,652 followers
August 19, 2016
This book is so much fun!

The Travelers follows Will Rhodes, a travel writer who gets caught up in an international spy game, and doesn't know who to trust. I would summarize it as Mr. & Mrs. Smith meets The Firm (with a little Jason Bourne thrown in).

The spy stuff was a thrill to read, but I also appreciated Pavone's insights into the world of magazine publishing and travel writers. There were some entertaining globe-trotting scenes, and I liked the colorful descriptions of the people Will met along the way.

This is a fast-paced story that grabbed me early and kept me hooked throughout. I was enjoying this book so much that I stayed up late to read it, and then got up early to finish it. I'm definitely going to check out Pavone's other novels. Highly recommended for those who like spy thrillers.
Profile Image for Aditi.
920 reviews1,333 followers
February 14, 2016
“Informants can be helpful, but they are never infallible. All tools can break, or be turned into weapons.”

----Raymond E. Feist

Chris Pavone, the New York Times best-selling author, pens yet another heart-gripping thriller, The Travelers, that unfolds the story of a travel journalist who travels to Argentina for his assignment where a beautiful Australian women makes him an undeniable offer that is surely going to change the course of his life by throwing him onto the face of a dangerous global agenda against one's country.


It’s 3:00am. Do you know where your husband is?

Meet Will Rhodes: travel writer, recently married, barely solvent, his idealism rapidly giving way to disillusionment and the worry that he’s living the wrong life. Then one night, on assignment for the award-winning Travelers magazine in the wine region of Argentina, a beautiful woman makes him an offer he can’t refuse. Soon Will’s bad choices—and dark secrets—take him across Europe, from a chateau in Bordeaux to a midnight raid on a Paris mansion, from a dive bar in Dublin to a mega-yacht in the Mediterranean and an isolated cabin perched on the rugged cliffs of Iceland. As he’s drawn further into a tangled web of international intrigue, it becomes clear that nothing about Will Rhodes was ever ordinary, that the network of deception ensnaring him is part of an immense and deadly conspiracy with terrifying global implications—and that the people closest to him may pose the greatest threat of all.

It’s 3:00am. Your husband has just become a spy.

Will Rhodes is a travel journalist for a multi-million dollar travel magazine called The Travelers. He has a wife, Chloe, who too works for the same magazine. Will travels around the world writing about new places and new stories, similarly, on such a journey to Argentina, he met a mysterious and extremely beautiful claimed-to-be Australian woman, who arrests both his heart and mind from the first go. Little did he knew, that this mysterious lady would make him an abominable offer that he can't refuse. And within a night he gets promoted from being a travel writer to being an international undercover agent. His new missions make him doubt his own travel magazine and the nature of their business and global network across the world. That is when he realizes he might be working for the wrong side, as one mission after another turns into a life-threatening one.

Well, this is the first time that I read anything by the best-selling author, Chris Pavone and what to say, oh my fan, I became an instant fan of his writing style. And I'll definitely be looking out for his previous novels, which I hear is extremely brilliant!The plot is a complete pot-boiler, millions of twists and turns which will leave your brain more twisted if you try to build the puzzle, so guys leave it to the author, he will guide you with his brilliance to the end of the complicated maze.

The writing style of the author is emphatic and laced with suspicion and in-depth knowledge beyond the scenes. The narrative is thoroughly engaging and it kept me on my edges while anticipating with fear about Will's fate. The pacing of the story is really fast as there are a number of characters who schemes and plots their own agenda to survive among the rest. The huge cast of characters that Pavone has created is tastefully spun and their depth was eventually unrolled with the progress of the plot.

Will's demeanor is inspired a lot from reality. He is like an every day New Yorkian, who does not suspect much about life around him, but when he starts having second thoughts about his new profile, he uses his wit and intelligence to get to the bottom of the twisting mystery. On the other hand, the female characters are not well-developed, moreover, they are lacking an in-depth back-story that would have helped me to comprehend with their complex mind-set. Although, in general, the characters did not stand out in an impeccable way to make me root for them.

The settings of the book are excellent, the story took me to so many countries and places across the globe and so before picking up a copy of this book, don't forget to put on your travel shoes. From the streets of Paris to London to Iceland to New York to middle of the Mediterranean ocean on a yacht to many more, the story shifts from one destination to another and each time the author has captured the details of these places with great vividness. When Will was journeying from one country to another, every time I felt the adrenaline rush inside me. Well, in a nutshell, I will say that the story is grueling and compelling enough to keep the readers hooked till the very end.

Verdict: Well you must grab a copy of this riveting pot-boiler that will keep you guessing till the very end.

Courtesy: Thanks to the author, Chris Pavone's publicist, for providing me with an ARC of the book, in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Frances.
192 reviews320 followers
March 9, 2016
Unfortunately I could not get into this book although many readers have enjoyed it and given a higher rating of four to five stars.
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,337 reviews695 followers
August 27, 2019
THE TRAVELERS is the first novel I’ve read by notable author Chris Pavone. I will read more of his work. This is a page turning thriller of espionage and double-crossing. It’s a thriller that kept me guessing until the end.

Will Rhodes works for a travel magazine called, “Travelers”. He’s married, trying to have a baby, in debt, and basically loving his life as a journalist who gets to go to exotic lands and write about beautiful places. He meets interesting people. He eats incredible food and drinks expensive wines, all on expense. He and his wife bought a “needs tender loving care” apartment in Manhattan, which is proving to be irritating. Otherwise, Will has no complaints.

Enter a fem fatale. Poor Will. Never saw it coming. Pavone provides continuous action. Plus, nothing seems like it initially did seem. And, who is the bad guy? Are there bad guys? What the heck is going on?

I found this fun read to be absorbing and one that makes you read well past your sleep time. I’m glad I stumbled upon this author!
Profile Image for ☮Karen.
1,490 reviews9 followers
April 10, 2016
3.5 stars. A big thanks to LibraryThing for an ARC copy.

Will Rhodes is a writer for Travelers magazine, traveling all over the world for stories that will lead tourists to all the best hotels, restaurants, and hidden gems. Will's wife Chloe has worked there too but now her job has her travelling less often. The point is, the couple hardly ever see each other and time differences prevent them from connecting on the phone. Chloe really has no idea what Will is up to while gone; but we readers know, and he is hiding many details from her and from his employer. Will also has no idea what Chloe is up to, and mostly, neither do we. Well, we can speculate. We also must speculate about the other main characters and what they're all about. Speculating can be fun. My imaginings for everyone were all over the place.

Even though I read this over a couple of weeks time, I was still able to stay very interested in it and what was in store for Will and Chloe. Will they be able to hold it together, finish rehabbing their house, and be happy? Or will all their secrets and mistrust be their undoing? The plot was intense in parts and many little side stories pop up, making you wonder how they'll be connected in the end. Trust me, it's not overly complicated, and even fun. Some of the reveals at the end were obvious while others were pulled out of thin air. I enjoyed it despite the few coincidences and unlikely outcomes. Reminded me a great deal of his book The Expats, and also of the movie Mr and Mrs Smith.
Profile Image for Jessica.
569 reviews777 followers
November 15, 2017
I received this book for free through Bookstr’s (formerly the Reading Room) giveaways.

I give this book 3.5 stars which rounds up to 4.

When I first started this book I didn’t find it that interesting. It was a bit of a muddled mess. There were so many characters’ perspectives it was hard to keep track of it all. About halfway through, the book finally started picking up. The story finally started making more sense and had the action I was looking for.

Overall, this wasn’t the most perfect thriller but it was still entertaining.
Profile Image for Lewis Weinstein.
Author 9 books495 followers
November 2, 2022
This is an extraordinarily complex book, with many story themes interlocked in often confusing ways. IMO, that is the author's intent, to keep the reader not knowing and anxious to learn. Well done.
Profile Image for Thomas.
726 reviews175 followers
April 1, 2017
This was an interesting book. I thought that the characters were complex and the relationships were complicated by lies, some long term and some short term. The plot moved along briskly and most of the threads were resolved, with one left open for another book. It was not a cliffhanger ending.
Will Rhodes, a travel magazine writer, who is living in a half finished house missing doors and some walls, because he wants everything to be perfect. He is in debt and cannot afford perfect. He and his wife, Chloe, are growing apart.
Chloe has what seems like a minor role in the beginning, but becomes more important as the plot proceeds.
Malcom Taylor, Will's boss and a key person in the conspiracy that Will is drawn into.
Elle, a mercenary spy who seduces Will. She and her boss have video of Will having sex with her. She gives Will a choice: Do what we ask, or your wife finds out.
There are other players who interact and Will is torn between two groups, both of whom claim to be CIA.
I enjoyed reading it and recommend it if you like spy novels. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
I received this book from LibraryThing.
Profile Image for Tina.
509 reviews782 followers
March 11, 2016
I received this book from Net Galley for an honest review.

First, I must say this is not my usual type of book. I don't usually read spy thrillers. I was captivated by the blurb on the back. Will Rhodes, travels the globe writing about exotic, beautiful places for a magazine called, "Travelers." He finds himself in a sticky situation in Argentina and then forced to become an informant of sorts. Nothing is what it seems, no one it what they seem.

I liked the idea of the book. The writing is quite good and detailed. I enjoyed reading about all the different locales. That said, I just couldn't get into this book. It was very slow moving for me and at times confusing trying to keep up with all the characters and their stories. The book did pick up some excitement near the end and wrapped up the story pretty well.
Profile Image for Alexa.
67 reviews8 followers
March 7, 2016
*I received this from Net galley for an honest review.*

After 12% of the book, I honestly don't know if I can go further on with this book. I don't understand what direction it's going in, nor do I care for a lot of what's happening. I get glimpses of some kind of covert thing going on, but it's never delved into. They're more like fleeting glances.

I know I only got 12% into the book which isn't much at all but I found myself skimming through most of the pages and pushing myself to finish a page in general. A lot of the writing was aimless and I'm sitting here like "okay I'm ready for the spy action" and I just wasn't really getting it. There's intrigue, but the characters are kind of bland and it was, frankly, boring.

This is such a shame since I was extremely excited for this book! I might let it sit for a while and go back to it, but right now it's not doing it for me.
1,674 reviews9 followers
February 21, 2016
(2) I got into this book because the first two efforts by this author were just great. This one did not quite live up to that standard. The first half of the story is so disjointed you needed to leave bread crumbs to find your way around. Confusion reigns. You can guess too easily what really happens at the end as well. Thank goodness the action gets wild and wooly for the last 100 pages or so or this would have been a real loser. Pavone has a lot of talent, I think he just got lost or too cute trying to live up to the level of his prior works in this one.
Profile Image for Joanne Robertson.
1,352 reviews552 followers
March 8, 2016
I obviously had a moment of madness one day and got a bit "click happy" on netgalley, as I recently looked at my dashboard to find that my "wish to read" had been granted! I don't remember wishing for this book as its not my normal genre but I am so glad that I did as its lead me to a true storyteller!

The Travelers of the title is a travel magazine where Will Rhodes works. He has a fabulously exciting job as a travel and food journalist, while his wife Chloe stays home, although she does still work in a much minor capacity for the same publication. One day, whilst on assignment in Argentina, Will meets a beautiful Australian (a fellow travel journalist working freelance) and for the first time in his happy marriage is tempted by desire for another woman. Another "chance encounter" with Elle, leads Will to make a decision he is definitely going to regret!

This was my first encounter with a Chris Pavone novel but it certainly won't be my last! He is a master of his craft, a born storyteller. Not normally a fan of spy thrillers (I was one of the few to start on I am Pilgrim and pass it to my husband with a sorry shake of my head!) this grabbed me from the first few pages and sucked me into the exotic world of the traveller. I was hugely envious of the freedom Will had, living his dream and not even realising how lucky he was!! His wife Chloe, on the other hand, didn't seem to have that same opportunity. She was the one stuck home, in the house that they couldn't afford to do up, losing out to other women in the cut and thrust of the workplace. Her and Will seem to have lost themselves in a marriage lived mostly on different continents so no wonder they don't seem to understand what they are each going through.
The detailing in the novel is very in-depth, it has been well researched and it develops into a really action packed, twisty spy thriller where you never quite know who the good guy is. It's told in short, sharp chapters that really crank up the tension and towards the end I practically held my breath as it all the plot threads came together in an explosive finale. And a great ending too, I must say!

Some reviewers have said this isn't as good as his first two books but if that's the case then, based on my enjoyment of The Travelers, then I will love them too so onto my wishlist they go!

I received a copy of this book via netgalley in return for an unbiased review so many thanks to them and to the publisher Faber and Faber.
Profile Image for Truman32.
344 reviews99 followers
April 26, 2016
To say you have to suspend your disbelief when reading The Travelers by Chris Pavone might just be the understatement of the century. It would be much more helpful—and the events in the story much more realistic if you had spent the entirety of your life in a bomb shelter unaware of the workings of modern man and have recently emerged (ecstatic that the world is not a burning nuclear wasteland) to find this entertaining and very silly spy novel.

Will Rhodes is a globetrotting travel writer unaware that the magazine he writes for is in fact a top-secret spy agency dating back to World War Two. He is soon compromised on a trip to Argentina, seduced by a foxy CIA operative, and enlisted against his will to provide counterintelligence against his company. Against his friends. But things start to spin out of control, as they are like to in these stories, and Will begins to question just who is telling the truth? Who can he trust? Malcolm, his long time friend and editor of Travelers? Chloe, his wife who is getting more and more withdrawn, disappearing for days? Or even that foxy CIA agent who has an unpleasant habit of striking Will about the head and upper body?

All this is all frivolous fun, and despite committing the mortal sin of being written in present tense, enjoyable.

Pavone is a talented writer. It is clear that his interest lies in building distrust/confusion among his characters as well as quick moving passages. The Travelers is like cotton candy at the state fair—weightless, providing no nourishment yet known to man, and kind of sticky and pink… yet still yummy.
Profile Image for Netta.
611 reviews36 followers
January 14, 2018
כבר איבדתי סבלנות לספרים המקושקשים בהם כולם נגד כולם, כל אחד הוא סוכן חשאי, סוכן כפול, סוכן סודי ביותר שמגויס בשושו, ואף אחד לא יודע על אף אחד, אבל בתכל'ס, חוץ מטוויסטים אין יותר מדי עלילה, הדמויות פלקטיות לחלוטין ונטולות כל איפיון, אין בניה של מערכת יחסים בספר או אפילו דיאלוג סביר בין הדמויות, אשר יעניק להן מנת אנושיות, כך שמדובר בשטותון לא כיפי בכלל.
Profile Image for Debbie.
1,751 reviews95 followers
February 9, 2016
I definitely recommend this book but with a cautionary note. Do not imbibe any stimulants before or during the act of reading this book. You definitely won't need any.

When I see the name Chris Pavone, I know that I am in for one heck of a journey and this one did not disappoint. I did keep getting confused with all the characters at the beginning. I'm not sure if it was just me since I didn't read it all in one sitting or what. However, once I did get to sit and read it without distraction, I still got a little confused. But once I figured out who was who, I was off to the races.

I feel The Accident was just a touch better, but that by no means belittles this book. This one was a great read, but I had a good idea of one of the killers way too early in the book. Of course, I didn't know for sure, so I kept on reading. You never know, I could be wrong. There were still lots of questions in my mind and I needed them answered. I found it was still a great read with a huge WHAT??? ending. Now that, I did not see coming. It was definitely a mind blower.

Thanks to Crown Publishing for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Ron S.
420 reviews27 followers
January 25, 2016
A slow moving thriller very much in the mold of the things are not as they appear school of story-telling. A travel writer is recruited to work for the CIA, and the trip down the rabbit hole begins. The characters are well thought out, and the story unfolds in fairly believable fashion, with a refreshing absence of Ludlumesque absurdities. Unfortunately, Pavone suddenly starts to heap in violence and stretches our credulity towards the end of the book, as though reminded that he was writing a thriller and needed to do so. I'd have enjoyed this book much more if it had remained more consistent throughout. That said, a pleasant surprise from an author I hadn't read before, wrapped up in a package that I'd expected to be primarily a guilty, brainless pleasure.
Profile Image for Ray LaManna.
514 reviews39 followers
March 26, 2019
This novel received great reviews from many sources... however, I found it very confusing. Granted that it is about travel writers who travel...but the number of locations and especially the constant flashbacks left me wondering where I was and whom I was with most of the time. I did not find it overly satisfying.
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,430 reviews989 followers
December 23, 2015
Another solid read from Chris Pavone - enjoyable and clever. Full review after the hols. :)
Profile Image for Maureen.
329 reviews77 followers
July 2, 2019
Will Rhodes is a travel writer, has the dream job everyone wants. Will receives an offer he cannot refuse. He becomes involved in espionage and does not know who to trust. No one seems to be who they really are. This novel is not my usual genre. It was very interesting with all the twists and turns and a surprise ending.
Profile Image for Mal Warwick.
Author 29 books403 followers
April 6, 2017
In his third novel, The Travelers, Chris Pavone weaves a tale so baffling that you’re likely to be shocked again and again as the truth at the heart of the story gradually floats to the surface. Once again, as in his previous books, Pavone’s subject matter is espionage. The scene shifts rapidly and frequently from New York City to Mendoza, Argentina, Falls Church, Virginia, Paris, Capri, Istanbul, and other spots around the globe, including the Spanish Pyrenees and rural Iceland. The suspense is intoxicating.

Will Rhodes writes about food for a 70-year-old New York-based business that operates a high-end travel magazine and a bespoke travel agency under the name Travelers. When he started at the company three years earlier, his wife Chloe left her job there because she thought their marriage would suffer if they both worked at the same place. She now works freelance. Will is deeply in love with her and committed to the marriage, but the allure of a strikingly beautiful and seductive woman he meets on the road is irresistible. However, shortly after the two fall into bed together he learns that she isn’t who she said she was. (Yes, we saw this one coming.)

As the tale unfolds, Will finds himself repeatedly confused, betrayed, battered, and caught up in a high-stakes game of global espionage. Along the way, we meet rogue agents, a scheming corporate raider, hired assassins, a massive worldwide conspiracy, and enough surprises to fuel a dozen mysteries. Chris Pavone has written a spy story that ranks with the best of them.
Profile Image for Rachel.
195 reviews5 followers
December 11, 2015
I was a huge fan of Chris Pavone's previous books and greatly enjoyed this latest addition. The story moves at a quick pace. Much of the action is psychological, not unlike Pavone's other books. While the story's twists aren't entirely unpredictable, the results are satisfying.

Will Rhodes, a travel writer, makes a few poor decisions and finds himself at the mercy of a mysterious woman. Coerced into following her lead, Will may, or may not be working as an intelligence agent. As he completes his assignments, he finds there may be a sinister back story to his travel magazine's international network.

My only disappointment was that the three major female characters weren't explored more fully, especially Will's wife, Chloe. Pavone has demonstrated with his previous books that he can write complicated, complex and strong women. Maybe a Chloe follow-up book could be in the works?
Profile Image for Paul.
2,133 reviews
May 14, 2016
Will Rhodes has an almost perfect job. He is an award winning correspondent for The Travelers, an upmarket travel magazine catering to the super rich. His latest assignment is at a luxury hotel in Argentina nestled beneath the Andes; it means that he is sampling fine wine and superb food, and watching the polo. But what starts as an innocent flirtation with a pretty girl he recognises from elsewhere, suddenly becomes far more deadly, and he realises that he has been the target of an operation.

You can read the rest of the review here
Profile Image for David N.
66 reviews51 followers
March 27, 2016
I loved this book. Pavone has delivered a taut, intricately plotted twister, with 3 dimensional characters you really care about. Lots of twists and turns with a plot that slowly unveils to the reader and the main character simultaneously. Fast paced but just enough line played out at each turn to keep you hooked.
Profile Image for Melissa (Catch Up Mode).
4,562 reviews1,858 followers
May 7, 2019
Really enjoyed this book. Very fast paced, I loved the twists and turns and never knew who was good and who was bad. There are some inconsistencies with the storylines where the author is too deliberate at trying to hide things, but I can overlook those for the sake of the overall story. Reading this reminded me of the first time I read The Firm.
Profile Image for Brandon.
115 reviews
April 7, 2017
I tend to be a bit more critical in my reviews of spy novels since much of them are derivative in following a basic formula or plot line. Although this novel wasn't entirely unique, I did enjoy the constant movement and jumping around of international locales and characters, which lent itself to a fast-paced, edge of your seat story. However, the cost of this sublime erraticism was little to no character depth and development, which is what I look forward to the most in any work of fiction. So...meh.
Profile Image for Leslie.
588 reviews38 followers
June 20, 2017
It’s been awhile since I’ve come across a book who has failed to meet my hopes/expectations. And could you blame me especially with the title The Travelers? With a title like that, along with its summary, I was thinking I’d be reading a book full of excitement, fun, suspense, and thrills. So imagine my disappointment when almost halfway through the book I realized that I’m going to be finishing this book just to find out what the hell is going on and how everything fitted together.

Chris Pavone actually had an interesting concept going on involving a travel magazine and espionage. Unfortunately, the problem I had laid with the execution of said concept. From the structure to the characters, it all formed a story that made it difficult for me to follow and, worse, boring. The first issue I had was the way the narrative unfolded. The multiple switches between viewpoints and locations within a chapter made it hard for me to follow the story and store details and info about what’s going on. The second issue, which was compounded by the first, is the consistently vague expositions. I get that in the beginning, there would be some vagueness and innuendoes about what could possibly be going on but at a certain point there has to be some concrete details being revealed so you start getting a picture of what’s happening. With this book, the vagueness that started at the beginning continued on until the last 2 or 3 chapters where the characters finally just flat out explained what is happening. It was frustrating waiting for things to start clicking into place, for characters to verify or debunk your own personal ideas which was nonexistent since I was left in limbo into what is going on and so couldn’t form any kind of theories. And with the constant switching of perspectives and locations, it added to the frustration since there wasn’t a constant stream of narrative to focus the plot/storyline. The narrative left me in a consistent state of “what the hell is going on?” And mind you, it’s not in a good suspenseful, thrilling way.

With all that said, I could’ve tolerated it all if only the characters themselves were interesting. From the main character, Will Rhodes to the shifty characters of Malcolm and Elise, to the side characters that are more than they appear like Chloe, I never got interested in them. They didn’t have anything that compelled me to either root, like or hate them. I never got a deep sense of who they were. It all felt superficial and I really couldn’t bring myself to care about them. Probably because at that point I was too confused and frustrated to care and their lackluster personalities was just the final nail in the coffin.

It’s a hard line to toe where you want a story revolving around espionage and secrets to maintain a certain sense of secrecy and suspense while still providing enough to intrigue and not confuse the reader so I sympathize with Pavone in this area. But my sympathy only go so far and I have to call it. The premise and writing had potential but the rest just didn’t fit together. The execution was poorly carried out. The story had no energy (and at times questioned the credibility of certain plot points), generated no intrigue, and characters that lacked depth which all combined to make this a boring read for me.
Profile Image for Terri Wino.
671 reviews60 followers
April 24, 2016
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you to both.
I'm rounding up to 4 stars on this one, even though I would really rate it more of a 3.5 or 3.75.
The story starts out strongly and immediately sucked me in and made me want to find out what the hell was going on, based on the prologue alone. Definitely a great start to the book. For me, this book was three distinct parts. The first part was great.
Unfortunately, the middle part of the book did lose a lot of steam for me. At one point things were so convoluted and the number of characters that had clandestine things going on actually brought me -- albeit for a brief time -- to a point where I really didn't care about the story any longer.
Fortunately, I got over the hump and the last third of the book picked up and rolled full steam ahead into an ending that had my head spinning.
I liked the Will Rhodes character, but there were a couple of times I wanted to smack him for being an idiot. Other times I was practically clapping at his cleverness. But he was definitely a protagonist that you root for throughout the entire book.
This was a good book that, for me, suffered from being a little too long. Once again, I just wanted it to be edited down by about 100 pages and I feel it would have gone from a good book to a great book.
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Author 15 books103 followers
November 14, 2016
Good stuff. Nicely woven spy story where everybody seems to have competing-and hidden-agendas. The putz at the center of the story, Will, is the kind of endearing loser we all want to root for. Sinister bad guys who might be good guys, earnest good guys who might be bad guys, lies, betrayal, deceit...Pavone does a great job putting it all together.

Points off for writing in present tense, a prose style which always seems to call attention to itself, and a couple of more points off for some really...really...long sentences.

If you like spy stories, give this one a try.
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