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The Traveler

(Fourth Realm #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  10,202 ratings  ·  1,056 reviews
The Traveler explores a parallel world that exists alongside our own. A world that exists in the shadows of our own. A conflict we will never see. One woman stands between those determined to control history and those who will risk their lives for freedom.

A world that exists in the shadows of our own.

A conflict we will never see.

One woman stands between those determined to
Paperback, 464 pages
Published July 18th 2006 by Vintage (first published January 1st 2005)
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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,202 ratings  ·  1,056 reviews

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Jason Pettus
Aug 04, 2007 rated it did not like it
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [].)

(Longtime followers of my creative projects know that in general I don't like publishing bad reviews; that for the most part I see it as a waste of both my time and yours, in that I could be spending that time instead pointing out great artists you may have never heard of. However, since one of the things this website is dedicated to is honest artistic criticism, I also feel it's important to acknowledge books t

3.5 "interesting, carefully plotted and plausible" stars.

John Twelve Hawks is a pseudonym for a writer who writes in privacy and is "off the grid". His book appears to be a reflection of a fictionalized account of his world and spiritual views.

From Wikipedia:

QUESTION: Is there a reason for the pen name? One you’d be willing to share, I suppose. As in, is it because you’re actually a secret CIA agent and/or Russian spy, or merely because you don’t ever want your mother knowing what you’ve written
Alex Telander
Nov 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
THE TRAVELER BY JOHN TWELVE HAWKS: This book actually generated quite a bit of buzz before it was released last June and I had it recommended to me by a few people saying that it was in the vein of Stephen King, and since I'm a fan I would probably enjoy this. I managed to get an ARC through the bookstore I used to work at and then it sat on my shelf for about six months until I picked it up and decided to start reading it last week. I finished it about four days later after pretty much eating i ...more
Chris Van Dyke
Jun 27, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I'm still deciding if I can finish this book. Its pure summer fluff, but it is sooo bad I almost can keep reading . . .

I can't take it any more -- there are so many other good books, sci-fi or not, that I could be reading. I just can't waste my time on this crap. It's a bit of the Matrix, a bit of Highlander, with a lot of John Woo thrown in for good measure. This book has every cliche known to man (or rahter, known to 12 year old fan-boys) tossed together into one badly written me
Sep 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This book was not at all what I expected...but I loved it. I am not generally a big sci-fi/alternate reality fan but loved this read.

The author raised tons of important points regarding "big brother" and how easily our every move can be monitored by the "vast machine." I am not an alarmist but it is a little scary how easily our movements could be traced through seemingly little things such as grocery store discount cards and security cameras in ATM's.

I loved Maya's character the female harlequ
Feb 21, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, cross-genre, 2009
I read "The Traveler" a couple of years ago and I still think about it occasionally. The whole concept of what a Traveler can do was kind of New-Agey, but I thought the idea of people trying to live off the grid (without anything connecting up to computers) was very unique. If you read the blurb, you'd think this was a science fiction novel. I suppose it can be argued that it is a science fiction novel. However, in retrospect, I consider it to be a fantasy novel that uses a lot of modern technol ...more
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Conspiracy with paranormal twist, great!
Erica Satifka
Jun 06, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nobody
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Probably my favorite book of the last couple of years. The Traveler and its follow-up are a very cool blend of techno-thriller and fantasy, and they move along at an incredible pace. I live a very busy life and usually can read books only in 15-page bites before I pass out at night, but these books are load-up-on-Pepsi-Max-'cause-you-ain't-going-to-bed-brother kind of books. The story arc deals with two brothers and their inherited ability to travel between dimensions, but much of this first boo ...more
Hannah Rodgman
You can tell when a book is good because it opens your mind to other possibilities. And his book truly did that for me. I loved it so much.

A fantastic re-read!

Highly recommended!!
This might be the worst book I've read in years. I gave it an extra star just for being kind of 'neat' in the premise, but the writing leaves a lot to be desired.
Dec 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dystopian readers
Book blurb:
“In London, a young woman uses cutting-edge technology to elude detection by the thousands of surveillance cameras that watch the city. In New York, a secret shadow organization uses a victim’s own GPS to hunt him down and kill him. In Los Angeles, a motorcycle messenger with a haunted past takes pains to live “off the Grid” – free of credit cards and government IDs. Welcome to the world of The Traveler – a world frighteningly like our own.”

My initial interest in this book was tweak
Mike (the Paladin)
Nov 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I liked this novel of conspiracy and danger. The series is delving into some eastern areas of belief as it moves.

The characters here are well imagined and the story told well. The background of the book I found fascinating. Anyone familiar with Jeremy Bentham and the idea of the Panopticon would I think find this book interesting. While at first glance it the fears of the character and the situation they struggle against seems very far fetched, the idea of a "virtual Panopticon" becomes far more
Jim O'Donnell
Mar 25, 2008 rated it did not like it
Pretty tiresome tripe. While the subject matter is very interesting, the book becomes a slog. It is weighed down by its own cliches and overly worn themes.

Essentially, there exists a group of people with special powers to cross over to other dimensions. Then there are a group of people who are sworn to protect them. Then there are a group of people working to hunt them down. All this takes place in a very near future dystopian surveillence society (future as a month from now). Its ba
When the most intriguing question about a book is the real identity of the author, you know something isn't working.

John Twelve Hawks lives "off the grid" and his novel, "The Traveler" is a warning to the rest of us consider doing the same. We may not know it, but our world is just one of many realms, though only a special few people can break the barriers from one realm to another. These people are called Travelers and they've apparently been at war with a group called the Tabula for years. The
This book got a lot of publicity prior to publication. It was hailed as being phenomenal. It describes a future dystopian society, where privacy and individual freedom are compromised. The government wants in on that action, but the powers of observation and control are held by a group known as the Brethren who have all the cool toys – a quantum computer, the means to tap into all kinds of monitoring devices worldwide, and the ability to make genetically mutated animals. There’s been a long batt ...more
I'm embarrassed that I actually finished this book. I thought it was so bad that I morally couldn't trade it in at the local used bookstore (the one that has the biggest sci-fi section and enough actual patrons to keep it changing--and they sell new books too). I considered burning it but then I lost interest until I started re-reading some Foucault, and it brought the Panopticon to mind and then this book, which I now have to say: This is the Worst Book I ever finished reading.

To cut to the ch
Steve Coughlan
Mar 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Conspiracy Theorists
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Nice. The first in a series, but neatly tied up at the end, so it can stand alone. Classic plot with an interesting take on history, religion, and modern society... gee, if I wanted to believe it was all true, I could... there are no obvious contradictions between the fiction and perceived reality. Which makes it a very nice read, and I look forward to picking up the sequel when it comes out, which should be real soon now.

Oh, yes, the plot: Maya should be a Harlequin. Harlequins protect Travelle
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Another ridiculously good book that found me by pure chance. All the conspiracy theorists of the world, this book is definitely for you. As I count myself one of the men in the tinfoil hats, that book felt like home.

My mom-in-law gave it to my hubby to read and it was gathering dust in our car, until one day I went to work forgetting my own book (oh, horror!) and had to make do with this one.
I was so engrossed in it, I did not put it down until it was finished. Thanks, Mom! *grinning*

Brilliant c
Laura E. Hall
Mar 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-books
I think I'd actually give this a 2.75 out of 5 if I could, but 3 is fine because a lot of the flaws of the book don't matter when you're consuming it in audiobook form, as I did. (The audiobook reader does a wide range of accents and voices for every character, which makes it very enjoyable.)

Those flaws: the plot is extremely straightforward, the characters aren't much developed, and anyone who's not a "citizen" or a "drone" in this CCTV-happy, consumerism-driven society will greet you by asking
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
this trilogy was one I stumbled upon while looking for a good book. I was immediately drawn in to the plot and the writing. This is a fantasy, yet I find the premise so timely, the events so close to what our world is like, that I was unable to put it down. All 3 books are excellent, the way the author talks about living off the grid, the way our lives are monitored so completely by cameras, face identification, social security numbers, the internet is frightening. I found these books almost pro ...more
Feb 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
John Twelve Hawks's true identity is unknown, even to his publisher. He communicates by satellite phone and is essentially off grid. And that's the author in real life!
In the book people with spiritual and psychic abilities are hunted down whilst the Harlequins who are off gridders are in place to protect them.
The first part of the Fourth Realm trilogy is an exciting and paranoid novel with a taste of Enemy of the State that takes the reader on a Pullman style ride through various realities and
Dec 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Riveting! Highly recommended. Science fiction meets homeland security run amok meets the next prophet. Featuring a bad-ass woman as the ultimate fighting machine. I'm torn between wanting to see it made into a movie and leaving it alone as a great book. Listened to it as an audio-book, and the reader was fantastic. He did all the accents wonderfully and really added a lot to it.
May 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Nice story, but at times I wasn't too impressed and the book couldn't fascinate me the whole time, at times the pages sort of dragged on. Storyline is exceptional though, some unexpected twists in the story makes you curious for more, hope to read part 2 in the summer.
The following is the cover blurb: "In London, Maya, a young woman trained to fight by her powerful father, uses the latest technology to elude detection when walking past the thousands of surveillance cameras that watch the city. In New York, a secret shadow organization uses a victim's own GPS to hunt him down and kill him. In Los Angeles, Gabriel, a motorcycle messenger with a haunted past, takes pains to live "off the grid" - free of credit cards and government IDs. Welcome to the world of Th ...more
Feb 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Christina by: Weekendavisen
Shelves: fiction, series, 2011
"Freedom is the biggest myth ever created. It's a destructive, unachievable goal that has caused a great deal of pain. Very few people can handle freedom. A society is healthy and productive when it's under control." (p. 294)
John Twelve Hawks is a man with a mission. He is desperately worried about the state of our society and how we are being monitored more and more with each passing year, how surveillance cameras are being put up everywhere and how our information becomes more and more availab
Apr 10, 2018 rated it liked it
A slog of a book that only picks up speed in the last ~50 pages, the book details a dystopian very near future where Big Brother aims to control the citizenry by utilizing some strange, poorly detailed 'machine' via ... well, I won't spoil it ...

This new take on "1984" inserts a bit of sci-fi and could have been a real winner if it didn't do such a poor job of getting to the point. Yes, it was a long slow burn, but not the kind I enjoy, and I was rather left anxious to get to the end just to sa
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Traveler, by John Twelve Hawks, is one of the most interesting books I have read. This book is definitely worth reading for fun. The Traveler can catch any reader attention by the first page and keep them turning until the very end. The novel was published in 2005 and was New York Times bestselling novel of John Twelve Hawks. John Twelve Hawks has created a whole trilogy with his novels. Including The Dark River, The Golden City, and The Fourth Realm Trilogy, etc. The book is under fiction ( ...more
Mar 28, 2017 rated it liked it
This book has perplexed me. It was serious and deep and a very interesting premise, I enjoyed Scott Brick narrating the book, but it really didn't thrill me. This is apparently part of a I will read book 2 I think. See if I get more into the series as it goes along.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good sci-fi, but it lacks the character development I need to keep going in the series. Its scary because it doesn’t seem like such a far-fetched possibility for the future of our world.
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Undead & UnRead B...: The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks 1 5 Apr 10, 2017 05:42PM  
The Traveler = Sci Fi with Spirituality 3 58 Feb 19, 2013 08:32PM  

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John Twelve Hawks aka J12H/JXIIH.

His real identity is unknown. He communicates using the internet and an untraceable phone and has never met his editor.

Several guesses have been made regarding his identity: that he was Thomas Pynchon, Dan Brown, or Steve Hawking among others...

Other books in the series

Fourth Realm (3 books)
  • The Dark River (Fourth Realm, #2)
  • The Golden City (Fourth Realm, #3)
“Life is dangerous. That's what makes it interesting.” 34 likes
“Every new experience is unusual. The rest of life is just sleep and committee meetings.” 26 likes
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