Aaron Bunce's Reviews > Traveler

Traveler by Dennis W. Green
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it was amazing

Traveler, by: Dennis W. Green.

I met Dennis Green at a recent science fiction & fantasy convention. I asked him to pitch Traveler to me, while chatting at the author meet and greet. I have to admit, I was hooked before he paused to take his first breath. We decided to swap books, read, and review the other’s work. Here are my unbiased thoughts on Traveler:

Sometimes, authors can get carried away with the ideas and concepts that constitute the science of their fiction, yet on others, they focus so intently on the spatial backdrops, or otherworldly settings, that the story inherently suffers. But in some cases, the author is able to balance the scales and achieve a harmonious blend with what is known to us and that which is abstract, or foreign. On occasion, it is that perfect amalgamation of genres that captivate our inner science fiction geek, while at the same time fulfilling our need for suspense and good old fashioned mystery. Enter Traveler.

At its heart, Traveler seeks to examine the complex relationships between probability, reality, and choice, while also keeping its feet relatively close to the ground (literally, not figuratively). This is some heavy science to confront, and done differently, could have tipped the scales and completely changed the dynamic of the story. With that said, Green hits the sweet spot (in my opinion) and has crafted a story that is equal parts human interest and mind bending science.

It is a credit to Green, as both an author, and a storyteller, that the confluence of moving plot pieces comes together to form such a clean, well-paced, and captivating plot. The science is dissected and presented in such a way that it is easy to understand, while also believable. Part of this success lies with its characters. Trav Becker is a great main character, but so are Trav Becker, Trav Becker, and also, Trav Becker. Never before have I been presented with the same character in such different ways, and thanks to concise writing, kept them all straight. Trav Becker is flawed, contrite, and as far as leading men go, top notch. We learn some valuable lessons about life from him, such as the weight of the decisions we make, the lasting effect of consequences, as well as the idea of forgiveness. All of this is thanks to his various iterations.

Sam is another strong character, and counteracts Trav’s Captain Kirk as a more logical and emotionally controlled Spock might. He is a necessary function for the plot, as he provides both back-story, and the implications of the science itself. I found Sam to be likable, well-formed, and generally easy to care about. Mary presented a very unique opportunity within the plot, as in one instance, she represents a love lost, while in another, a love fulfilled. I really like the dynamic she represented, and how she was utilized within the story. Morgan is another personality that makes the most of her limited page time. She provides a classic, non-scientific link to Trav’s predicament, while also squashing many of the stereotypes associated with female characters in fiction. I am confident that Morgan will win a place in many reader’s hearts, just as Trav, Sam, and Mary (and Morgan) have in mine.

I found Traveler to be an intriguing, addictive, and heart wrenching read, and can honestly say that its story, and its characters, will stick with me. I have read some reviews that criticized the book because of its various interludes. After the first such break in action, I was prone to agree. Yet, as I progressed through the story, and learned more of the science woven into the plot, the more I started to appreciate them. Through these interludes, Green is able to expand the scope of Traveler, and also provide some tangible links to the science of a multi-dimensional world, both to significant events in world history, but also to pertinent achievements or events within the plot itself. I found these interludes wildly creative, and very successful at building the lore behind the science.

I give Traveler 5 stars. It is an engaging, genre-bending story with just the right amount of twists and turns. It offers wonderfully flawed and relatable characters, a vivid setting, and some clever music tie-ins (for us music lovers). I strongly recommend this book!
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Reading Progress

November 7, 2014 – Shelved
November 7, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
November 19, 2014 – Started Reading
November 19, 2014 –
1.0% "I received this book as a swap and review from the author, Dennis Green. I can say that I am excited to dig in!"
November 20, 2014 –
19.0%
November 20, 2014 –
page 19
6.76%
November 21, 2014 –
page 54
19.22% "Dennis Green has a very natural, storyteller's voice as a writer. I was hooked from page 1."
November 22, 2014 –
page 75
26.69%
November 23, 2014 –
page 154
54.8%
November 24, 2014 –
page 181
64.41%
November 27, 2014 –
page 239
85.05%
November 27, 2014 –
page 269
95.73%
November 27, 2014 –
page 281
100.0%
November 27, 2014 – Finished Reading

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