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3.0 out of 5 starsFelt more like a sermon rather than a story
Reviewed in the United States on September 14, 2009
The first two books in this series, The Traveler and The Dark River, were fresh, captivating and could even be considered trend setting in terms of the way they encouraged the reader to view the author's message vis a vis the world we live in today. For me, the conclusion to the series, The Golden City, was not a fitting ending to the over arching story. There was less emphasis on the characters that we have become committed to over time, Maya and Gabriel in particular, and there was more focus on the author's "message". To be honest the first chapter set the tone for me. It was meaningless and unimportant to the continuation of the plot established in the prior books as well as the completion of the story overall. I was also disappointed in the lengthy section dedicated to Gabriel finding his father and the weak insights that seemed to detract rather than add anything of import to the book. Although this book was interesting and as well written as its two predecessors, I was left feeling unfufilled as I believe the author failed to fully live up to the great promise of this story.
4.0 out of 5 starsThis is the third book in a trilogy which explores ...
Reviewed in the United States on January 3, 2015
This is the third book in a trilogy which explores the ways, and the extent to which, we are willing to give up our personal freedom in order to feel safe. One premise of the book is that all governments use events, often exaggerated or even totally manufactured, to create the fear that makes us willing to give up our freedoms. We turn over our lives to the government so it will 'protect' (read 'control' ) us. I find these books, although fiction, to be extremely accurate in the assessment of current society. We must all become more aware and more cautious if we are to retain any personal freedom at all.
5.0 out of 5 starsYou'll be stuck- I guarantee it.
Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2014
This is one of those trilogies that you shouldn't start unless you have all three books........You won't be able to stop reading. It TOTALLY sucks you into the story.....so much so that you'll find yourself slowing down on reading when you know you're almost done....I think John Twelve hawks could have made this into a few more for the series, but it is what it is and I'd definitely read them again and again. When they said High-tech, fast paced, schizophrenic thriller, they weren't kidding!.
The Golden City is the third and final book in the Fourth Realm series by John Twelve Hawks. I devoured The Traveler soon after its hardcover release and thought it showed great promise for a modern take on 1984, but with more Fantasy elements. The Harlequin mythology and realms pulled me along with its mix of different eastern ideologies and the Travelers influence through history. The Dark River suffered from middle-book syndrome somewhat, but it did keep things moving along fairly well. However, things fall apart with The Golden City. The story gets bogged down with far too much of the author trying to impart his ideals rather than telling a good story. While I appreciate and realize our world is closer than ever to being turned into a freedomless prison, readers would have been better served with a story that stayed with them and therefore imparted its message rather than being beaten over the head with one.
What's great about so many Sci-Fi and Fantasy books from the last few years is that instead of having black and white characters and situations things are grayer. This aspect is totally missing from The Golden City where Hawks prefers hardliner axioms of good and evil. The only redemptive part is that all of the realms previously discussed are revealed although one is sick and twisted and another a bit of a disappointment. The story moved far too quick and is more akin to a screen play where the action elements are left in, but the parts that would connect you to the characters are left out or overdone. Maybe things could have been improved with a few extra scenes. Maya's rescue was especially underwhelming and Boone being redemptive just doesn't ring true even with the backstory.
What tries to be a modern speculative fiction thriller ends up being more akin to books form 20 years ago just veiled with modern settings and technology. Lastly, the ending didn't entirely make sense as to why the brothers did what they did and as a final confrontation it was a let down. I give The Golden City 4 out of 10 Hats. I'd only recommend this if you've read the first two books as you get resolution on quite a bit, but otherwise I'd steer clear. If you've only read The Traveler stop there and enjoy it for what it was and what could have been. John Twelve Hawks will have to blow me away with the premise of his next book to get me back on board.
Quite thought provoking. The main elements in this trilogy are now true. We are watched and monitored whilst under the guise of being free. I can't help but feel we are manipulated daily by the media world and are on our way swiftly to the time when we are inserted with control chips for "our protection". The other parts of the plot could be considered true by some or complete nonsense depending on your beliefs but be in no doubt, your freedom and speech are being eroded quickly. God help our grandchildren!
What a shame the author doesn't live up to his belief system. The third, and final book in this series is a complete rip off. I would hazard a guess, it was written in a hurry, without any regard for the readership. Perhaps to meet a deadline or JTH just lost interest? He is after all involved in several other projects. The book had no expansion of the main characters, locations, or plot line, just regurgitated content ripped off from both the previous books. There was so little action that I found myself skipping pages. As for the ending (won't spoil it here), what an utter let down. Come on, JTH we deserve better than this rubbish. I work hard for my money and don't expect this level of content from you, your editor nor the publisher. Hope the films and Sparks are an improvement.
As the finale of the trilogy I was hoping that all the various aspects of the previous two books would be brought together and given meaning and context. Sadly this is not the case. Individually the three books are a good rad but as a holistic trilogy they leave a lot to be desired. Quite simply at the end I wondered what it was all about. The ending was too quick but that is a flaw in each book. Within the three books there are several story lines that are very isolated from each other and they needed to be brought together in the final book. As I said this was not the case and sadly, at the end of the trilogy, I was left a little cheated of a good ending. The first two books do leave you with the need to keep reading to find out what happens. Sadly what happens is nothing.
3.0 out of 5 starsVery good but disappointing ending.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 8, 2010
Although I thoroughly enjoyed reading the Golden City, I felt very disappointed with the last few chapters of the book. It seems as though the author got a little fed up and ran out of ideas, you are left wondering what has happened to Gabriel and Michael Corrigan and the suspected worldwide "demise" of the Evergreen Foundation has not been properly dealt with.
The first two books, The Traveller and The Dark River were excellent and full of original ideas which I loved, but this third book in my opinion is rushed and feels a little tired. I do hope John Twelve Hawks can ressurect this story again in the future as the characters deserve more time to develop and we need more answers to questions raised.