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Publisher's Summary

Maya is hiding in plain sight in London. The 26-year-old has abandoned the dangerous obligations pressed upon her by her father and chosen instead to live a normal life. But Maya comes from a long line of people who call themselves Harlequins, a fierce group of warriors willing to sacrifice their lives to protect a select few known as Travelers.

Gabriel and Michael Corrigan are brothers living in Los Angeles. Since childhood, the young men have been shaped by stories that their late father was a Traveler, one of a small band of prophets who have vastly influenced the course of history. Travelers are able to attain pure enlightenment, and have for centuries ushered change into the world. Gabriel and Michael, who may have inherited their father's gifts, have always protected themselves by living "off the Grid", that is, invisible to the real-life surveillance networks that monitor people in our modern society.

Summoned by her ailing father, Maya is told of the existence of the brothers. The Corrigans are in severe danger, stalked by powerful men known as the Tabula, ruthless mercenaries who have hunted Travelers for generations. This group is determined to inflict order on the world by controlling it, and they view Travelers as an intolerable threat. As Maya races to California to protect the brothers, she is reluctantly pulled back into the cold and solitary Harlequin existence. A colossal battle looms, one that will reveal not only the identities of Gabriel and Michael Corrigan but also a secret history of our time.

Moving from the back alleys of Prague to the heart of Los Angeles, from the high deserts of Arizona to a guarded research facility in New York, The Traveler explores a parallel world that exists alongside our own. John Twelve Hawks' stunningly suspenseful debut is an international publishing sensation that marks the arrival of a major new talent.

Listen to the second book in this series: The Dark River: The Fourth Realm, Book 2.
©2005 John Twelve Hawks (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The author, a gifted storyteller, makes this surreal and vaguely supernatural good-versus-evil story entirely believable....The pace is fast, the characters intriguing and memorable, the evil dark and palpable, and the genre-bending between fantasy and thriller seamless." (Booklist) "Powerful, mainstream fiction built on a foundation of cutting-edge technology laced with fantasy and the chilling specter of an all-too-possible social and political reality." (Publishers Weekly)

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  • Overall

It makes you stop...and think,

I have to be honest, I only got this book because it was read by Scott Brick.
I knew I would enjoy it. I never knew how much it would make me stop and think.
This book was very different from his usual reads. More than just a mystery or fantasy, this book has a spiritual element. As I listened, I was reminded of Orwell's "1984", and it caused me to wonder just how close to "Big Brother" we have gotten. John Twelve Hawks,through the characters he created in this book, asks a lot of questions. The answers perhaps are a little too scary for us to hear.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Told friends and family

I started reading a chapter in the bookstore and was immediately engrossed. But before buying I checked Audible and found that it was a choice.
I'm 3/4 through this story. Normally I only listen to the books when driving. This one I'm listening to as I work on the computer and do many normal tasks.

Just can't put it down.
The story has many elements.

1.Thought provoking. The premise of big brother monitoring us and taking away our freedoms. It is close enough to reality that one can "suspend belief" as she/he listens.
2. The Narrator is perfect for the book instead of trying to change the voice to emulate a woman or different characters. For the most part he keeps his same pace and voice with some minor inflections. I liked this it was more like reading the book than listening to a play.
3.A great take on spirituality and mysticism. Nothing new just extracts from major religions.
5.Finally there is lots of action and a intricate plot.

I haven't written a review this positive since I listened to the story of Pi. This is a book I feel like saying to every friend I meet, have you read the traveler. Awsome you have to pick it up.

89 of 100 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Bob
  • Benton, AR, USA
  • 08-02-05

I tried so hard to like this book

I won't disparage anyone who enjoyed this book, but despite wanting to like it so much, I could barely bring myself to listen to it. Scott Brick is one of my favorite readers, but even he couldn't save this book. The overall plot has some interesting ideas, but the characters are copy and pasted cliches from every hollywood movie you've ever seen. The writing is tedious and flat. I thought if I had to listen to the phrase "vast machine" one more time I was going to throw up.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Conspiracy Theorists, You Told Us So!

Society isn't what it seems. There is a dark underbelly.

So beat's the heart of every conspiracy theorist, and in this book, they're vilified and justified. A novel of complex and enjoyable layers, John Twelve Hawks has written an excellent and well-concieved novel. It shares a sweeping story about our world and the hidden organizations and their global agendas that are slowly strangling the freedom from this generation, and the cadre' of people dedicated to slow or possibly stop this advance.

I passed this audiobook up many times, and frankly, the description here at Audible isn't representative of the author's efforts. So, once in a while, I pick a random audiobook, just to mix things up. Hence, I picked this one.

I'm glad I did.

This is one of four books in the series, and I recommend it for a long drive, because there are parts in it that you will NOT want to miss by getting out of your vehicle and taking care of life's daily business.

And isn't that what makes a good book a good book?

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sunshine
  • Sedona, AZ United States
  • 07-03-05

Would make a great movie!

This terrific story, was similar in story line to the Matrix but with a much more believable base.
The author created characters you cared about and the pace was perfect. Plenty of action, not just for the sake of action but to further the story always. Scott Brick shined as usual as narrator and brought everything to life with his unerring style.
Looking forward to the next installment. The scenes in the book are perfect for a movie, I hope one comes of it.

82 of 99 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ian
  • BathgateUnited Kingdom
  • 08-23-05

Enjoyable load of tosh for a long flight

If I was having to fly to New Zealand, I'd take this book - it would entertain me on the long flight and inevitable delays. It is undemanding, entertaining and full of holes. A confection that attempts to merge '1984' with Lara Croft, with a bit of 'pulp fiction' violence thrown in. The basic premise - that mass surveillance can be used for control and subverted for evil - isn't new, and the protagonists who support or oppose this view in the novel are just presented and the listener is asked to believe. There's nothing about how or why this near-future dystopia came into being and only the sketchiest exploration of motives. The characters are pretty conventional, with the stereotyped 'baddy', the love interest sub-plot, and the guy who sees the error of his ways and sacrifices himself for the just cause (etc etc - you get the idea). The premise that massive computer systems linked between the USA and London can track individuals is fine, but people escape this simply by travelling to 'the third world' - lightweight even for today, let alone the future.

I enjoyed the narration, a well timed, skillful read, with a light US accent, the narrator taking a run at cockney and various other accents without falling over too much. The book itself is pacily written, so it is a bit of a page-turner and I was keen to listen to the next chapter, only to groan sometimes at the sheer predictability of the characters and plotting. The best parts in my view are episodes when the characters adventure into different realms - here some truly imaginative stuff takes place, entertaining and fresh.

So - overall - in my view a good holiday 'read'. Be prepared to be entertained, but not challenged, suspend your disbelief and go for a gallop along paths that often sound pretty familiar; above all don't actually think about the story else it will unravel. If you get really bored you can play 'guess what Maya (=Lara) is going to do next'. Then read or listen to "1984".

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

More than half way thru and no

I am more than half way thru with no sign of any "Traveling". Just heavy-handed violence and cynicism. However, I am going to be "traveling" on to another audiobook. This one is just too paranoid and cynical. I'm sorry that I wasted a credit on this. Oh, and the reader is disappointing as well. Please don't waste a credit, just wait for the movie to show up on the USA Network.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Paul
  • Whitburn, N/A, United Kingdom
  • 11-14-05


This was an awful book from start to finish. I was never interested in the plot or any of the characters.
It felt like nothing was ever going to happen and unfortunately for me (and any other reader or listener) nothing ever does.

Poorly written, uninteresting linear plot and hollow characters - no one wonder John Twelve Hawks wants his true identity to remain a secret.

Give this one a miss!

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Amazing and thought-provoking

Amazing, if amazingly paranoid, view of modern life in today's industrialized world, where no amount of surveillance is too much and only a few people seem to care. After all, they're only wiretapping the bad people, right? Those chips in my passport are for my own good, those facial recognition programs that can reduce my face to an algorithm will only be used to find terrorists, and those datamining programs that can analyze all my credit purchases will only be used to send me coupons. No, it's not a clever amalgamation of all of Dick Cheney's wet dreams. According to the author (who lives off the grid) all the tech in the novel is already in use or is in development. Melding this real-life information with a page-turner plot of brother against brother, a deadly female bodyguard, and even davinci-esque ancient societies struggling across the ages to hide their secrets, JXIIH has created a highly compelling novel that really made me think about how much of my privacy I have given away to The Great Machine. Can't wait to read the next installment. Note: I listened to this book (unabridged) as read by Scott Brick who did a fantastic job.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance

Scott Brick Mailed it in

Normally I hail Scott Brick as an incredible audio book performer, but he read this book as if he just needed a paycheck. (Try "The Company" to hear him do his best work.) Perhaps Brick didn't try his best because this book is not particularly a good one.
This is a book to listen to in the car on the way to someplace interesting. In other words, it's junk food for the brain. The author posits some interesting ideas, but the characters are two dimensional, and the plot itself is rather predictable. If you only get one credit a month, don't waste it on "The Traveler".
I listened to this book after finishing "Acacia" by David Anthony Durham, a riveting 29 hour novel with an excellent narrator and vivid characters, so perhaps that colors my opinion. If you only get one credit a month, then THAT book is certainly worth it! Or, if you have two credits, try "The Company: A Novel of the CIA" by Robert Littell. It gives you 40 hours of espionage at its best.
Those two recommendations require a bit of a commitment time-wise; if you just want to be mildly entertained for a few hours, then go ahead and spend/waste a credit on "The Traveler": there certainly are worse books than this one out there.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Peter
  • 06-23-10

Conspiracies and Cliches

This audiobook is introduced by the author, who declares himself somewhat dramatically as 'off the grid', meaning he exists outside of any governmental control and influence, rejecting technology that can be used to monitor him. This claim is supported by the fact the audio quality at this point sounds like he is talking from a distant bunker using a homemade telephone.

Although a lot of what he says about the dangers of our surveillance society and the way in which our rights are being constantly eroded are credible and should be highlighted, he really didn't need to write this book. If you have an allergy to plot cliches, character stereotypes and books that are written where any storyline is clearly only of secondary consideration to the authors true agenda, then expect to erupt into rashes, boils and whatever other symptoms by which your allergy manifests itself. The story is constantly guided into long, tedious descriptions of 'real' tactics by which the evil government and their shady, murderous operatives monitor and control us all. Ironically, this book would be a case-study in manipulating thought it it hadn't been written using a sledge-hammer ...metaphortically speaking.

Coincidentally, the authors pretentious middle name is exactly the percentage-chance of my reading any other books by him. Is there a conspiracy here?

Finally, and somewhat futilely, I would like to state that I am not a secret government operative, infiltrating Audible with dismissive reviews to discredit 'off the grid' authors who might be getting too close to the truth. No really, I'm not.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Elizabeth
  • 10-30-05

Fabulous Tale

One of the best pieces of fiction I've heard in a long time. Or is it fiction? Don't keep us in suspence too long, John. I'm hooked.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Linda
  • 10-14-05

Superb storytelling - can't wait for part 2

Edgy sense of paranoia, but with clear links to today's society, this thriller keeps you on the edge of your seat all the way to the end! Excellent - can't wait for the next one!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Peter
  • 09-28-07

I enjoyed it so much I listened twice!!

This is my second book from Audible, what can I say but fantastic. After listening to it once, I set about it again days later. Almost made me a technophobe though. Dare i read the next part? Too right! An excellent idea based around technology we all know about, taken one step further just to scare us all from using it!! BRILLIANT.

  • Overall
  • Ian
  • 02-15-06

Whens the next part

Hooked me from the first words

As the title says When is the next part?

0 of 1 people found this review helpful