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The Dark River (The Fourth Realm Trilogy) Hardcover – 16 Jul 2007

67 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 16 Jul 2007
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; First Edition edition (16 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 059305489X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593054895
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 805,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Twelve Hawks (also known as J12H or JXIIH to his fans) is the author of the 2005 dystopian international bestselling novel The Traveler and its successors, The Dark River and The Golden City, collectively comprising the Fourth Realm Trilogy.

Product Description

Book Description

The electric new thriller from the bestselling author of The Traveller.

From the Inside Flap

Fear stalks our lives, in the press, on the television, over the airwaves, across the internet. Everywhere you go, someone somewhere is always watching. Waiting for the mistake that will reveal secrets, truths, lies, the real story or what they want to believe. No longer is anonymity a given right. And small freedoms are sacrificed daily, never to be returned.

There are some who will fight to the death to protect those freedoms. They live off the grid. Gabriel Corrigan is one such man. But the system says that you cannot opt out, that you have to participate. And it will do whatever it takes to return Gabriel to the fold - alive or dead. It will pursue him to the ends of the earth. From the underground tunnels of New York and London to ruins hidden beneath Rome and Berlin to a remote region in Africa that is rumoured to harbour one of history’s greatest treasures, Gabriel will fight his running battle for freedom against forces that even he cannot see…

A mesmerising return to the world so chillingly portrayed in The Traveller, The Dark River is propelled by edge-of-the-seat suspense and haunted by a vision of a world where both hope and freedom are about to disappear…

Inside This Book

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By PJay on 2 Dec. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Although I liked this and read it in one day, it was hard to believe that the same author wrote this book as the author of 'Traveller'. The writing style was so different. This book just explains stuff not writing in flowless way. I hated the way author described what happened previously as it was not needed, people were waiting to read this after reading traveller and no repeat was needed.The story was good but it did not stay true to the characters, especially Maya leaving the island and the traveller only with nuns and vicki! This isn't true to her character no matter how she loved Gabriel. It had gaps and laps that made questions the way author got on with the story line and it did not happen in the first book. Slightly dissapointed and I suspect that the same person who wrote "Traveller" wrote the "Dark river". Anyway this is just an opinion so have a read and see as it still manages to keep a level of compellingness.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By William L. Nessworthy on 18 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
Excellent read, and throughly recommended. Its a mix of fantasy and sci-fi with interesting view on the way we are controlled by governments and society, almost 1984 style.
Dark River is not as good as The Traveller, but only because it doesn't really stand on its own. In fact, I would only recommend this book to people who have read the first book. I think the previous reviewer found this out and preceived there was no story as such, however the Dark River is very much the middle book in the series.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Spencer on 3 Aug. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Most of my thoughts have been shared by other reviewers, but I thought I would add some insight. 'The Dark River' is essentially a solid read that flows well and keeps the pages turning, much like its prequel 'The Traveler'. However, I feel John Twelve Hawks lost a bit of the grip he had on the plot-line in the first installment of the trilogy and failed to progress it much (in fact you might say he took one step forward and two steps backwards).
Some of the plot additions were very left-field and poorly concieved, almost of the point that you might consider the novel to be slightly rushed; for example the Free Running society didn't appear to fit in with the general semantics of the story and was untidy in its research, and the inclusion of the Ark of the Covenant felt more like an afterthought than the major plot device that it should have been. The love story was, on the whole, the sequel's saving grace that allowed it to flow as well as it did - but the impact on the characters could have been developed to a much better depth.
Once again John Twelve Hawks marvels us with his in-depth knowledge of technology and its affects on privacy, and although this only shines through properly in a few areas within the novel, without it the story might as well have been from another series as it seemed to fire out new plot-lines at every available opportunity.
Despite its obvious flaws, this novel is a satisfactory second installment to the Fourth Realm series, but it would not be unwise to say that is does have a case of 'middle-chapter-itis'. However, any fan of The Traveler should definately get their hands on a copy, and although it might not fullfil every expectation, I am certainly looking forwards to the final installment.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By ronx59 on 4 May 2008
Format: Paperback
If you liked 'Labyrinth' or 'The Da Vinci Code' you'll love this. Its better written than either of those and more imaginative. If you read either book without being able to put them down but ended up full of guilty, grubby self loathing as a result, the readers equivalent of eating MCDonalds just because its there- then you'll find this far more palatable fast food. It's the Pizza Express of fantasy thrillers. It's not weighty literature, but it's an intelligent page turner and that's a wonderful thing. This is the second part of a trilogy, something that can be very irritating for the loyal, but not obsessive reader, you want to read the next installment but you'd prefer not to have to re read part one first to remind yourself of every detail. This skillfully reminded you of everything crucial without cluttering the story with endless re hashes of the first book. You could probably read it on its own but you'll enjoy it more if you do read 'The Traveller' first. It would have got five stars from me as a superior page turner with a satisfyingly believable fantasy element except that I was curious enough to check out the author's website....and lo some marketing whizz kids have seen the opportunity to try and push this into cult status in the most pretentious and irritating way. News items are quoted as evidence of the 'truth' of the book. The author's identity is a closely guarded secret! Chat rooms are full of speculation as to his identity! Who is this mystery man/woman/cyborg? Who knows? Who cares? Its just a nice wee novel guys, get over yourselves! I tell you one thing, he's not British or Irish, the one jarring note in the book is the incredible clumsiness of the author's attempts at contemporary London, English and Irish speech....and he/she/it thinks pelicans are native to Ireland.
But ignore my petty quibbles, this is great fun.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Patrick St-Denis, editor of Pat's Fantasy Hotlist on 19 Aug. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Having loved John Twelve Hawks' The Traveler, I couldn't wait and immediately plunged into the sequel, The Dark River. I went through the second volume of The Fourth Realm trilogy in less than three days, two of them work days. I guess you could say I enjoyed it! Nevertheless, though it's once again an entertaining read, I felt that The Dark River didn't have as much substance as its predecessor.

Indeed, this novel is a more a full fledged techno thriller. It's the sort of book Clive Cussler, Graham Hancock and Dan Brown would come up with, should they ever team up together to write something.

The pace is intense, from start to finish. So much so that I feel that several sequences were a bit rushed. I felt that certain portions should have been more fleshed out, especially the events occurring in Berlin and Ethiopia. In my opinion, John Twelve Hawks could have elaborated a bit more without losing the rhythm he established in The Traveler.

The characterization is an interesting facet of this book. Not only do we learn more about Gabriel, Maya, Michael and other characters from the first volume, but we are introduced to some new faces like Mother Blessing. The author demonstrates how ruthless he can be, and the body count among main characters is impressive.

The storylines comprising The Dark River showed a lot of promise. And yet, the fact that the author speeds through most of them in the narrative doesn't allow him to exploit their potential to the fullest. I'm acutely aware that I don't say this very often, but this book should have been longer.

Regardless of those shortcomings, the reader keeps turning those pages. Short chapters that jump from one POV character to the next create a nice balance between the "good" and the "bad" guys.
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