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The Traveler (The Fourth Realm) Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Assets; Abridged edition (10 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739357387
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739357385
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2.5 x 15.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,063,458 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

Amazon Review

Sometimes--not very often--a debut novel comes along which marks out a new writer as a consummate craftsman, seemingly fully formed with that first book. The Traveller is such a book; the mysterious John Twelve Hawks is such a writer (his publishers give no information about him, except that he ‘lives off the grid’).

The first thing that strikes the reader about this unusual novel is its ambitious panoply, which is as exuberantly international as one could wish, moving through a vividly realised Prague, London and Los Angeles. His characters are disparate but characterised with great individuality, such as the brothers Gabriel and Michael Corrigan, who have been brought up in Los Angeles under the mesmerising spell of their fey father; he appears to possess certain unnatural powers. After he dies a violent death, the brothers vanish off the grid of society, living in a clandestine underworld. Meanwhile, in London, Maya is a self-possessed young woman whose everyday life conceals a strange secret: she is the last of a dynasty whose responsibility is to protect those in the human race who are differently gifted. She is called to Prague by her sick father, and learns about Gabriel and Michael, whose lives are now in serious danger. In California, a desperate race against time begins: who will track down the brothers first--the protective Maya or the murderous Boone?

Readers tired of the parochial thriller that has held sway in Britain for so long will embrace this intoxicating (if outrageously unlikely) novel with open arms. True, a certain suspension of disbelief is required, but Twelve Hawks is the kind of writer who is able to persuade even the most sceptical among us. A remarkable debut.
--Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"'The pace is fast, the characters intriguing and memorable, the evil dark and palpable, and the genre-bending between fantasty and thriller seamless...He could be a force to reckon with'" Kirkus Reviews "'Twelve Hawks' much anticipated novel is 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 "The book they say is the new Da Vinci Code. Take some Orwellian undertones, add a dash of Philip Pullman and sprinkle with a few lines of Dan Brown" Metro "Compelling...Picture The Matrix crossed with William Gibson and you'll have a sense of The Traveller" Newsday "A cyber 1984...Page-turningly swift, with a cliffhanger ending" New York Times --This text refers to the Digital Download edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By JonGy on 27 Oct. 2005
Format: Hardcover
The comparisons with the Matrix and Dan Brown are well-founded. The former as this shares the oft-used idea of a hidden subculture working against the 'illusion' of modern life; the latter because the prose is very much in the style of Brown's mechanical thrillers. Chapters are very short and alternate between three or four key locations, and depth of characterisation is sacrificed for a plot that has 'movie option' written all over it.
I thought the Harlequins/Travellers/Tabula subculture around which the plot revolves was an interesting setup - and one with potentially more legs than The Matrix, which floundered badly after the initial set-up of the first film. I'm intrigued to know where the story is going to go in the promised 2nd and 3rd parts of the trilogy, so in that sense the story is a success.
However this was painful to read at times. The prose is very clunky in places, and I agree with some other reviewers who have criticised the rather inept manner in which action was transposed in a very unexciting way (unless that was an attempt to indicate the unemotional attitude of the Harlequins...).
One stylistic device that did interest me was the use of multiple perspectives. The authorial voice shifted between chapters, so that for example in one chapter the reader shares Maya's thoughts as she struggles with the idea of being a Harlequin, and in the next she is seen from Gabriel or Vicky's point of view, referred to only as 'The Harlequin' and appearing cold and detached. This is something that could have added a great deal to the characterisation, but unfortunately seemed to fade out as the plot kicked in so didn't really add anything by the end of the book.
If you can get past the stylistic problems the story is genuinely thought-provoking, albeit somewhat derivative.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tim Clark on 29 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
It may not be a classic work of literature but at face value this is an entertaining read.

This is a parable for our times that raises questions about our freedom and privacy as individuals. What makes it stand out from the pack (and unlike The Matrix) this is based on fact (did you not read 'How We Live Now' at the back?)

If you don't buy the premise that we are moving towards a virtual Panopticon look no further than the proposal to introduce ID cards in the UK and the fact that the next census is likely to include questions relating to sexual orientation and income. All of which you will be legally obliged to answer. Hopefully reading this book will make you question the rationale behind this.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By normngrey on 2 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
Welcome to the Grid. We live in the grid as normal members of civilisation. The Tabula (amongst themselves called The Brethren) oversee activities in the Grid (think Big Brother and 1984) and their ambition is to have complete control of the whole world via the Grid. Active Harlequins and Travellers live off grid to stay alive. There is a lot of history to learn during the book and it is well explained without spoling what is happening.
At the start of the book we are introduced to a Harlequin who has not yet crossed the line (read the book to work this bit out) and thus has been left alive by the Tabula. Unfortunately a call by a relative (also a Harlequin) leads the harlequin into active attention from the Tabula pushing her across the line and onto a quest to find and save some possible potential travellers. The Tabula, due to new plans, want a live traveller and the end of the harlequins at all costs. This puts the head mercenary onto the job and we are involved in the trials and tribulations which result.
This book is apparently Book One of the Fourth Realm. The great thing about this book is based on surveillance systems already in place or close to being implemented in western countries. For a first book it is ambitious and very much in-depth. I look forward to the next one.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "satanjon1259" on 13 Sept. 2005
Format: Hardcover
It's a shame that such a stunning novel like the traveller is constantly being compared to puppy fiction e.g. Dan Browns - The Da Vinci Code. Twelve Hawks has managed to create a book that hasn't been simply to cash in on the sci-fi/fantasy bandwagon. In recent years fantasy fiction has been drowned by poor authors trying to make a few pounds writing a book that has already been written hundreds of time. Its good to see twelve hawks giving the sci fi/fantasy genre a kick up the backside ( a much needed kick at that).
A great book that should be read by any TRUE fan of sci fi and fantasy.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Henry8 on 31 July 2005
Format: Hardcover
I realize that this book is being sold as science fiction, but you only have to look around you to see that it gives a clear picture of our current reality. In the UK these days, we have willingly given away most of our rights and all of our privacy. This book has swords and battles and exciting scenes, but it also gives a larger vision about who we are and where we are going. Doing a little research on the Internet showed me that many of the technological aspects Hawks writes about are quite real. As far as his description of London, he is also accurate about where to buy unregistered phone chips, etc. Forget about vampires and serial killers. This book is about something that really is frightening.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Owen Sayers on 13 April 2006
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book tremendously as the first novel which uses as its premise the current UK/US/EU drive for the detailed monitoring of the public via CCTV, echelon, Web data retention and other means using the premise of the "war against terror" as its justification.

The core message of the book - if you cut through all the SF trimmings - is that we are all subject to intense and intrusive survaillance for what may well be no good reason - and that this is driven by a culture of fear instilled into the public by their respective governments. I can't disagree with that because it's clearly true (speaking as someone who works specifically in the field I feel fairly well qualified to make such a bold statement...)

It's a good first volume in what will I hope be an equally interesting quartet of books, and could make a nice counterpoint for someone studying Orwells 1984 as part of their English curriculum. Where Orwell prophesised a monitoring state, the author here demonstrates that we have all that he promised and much more - since we simply don't recognise the fact and are as a result even more powerless to rebel.

As for the "Da Vinci code" references - well that's just plain silly - the "DVC" was an okay book, but it doesn't live up to the hype for the most part. This is better written and more innovative in its content - though i will agree that the splicers element is a little overplayed - once was good, twice was okay, but using them three times was a mistake...

Dan Brown tried to go into this territory with Deception Point and especially with Digital Fortress - which are better comparisons - and he did okay, but this is way better than those.

Read it - you might be pleasantly surprised, and you'll certainly never look at CCTV or your store loyalty cards in the same way again. That would be a good thing....

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