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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars vast machine expandes
John Twelve Hawks concludes his 4th realm trilogy at what I felt was a slighty slower pace, compared to his previous two books. The Traverler got us off to a cracking start and Dark River took us on a mysterious tour of the other realms, but the Golden City perhaps finds our "off grid" writer lacking in enthusiasum or feeling burdened by the shackles of his "Vast...
Published on 14 Oct 2009 by C. G. Pearson

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Run out of steam
Having followed this series from the first offering (The Traveller) I really had been looking forward to see how John Twelve Hawks would adapt his world and characters to the tales conclusion that would leave the reader either glutted or sadly as dissatisfied as the Hungry Ghosts in the Ghost City. Unfortunately, this felt more like an extension of the previous novel,...
Published on 28 Mar 2010 by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Run out of steam, 28 Mar 2010
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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Having followed this series from the first offering (The Traveller) I really had been looking forward to see how John Twelve Hawks would adapt his world and characters to the tales conclusion that would leave the reader either glutted or sadly as dissatisfied as the Hungry Ghosts in the Ghost City. Unfortunately, this felt more like an extension of the previous novel, which with hindsight may have been better to be held back so that they could be released in a smaller timescale, as I had forgotten a lot of what, had come before. It did do what it said it would and whilst the characters are just as engaging as ever I felt that the plot needed more work to keep the reader engaged as well as entertained. A sad ending to an otherwise cracking series.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars vast machine expandes, 14 Oct 2009
By 
C. G. Pearson (London) - See all my reviews
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John Twelve Hawks concludes his 4th realm trilogy at what I felt was a slighty slower pace, compared to his previous two books. The Traverler got us off to a cracking start and Dark River took us on a mysterious tour of the other realms, but the Golden City perhaps finds our "off grid" writer lacking in enthusiasum or feeling burdened by the shackles of his "Vast machines" book contract. Never the less a very entertaining read that kept those pages turning. A slightly more romantic ending than I had expected which I'm sure will appeal to those Hollywood movie makers. I'm sure it wont be long until we see the Harlequins & Tabula do battle on our silver screens.

Twelve Hawks has assured us that there will be no more from the fourth realm but does intend to carry on his litary career. I for one will be watching out for his next book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Its good but its not the one., 21 Jan 2010
I was fascinated by his first novel, The Traveller, and been thoroughly fascinated by the universe, concepts and style of the book, I was incredible disappointed with the 3rd and final chapter in his saga.

I really enjoyed the, almost, claustrophobic effect of dystopian books and the traveller was no exception in developing the state of anxiety in the main protagonists chase through the story. But i really felt that this had vanished in the third book, with the "vast machine" being easily manipulated and negated. Without revealing too much plot there are some times when the heroes seem to be able to, at will, journey unheeded into the Brethren strongholds without that certain "will they, wont they" effect.

Also at 360 pages it was rather short and as i started reading it was very hard to see the strands coming together and by the end i still felt that way. People pop up at random times and then disappear, the most notable being Michael who's plot develop with the "Half gods" only to disappear with the story thread.

All in all i did enjoy the book, but for me to pick out so many flaws in a book whose series I thoroughly enjoyed is not good. Read it if you want to finish the set but, as someone else has put, read the first book and stop there.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Diminishing returns, 26 Oct 2009
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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A weak ending to the 4th realm trilogy.

Like so many others I loved the first book The Traveller as two brothers get involved with a battle between mysterious Harlequins and the Tabula. Other dimensions and realities are gently brought into a very refreshing novel by an author who himself added to the mystery by keeping 'off the grid'.

The second book failed to live up to the high standards of the first although it was still interesting, it lost the unique element of the first but was still enough to make me want to read on to see the trilogy completed. Sadly the downward spiral has continued and this final book is the weakest of them all, where 'interesting' becomes 'confusing' and just when you want it all wrapped up nicely, we end up with an ending that makes you want to scram into the pages. A real shame. In retrospect maybe the author should have stuck with the first book and not continued. I must say I did wonder if the trilogy had been forced on him, because after the first one his heart didn't seem in it.

If you are thinking about dipping in to this trilogy, my advice would be to stick to just the one, for the rest of us, this will be hard to resist but will leave you unsatisfied.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing end to the series, 18 Jan 2010
By 
J. Morgan-evans "junkmale2000" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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After the really impressive Traveler and the slightly less impressive Dark River, the final part of J12H's trilogy is a bit of a let down. It lacks the dynamism of the previous books and has the feel of an author who has lost interest in his characters and is going through the motions. The plot is non-existent (just an extension of the Dark River thread) and the conclusion a rather unsatisfying compromise which ties up none of the loose ends. Having said all that, alathough it didn't meet my high expectations, it is still a good read and more imaginative and better written than a lot of other writing today which has achieved more success (step forward Dan Brown).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but not great, 17 Aug 2010
The Golden City had its moments but I would agree that is was the weaker of the three books, purely on the basis that it took a long time to get going and I was not really engrossed until the end. Some of the traveller scenes were certainly `out there' and I am not sure whether the other dimensions described would have any other appeal to the travellers beyond intrigue. In the end the best part of the book was Gabriel Corrigan looking to foil his brother Michael's evil plan. For me Maya has been the central and most interesting character throughout the trilogy and in the end it was fittingly all about her. I`m glad to have read the series and would certainly recommend to others for a very unique experience.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Utter let down, 17 July 2014
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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.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Very good but disappointing ending., 8 Mar 2010
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Martin Belcher (Hampshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A complete and utter disappointment, 5 Aug 2010
My entire family were in awe of John Twelve Hawks after reading 'The Traveler' five years ago, and all of us were looking forward to reading the final installment of his thrilling insight into the world of the vast machine.
Now, I won't say that JTH is the best author ever, he makes literary errors in all of his novels, but in 'The Traveler' and 'The Dark River' you can forgive any bad writing as his story telling is inventive and full of suspense. If you wish to find a book like these, DO NOT BUY THE GOLDEN CITY!!

I read all the reviews telling me not to buy this book as it would be a complete disappointment, but like any fan of a previous novel I did not believe it and thought 'it can't be that bad', plus, I wanted to find out what happened to Gabriel, Maya, Michael and co. Suffice to say, I have now read the novel and feel that I have gained nothing. I may as well have made up the end of the story myself as I would've been much happier.

John Twelve Hawks has appeared to have got bored with his story, and rather than build up any suspense in this book. All personality is lost from every single character, everyone seems hollow and as I said before, the author has become disinterested.
There is no story telling, detail, and ultimately no excitment in this installment of the traveller series, it reads more like: 'this happens, and then this, and then this', a synopsis of the novel would be as satisfying and as thrilling as the book itself.

The ending leaves very little to be desired, although would've been satisfactory had the story leading up to the ending been well written.
All in all, far too much happens in this book for less than 400 pages. Very disappointing, and a waste of money. John Twelve Hawks wrote two fantastic novels, but did not end his story well at all! He has either rushed this novel due to pressure from his publishers, or got bored with the story and not been bothered about anything but his next cheque.
I am suprised a publisher has allowed for this peice of rubbish to be released.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing read, 29 May 2010
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After reading the first two books and getting totally hooked on the series, what a disappointment when book three finally arrived and I got stuck into it.

The book seemed to plod along without going anywhere. When Michael made it to the realm of the "half gods" and began plotting with them to take over the rule of the fourth realm, the whole line of that sub-plot seemed to suddenly end, with a few mere mentions of the "half gods" here and there and no real insight into their plots and schemes.

The ending also left a lot to be desired - not only was the final confrontation between Gabriel and Michael confusing and disappointing (I mean what REALLY happened there???), but the entire end of the book was too Hollywood touchy feel, everything turns out alright and the survivors are living happily ever after! What a cop out! Not only that, but the way in which they took down the Brethren seemed too easy - where was the real adventure, the real knock your socks off ending which leaves you wishing there was another book coming out just so it could continue.

All in all, the first book was brilliant, but this offering really let it down. I was expecting something more, something which would really capture me and entertain me. I definitely won't be reading the series again (and believe me when I enjoy something I'll read it until the books fall apart). Wish I'd bought something else now.
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The Golden City (The Fourth Realm Trilogy)
The Golden City (The Fourth Realm Trilogy) by John Twelve Hawks (Paperback - 3 Feb 2011)
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