The Traveler

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

The Traveler is a fast-paced thriller, creating a society (called the Vast Machine by those in the know) in which everyone is subjected to constant surveillance and control, except for those few who choose to live “off the Grid.” Among these are the Travelers, special people who have the inherited power to travel between realms of existence and attain enlightenment; and the Harlequins, a band of warriors sworn to protect the Travelers with their lives from the Tabula, the powerful men who have created the Vast Machine.

The Tabula have hunted and executed the Travelers until they are nearly extinct. However, Michael and Gabriel Corrigan have inherited Traveler powers from their father. They have managed to stay alive by avoiding surveillance: they move frequently, pay cash, and avoid cameras. Nevertheless, Michael's desire for the material goods of the Vast Machine draws the attention of the Tabula, who begin the hunt to capture the pair. Enter Maya, a strikingly beautiful Harlequin who finds Gabriel just as he is about to be captured.

Author John Twelve Hawks offers something for everyone: conspiracy theory, esoteric knowledge, Eastern philosophy, aliens, violence, and even the Knights Templar. He clearly wants to tap The Da Vinci Code (2003) readership for his book and The X-Files audience for the planned feature film. While the characters are generally flat and the prose pitched to perhaps a seventh-grade reading level, many readers will find the intricate plot riveting.