Posted in Book review, Books, Reading

Book review: The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks

The Traveler (Fourth Realm, #1)The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The following is the cover blurb: “In London, Maya, a young woman trained to fight by her powerful father, uses the latest technology to elude detection when walking past the thousands of surveillance cameras that watch the city. In New York, a secret shadow organization uses a victim’s own GPS to hunt him down and kill him. In Los Angeles, Gabriel, a motorcycle messenger with a haunted past, takes pains to live “off the grid” – free of credit cards and government IDs. Welcome to the world of The Traveler – a world frighteningly like our own. In this compelling novel, Maya fights to save Gabriel, the only man who can stand against the forces that attempt to monitor and control society. From the back streets of Prague to the skyscrapers of Manhattan, The Traveler portrays an epic struggle between tyranny and freedom. Not since 1984 have readers witnessed a Big Brother so terrifying in its implications and in a story that so closely reflects our lives.”

You are being watched.

Of course, in 2018, we all know that, and we willingly participate in the surveillance (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.). When this book was written (2005), social media was in its infancy, and, while cell phones were everywhere, smart phones were just beginning to penetrate the public consciousness. This book takes the idea of ubiquitous surveillance and runs with it, creating a multi-tiered society: the civilians — we ordinary folk who go about our daily business blissfully unaware or simply not caring how closely we are tracked and manipulated; the Tabula — a mysterious cabal of wealthy no-goodniks who do the tracking and manipulating, for the good of society, of course; the Harlequins — an equally mysterious class of bodyguards-cum-assassins whose only purpose in life is to protect… the Travelers — people with the ability to psychically travel to other parallel dimensions.

Over centuries, the Harlequins and Travelers developed an “off-grid” lifestyle: as far as the government knows, they don’t exist. They live “off-grid” under assumed names and false identities.

To live off the grid, one must be completely dedicated to avoidance of the usual comforts, such as an established residence, electricity, and running water; or one has sufficient wealth or knowledge to provide one’s own infrastructure for those comforts (e.g., paying cash for a home, buying solar panels and generators, digging wells and buying pumps, etc.); or one has a vast network of trusted acquaintances with access to stolen identities that enable one to hide in plain sight.

Their off-grid habits weren’t perfect: the Tabula hunted the Harlequins and Travelers mercilessly and have nearly succeeded in exterminating them. The few remaining Harlequins believe there are no Travelers left. They spend their time in hiding, protecting the knowledge of their class. Then they hear that the children of the last known Traveler are still alive. The ability to travel between realms is hereditary, and thus is launched a global search for these now-grown children. Unfortunately, the Tabula also become aware of their existence, and finding the potential Travelers quickly turns into a race between two warring enemies.

A decent story, as far as it goes. Not particularly well-written, but not a complete dud.

View all my reviews

Posted in Knitting, Project planning, Work in progress

WIP Wednesday: The Catching Up Edition

Ooooh, woe is me.

Actually, to be grammatically correct, that sentence should read: “Woe am I”, but this is a knitting and crochet blog, not a grammar blog. My blog, my rules. Nyah.

So, back to the woe bit. Wabbit. “Kill da wabbit, kill da wabbit!”

Sheesh. ADHD much, avanta? Focus, woman!

This state of mind brought to you by the fact I have several projects that are just. this. close. to being finished, and I can’t focus on any one of them long enough to make that last half a sock, or those last few stitches or seams. And my craft room is in an even more giant mess than usual, simply because spouse and I purchased the shelving units I wanted and I’ve had to tear the whole room apart before I can put it back together again. See?

Craft Room Reorg 2

Oh, wait, though. There’s more.

Craft Room Reorg 1

All is not lost, however. Because I have made small progress. Some of the yarn has found a home in bins. I just need more bins. And the gumption to tackle the stack of books and arrange them in the shelves in some semblance of order. Not to mention the stamina to go through every single pattern magazine and assign it to a proper magazine file. Speaking of which, I need more magazine files, too. But eventually, all will be organized, and these cubbies will be filled with neatness and order, and I’ll be able to find the damn magazine with the pattern I want when I want it and not six weeks later when I already started to use that yarn with a different pattern.

Craft Room Reorg 3

In yarn news, the cabled shrug is completely blocked, all the ends are woven in, and all it needs is seaming and buttons.Dolce Shrug 7

One sock is complete (and somewhere downstairs at the moment; don’t ask me why; at this point I have no idea) and the other sock has about two or three inches to go before starting the heel flap.

Dusk Socks 1

And the Kindle cozy just needs its button loop attached at one end and a button sewn on.

Kindle Cover 1

*sigh* This is a project which I no longer actually need, because I bought a cover that will actually protect the Kindle rather than keep it warm, but, you know, it’s pretty, so I’ll keep it and maybe put the Kindle with its protective cover inside the cozy anyway. On those really cold days next winter. In Georgia. Then again, maybe I’ll frog this and repurpose the yarn for something else. It’s 100% cotton, I only used about half the skein and I have a whole other skein in the same color…hm. It’s a thought.

WIP WednesdaysThat’s it for this WIP Wednesday. Click the badge to see what’s going on elsewhere in the WIP Wednesday blogosphere.