Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Dark River - John Twelve Hawks

This sequel to The Traveller (2005), picks up right where the first book left off. Travelers are people who can leave this universe (though their bodies stay here), and tend to be spiritual and cultural leaders and revolutionaries. Throughout history, the Harlequins have been tasked with protecting Travelers, by whatever means necessary - though swords are the preferred weapon. And the Travelers have many enemies, mostly the established governments and organizations, led in secret by the Tabula (think Illuminati).

Set in today's world, these books follow Maya, a young, and reluctant, Harlequin, (yet another 'tough' heroine - are you seeing a pattern in my reading?) who is trying to protect the last two (known) Travelers. The Tablua rely on the current computer networks to track people, so Harlequins "live off the grid" to avoid detection, and rely on the anti-establishment subculture to aid them. Both books are fast-moving and suspenseful, but I thought The Dark River wasn't quite as "tight". Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading about Maya's struggles with her destiny and her struggles against the Tabula. Definitely fun, fast-paced reading, overall.

These books are pretty much a crusade against Big Brother tracking us through our everyday lives, and thereby controlling us. (The author, who is using a pseudonym, is said to "live off the grid" himself.) They don't really break new ground in the "secret conspiracy" genre, but the idea of the Harlequins & Travelers is somewhat unique.

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