Monday, 18 January 2016

Book Review: Traveler by Arwen Elys Dayton

Pros: several fight scenes, more background, quick moving plot 


For Parents: some sexual content (nothing graphic), some swearing, some violence

Mere weeks have passed since John’s airship home crashed and Shinobu is slowly healing.  When he and Quin are attacked by two feral boys and her father, they head for safety in Hong Kong.  The Middle Dread’s plans put them in danger and they search the diary of John’s mother for clues to what’s happened to Seekers in the past in order to avoid the same fate.  Meanwhile, John has found someone willing to finish his Seeker training.

The book alternates through several viewpoints, including the new point of view of Catherine, John’s mother, from the time of her training until her pregnancy with John.  I personally found her chapters the most interesting, as they shined light on what the previous generation of Seekers were up to, and showed how she’d changed - or warped - into the woman John remembered.  She begins her scenes quite like Quin, idealistic and believing in the nobility of the Seekers.  It’s her research into the actions of the Middle Dread and the journal she writes about it, that guides this book, as both Quin/Shinobu and John search through the entries for clues in the present.

I really liked all of the protagonists in this book.  Shinobu’s arc made me a little sad at times, given the substance abuse he fell into in the first book.  John’s training was interesting and I would have liked to see more of it.  Quin doesn’t change much, but I suspect that’s because she started this book in a better place than the other two. 

The bad guys, while somewhat comical in their ineptitude, are also kind of terrifying with regards to the implications surrounding them.  The Middle Dread has, apparently, been busy while the Old Dread slept.

There are a couple of good fight scenes as the plot speeds along.  There’s just enough down time to appreciate the revelations that come before the characters head to the next problem or the point of view changes.

I liked that more of the Seeker families make an appearance, and that their history feels more grounded in this book.  I also liked that a few more Seeker tools make their appearance.  From the sounds of it, there are a couple more to discover in the last book as well.

Traveler’s a fun book.  It’s a quick read that builds on everything that was good about the first book, and then adds more to it.  While it’s not a cliffhanger ending, it did leave me wishing the third book, Disruptor, came out this year rather than next year.

My review is part of a blog tour for Ms. Dayton.  Several sites have 2 minute video clips where she talks about her books and/or answers questions about them and her writing.  Several also have giveaways for books 1 and 2, though these are US only.  I'm adding the links to the specific blog tour posts as they go live.

January 11 - Seeing Double in Neverland (review + giveaway)
January 11 - The Cover Contessa (video + giveaway)
January 12 -  Once Upon A Twilight (video + giveaway)
January 12 - Two Chicks on Books (video + giveaway)
January 13 - Take Me Away to a Great Read (review + giveaway)
January 13 - Lytherus (video)
January 14 - Supernatural Snark (video)
January 15 - Bookish Lifestyle (review)
January 15 - The Eater of Books (video)
January 16 - Adventures in YA Publishing (Q and A with author)
January 16 - Page Turners (review + giveaway)
January 17 - Winterhaven Books (video)
January 18 - A Dream Within A Dream (video + giveaway)
January 18 - Sci Fi Fan Letter (you're here!)
January 19 - Mundie Moms (video + giveaway)
January 19 - The Reading Nook Reviews (review + giveaway) 

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