The Dark River Review
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In a time when the Vast Machine keeps track of your every action, Travelers move among us, in and out of the different realms. They are our only hope for survival against a technological age, and the Brethren want them hunted down and eradicated.

Only three known Travelers remain in the world—Gabriel, his brother Michael, and their father, Matthew. Michael has gone over to the enemy’s side, and their father is missing, possibly trapped in another realm. The two brothers want to find him for very different reasons.

Travelers are protected by Harlequins, whose only objective is to keep the Travelers alive. They let nothing get in the way of protecting the Traveler—not even the safety of a child. Maya protects Gabriel as he hunts for his father. All her life, Maya, has been taught that love makes you weak. She cannot love or befriend Gabriel. In fact, it’s forbidden—or another Harlequin is allowed to eliminate her. Nothing and no one can matter but the Traveler.

Gabriel doesn’t understand Maya’s coldness—doesn’t understand the way she sees the world or how she can choose his well-being over that of a child. But he’s drawn to her, just as he knows she’s drawn to him. Though she demands his obedience, he doesn’t give it to her completely. He will get answers, he will find his father, and he must find him before Michael does.

While trying to stay off the Grid, Gabriel and his companions travel from the streets of New York, through underground rail stations, to London and Ireland—and then Gabriel goes alone into the dark realm known as Hell, where the occupants are doomed to keep repeating the same violent history over and over again. This is where he believes his father is trapped, and if he’s not careful, he might just get trapped there himself.

Every now and then, I come across an author whose words flow effortlessly, drawing me deeper into a world I never want to leave. John Twelve Hawks is one of those authors. It’s so easy to lose yourself for hours in his futuristic world. It’s so much like ours, yet different—a subtle danger lurks beneath the surface of this future world, and you can feel it on every page.

Though this is the second book in the Fourth Realm Trilogy, Mr. Twelve Hawks seamlessly explains who the Travelers are so even if you haven’t read the first book, The Traveler, you won’t be confused—but I still recommend starting with the first book to get a deeper understanding of the people and the life of this futuristic world. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Everything about The Dark River mesmerized me. It’s one of those stories you can’t wait to get back to after you’re forced to leave it for a little while. And now I await the third book, greatly anticipating what happens next.

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