The Golden City

The enigmatic author John Twelve Hawks became a hit with the release of the international bestseller The Traveler (Canada, USA, Europe) and its sequel, The Dark River (Canada, USA, Europe). Having enjoyed both dystopian installments, I was looking forward to discovering how the author would close the show. Especially with the cliffhanger ending that brought The Dark River to a close, I was dying to know what happened next!

Here's the blurb:

John Twelve Hawks's previous novels about the mystical Travelers and the Brethren, their ruthless enemies, generated an extraordinary following around the world. The Washington Post wrote that The Traveler 'portrays a Big Brother with powers far beyond anything Orwell could imagine . . .' and Publishers Weekly hailed the series as 'a saga that's part A Wrinkle in Time, part The Matrix and part Kurosawa epic.' Internet chat rooms and blogs have overflowed with speculation about the final destiny of the richly imagined characters fighting an epic battle beneath the surface of our modern world.

In The Golden City, Twelve Hawks delivers the climax to his spellbinding epic. Struggling to protect the legacy of his Traveler father, Gabriel faces troubling new questions and relentless threats. His brother Michael, now firmly allied with the enemy, pursues his ambition to wrest power from Nathan Boone, the calculating leader of the Brethren. And Maya, the Harlequin warrior pledged to protect Gabriel at all costs, is forced to make a choice that will change her life forever.

A riveting blend of high-tech thriller and fast-paced adventure, The Golden City will delight Twelve Hawks's many fans and attract a new audience to the entire trilogy.

Although another page-turner, The Golden City fails to live up to the potential created by its predecessors. I don't know if John Twelve Hawks did it on purpose and left many doors open for various sequels, but this conclusion doesn't bring the trilogy to an end with an exclamation point. Quite the contrary, the lackluster ending was a bit of a letdown.

In terms of worldbuilding, the author's depiction of the other realms was a bit on the lame side, which took a lot away from the entire reading experience. Especially the half gods' storyline, which turned out to be a major failure to launch.

I particularly enjoyed the character growth of both Maya and Hollis. And revelations about Nathan Boone were a nice touch which allow the reader to understand why he act the way he does. Yet both brothers, Michael and Gabriel, the two Travelers at the heart of the struggle between the Travelers and the Brethren, have basically lost all of their appeal. John Twelve Hawks doesn't appear to have much sense of direction in this one, and at times you wonder where the story is going.

The pace is crisp and the relatively short chapters keep you turning those pages. Though the fascination I felt reading the first two volumes of The Fourth Realm trilogy is absent, the story is nevertheless interesting enough to keep you going and make short work of this novel. Yes, the door is definitely open for more to come, but The Golden City ends in a way that will satisfy few readers. The lack of resolution truly makes for a drab ending.

Sadly, this final volume falls short of the kind of conclusion which was heralded by the quality and the intrigue of both The Traveler and The Dark River. Too bad, as the stage was set for a compelling finale. . .

The final verdict: 7.25/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

4 commentaires:

The Mad Hatter said...

I had a lot of the same problems with The Golden City. The ending couldn't have been more lackluster. The Traveler had so much promise yet Hawks went for a beat you over the head approach.

Tree Frog said...

I have never understood why Twelve Hawks got that much promotional push. The book kind of sucked, to be honest.

But this makes things fit a bit better:


I was disappointed having stuck it out through books one and two. Didn't even bother finishing Golden City.

Suzanne said...

I agree completely with your review. After getting over my initial doe-eyed-ness of being so excited that the book was out, I found there were just too many things that disappointed me. The main one being the description of the other realms. Hawks spent so much time in the Second Realm that I was hoping for a similar discovery of the other realms we hadn't seen yet in the previous books. I thought the realm of the half-gods interesting but the realm of the Gods a huge let down. What was the point?