The Traveler, John Twelve Hawks, Doubleday, 2005, 480 pp
This book caused a huge stir when it was released because the author has never been seen in real life by his agent, his editor, his publisher or his reading public. He communicates by satellite phone and lives "off the grid." His website is full of computer games which are way beyond me.
The Traveler is set in the future when the world is under full surveillance. A certain type of scientific/big business conglomerate, called The Vast Machine, has taken over with the intention of managing all of mankind for their own good.
Travelers are special beings who can exist in different realms and who challenge these world controllers. They are protected by super able fighters called Harlequins who are raised by their families for the sole purpose of protecting Travelers. Several of the main characters are Harlequins who, for various reasons, are resisting their role in life until a man who is possibly a Traveler gets captured by the bad guys. Actually there are two brothers whose father was a Traveler and left them and their mother years ago. One brother turns out to be the good guy, the other is bad.
Very exciting futuristic cyber-thriller stuff, which made me very aware of how much of our personal lives are watched and monitored every day. I believe Twelve Hawks coined the phrase "living off the grid." I also realized how hard it would be to do that, though we used to try back when we were hippies. My sons didn't even have birth certificates or social security numbers until I finally broke down and put them in public school.
This volume is call Book One of the Fourth Realm. OK, I am ready for Book Two.