Traveler, by Melanie Jackson

>> Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Traveler, by Melanie Jackson sounded like something completely different... reason enough for me to grab it!

Much of the action in Jackson's (The Selkie) paranormal romance takes place in a city that seems just like present-day Detroit, with one difference: this Motor City is home to an underground nightmare city populated by refugee goblins expelled from Europe. Though seemingly grateful for their new world haven, the foul-smelling goblins have in fact secretly replaced the nation's leading industrialists, including Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, with deodorized doubles-and the takeover trail may lead much higher. Pitted against mysterious goblin leader Horroban and his six-limbed, four-breasted rock star girlfriend are "siren fey" Io Cyphre, who's a H.U.G. (Humans Under Ground) magical agent, and charismatic cop Jonathan "Jack" Frost, who's half fairy.
It definitely was different, wonderfully different. I had a great time reading it. A B+.

The universe Jackson has created here is fascinating. It's pretty complex and nothing like anything I've read (yeah, I admit I'm not particularly well read in the fantasy genre, something I have every intention of remedying). And yet, except for feeling lost for a couple of pages at the beginning, it was perfectly easy to get into the story. There's a website,, which I haven't had the time to really explore yet, but looks interesting.

According to what I've read, this is urban fantasy mixed with romance, and it works beautifully. I liked the dark, gritty feel, and I appreciated that for all the grittiness the violence didn't get out of hand. Jackson has a good hand with her action scenes, which were just fast-paced enough to be easy to follow.

Added to the great setting, the protagonists are very well done. I loved Io, who was smart, strong and a truly kickass heroine, and I found Jack terribly sexy. For a relationship between two people who had known each other for only a few action-filled days, it was full of emotion, which made me really buy that they were in love and ready to spend the rest of their lives together.

The next in the series is Outsiders, and it sounds good!


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