A well-written thriller with sci-fi overtones

Dennis Green has written a very entertaining book in “Traveler,” one that appeals beyond the science fiction genre where it started.

Karen Matibe, publisher of “Traveler” (Mbedzi Publishing, 308 pages, $26.95 hardcover, $14.95 paperback), sees Green’s book as a thriller with sci-fi overtones. That’s exactly right.

The book will be of interest to readers of mysteries and police procedurals, as well as to those who enjoy TV shows where characters operate in the real world … except for one or two weird things.

  • “Traveler” is fast-paced and suspenseful. And it’s well-written. Examples:
  • “When you get into this territory, words like ‘future’ get kind of fluid.”
  • “The thing about jazz — no matter how many times you hear a particular tune … a great tune always shows you something new each time you listen.”
  • “Dark circles rimmed either side of my nose, and my complexion in general would have needed time in a tanning booth to get up to sallow.”

Green does a good job of rounding out his main characters — you’ll like Trav and Sam and the psychic Morgan, in most of their incarnations — and in putting brisk, entertaining words in their mouths.

What I admire most about the book, though, is how Green weaves in the science, knowing just how much to tell before letting the reader breathe or laugh. I also like the clever shorthand he invented to keep the characters straight in their multiple “streams.”

At the core of the book is the intriguing notion of how even small changes in the past could have altered our current reality. What would have happened had we taken another branch in the road, had we moved one place instead of another, had we not joined a writing group?Sign me up for the sequel.

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