by L.E. DeLano
Series: Traveler #1
Published on February 7, 2017 by Swoon Reads
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Jessa has spent her life dreaming of other worlds and writing down stories more interesting than her own, until the day her favorite character, Finn, suddenly shows up and invites her out for coffee. After the requisite nervous breakdown, Jessa learns that she and Finn are Travelers, born with the ability to slide through reflections and dreams into alternate realities. But it’s not all steampunk pirates and fantasy lifestyles—Jessa is dying over and over again, in every reality, and Finn is determined that this time, he’s going to stop it…This Jessa is going to live.
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Oh my goodness Traveler was such a fun read! I’m not usually one for books about time travel or alternate realities (which is this one) but I got really excited after reading the synopsis and thoroughly enjoyed this book.
So a lot of good going on in this one. First, I thought the writing was pretty solid. You’re led through the story pretty fast. I think that was due, in part, to the short chapters but also the general writing style. It moved quick, but in a good way, if that makes sense.
Jessa was a likable protagonist and I found the different Jessas interesting. With the alternate realities, you get to meet a few of her counterparts and each is very distinct. Kind of makes you think about what your own alternate selves would be like. She’s really…human, too. Like I think the way she treats problems and her way of thinking in general is both relatable and felt natural. I didn’t dive in completely with her character but I certainly didn’t dislike it.
I was much more interested in Finn (more specifically his pirate counterpart but that’s a WHOLE other conversation). Jessa seemed to just take everything almost at face value and go with it but I felt like Finn had more depth to his decisions, plus he’s a bit of a mystery I would have been more than happy to solve.
The whole realities really kept me hooked in the story. We’re introduced to a handful or so of alternate realities that Jessa and Finn Travel to, learning more about Finn in the process. I think it was a great way to show his character’s backstory in pieces but I never felt like Jessa’s character got as much out of it and could have benefited more from Traveling with a purpose beside being on the run (or a way to escape a situation she doesn’t want to deal with).
Now this book has romance and I really liked it… until the alternate Jessa entered the scene. It was like this weird almost love triangle but not really because the Jessas are different people completely, but it felt like it was just used to add tension and didn’t really add anything to the story for me. But it did lead into my biggest (and really only major) issue with Traveler: the ending.
Alright, so I’ll be honest, I kind of expected IT to happen based on all the things mentioned throughout the book. It wasn’t a surprise, though I can’t say I was a fan. I don’t think the ending twist was really needed. Do I like the direction that it looks like the sequel will take? Yes, because I happen to like a certain swashbuckling character. I also think I would have been happy if the twist had been something else.
Overall Traveler is a light, fun read and you’ll be finished with this book before you know it. I’m excited to see where DeLano takes it next and will definitely be picking up the sequel!