The Travelers by Chris Pavone was a solid thriller. It follows Will Rhodes, a travel writer for the Travelers, as he gets looped into a plot with world-changing implications.
First of all, I loved Pavone’s writing style. He has this smooth and descriptive style that seems to flow into one another. However, he does overwrite from time to time. There does not need to be that much adjectives to describe a simple task. It’s as if he’s trying to show off. Now, I felt Will was a relatable character and you felt for what he was going through. He is a bit standard, but effective. Chloe and Malcolm were much more interesting characters, in my opinion. They had this mysterious aura to them, that feeling that there was something they were not telling. The rest of the characters were either stock or under developed. Gabrielle could have been a great character, but she is left to the background and was dropped off near the end. Elle was ok, a bit generic. Although Pavone did a good job keeping what side she was on a mystery until the end.
As for the actual story, it was predictable. The typical everyday guy getting roped into something bigger plot. It was a bit cliché. The changing perspectives and locations allowed Pavone to add some bigness to this story, I guess. You felt that it was taking place around the globe. But the changing perspectives made it hard to understand and at times, you forget that a character even exists in the first place. While it can lead to some mystery between unknown characters, it more often than not confuses you. To add to that, Pavone will skip a few events and retell what happened a few pages later similar to a TV show called Leverage (loved that show). However, the biggest problem with the book is its slow start. It takes almost 2/3 of the book for anything interesting to happen. It is a slow burn and I mean really slow burn, but has a mostly effective payoff. The ending, while tied things together for the most part, was a bit rushed and seemed that it set up something more interesting than the actual book.
Overall, The Travelers was a solid thriller. It has its ups and downs, but it is competent enough to satisfy fans of the genre.
Rating: Check it out if you like thrillers