When Jessa meets Finn she feels a strong sense of deja vu, and undeniable attraction, even though she feels sure she has never met him before. And she hasn’t, at least not in her current reality. She finds out that she is a member of group of people who can travel between various realities, making slight “corrections” under the advisement of a race of beings called Dreamers. Much to her dismay, she discovers that Finn has come to find her because her other versions are being systematically killed off in numerous realities, including his own.
While it is clear that they have been in love in many other realities, at fist Jessa is hesitant, but once their relationship heats up, it is sweet and tender, much to the dismay of her friend Ben. Although the love triangle of Tessa-Finn-Ben is Twilight-esque, it was still enjoyable, with just the right amount of teenage angst and budding adult feelings. Jessa soon finds that she, Finn, and Ben have varying degrees of relationships across the realities, although they seem to usually be linked together in some fashion, but that the relationships are based on the decisions made by the individuals in each reality. This provides an interesting subject to ponder: how do our own choices, the choices of our friends, and even the choices of our parents, combine to shape our reality? How does the idea of fate factor in to this…and are we really free to make our own choices or is everything pre-determined?
The mystery of why Jessa is being murdered in multiple realities unfolds across the books in a very systematic faction, without being too predictable. L.E. Delano also does an excellent job of building the reader’s understanding of the travelers and how they work across the story, giving just enough information, to allow readers to grow in their knowledge at about the same rate as Jessa would if she was not a fictional character. The reveal of the villain was surprising, which was a pleasant departure from most YA books of this type, as was the overall premise regarding time travel.
In short, I recommend this book to just about anyone. There’s time/alternate universe travel, philosophy, young love, mystery, a little bit of thriller mystique, and dystopian themes. There’s even a pirate! If you’re looking for a quick read to relax with over the weekend, I promise that Traveler will not disappoint.