its called the traveller by an anonymous gentleman called John Twelve Hawks, who is said to live off the "grid" which is what the book also calls
the "vast machine". It has the protaganists called the "brethern", aka the "tabula". the end of the audiobook has a nice lil audio interview
with the author, who is still aparently anonymous.
here are a couple of reviews i enjoyed:
1)I realize that this book is being sold as science fiction, but you only have to look around you to see that it gives a clear picture of our current
reality. In the UK these days, we have willingly given away most of our rights and all of our privacy. This book has swords and battles and exciting
scenes, but it also gives a larger vision about who we are and where we are going. Doing a little research on the Internet showed me that many of the
technological aspects Hawks writes about are quite real. As far as his description of London, he is also accurate about where to buy unregistered
phone chips, etc. Forget about vampires and serial killers. This book is about something that really is frightening.
2)Yes, there has been a lot of marketing hype regarding the hyper-anonymity of Mr. John Twelve Hawks who, like his countercultural characters in "The
Traveler," has supposedly decided to live off "the Grid" and avoid exposing his precious identity in a post-9/11 world where the government has
increased its surveillance of citizens under the guise of anti-terrorism paternalism. And yes, one could engage in an endless debate over whether this
book is best labeled as speculative fiction, techno-thriller, urban fantasy, or science fiction.
But these issues, while perhaps interesting topics of discussion, are ultimately much less relevant than the fact that this is a highly entertaining
thriller, with a premise that will appeal to fans of "The Matrix" franchise and an anti-control theme that will resonate with conspiracy lovers and
Robert Heinlein readers. Heinlein once wrote that "political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative,
and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such
desire." Mr. Hawks's work fully embraces this same theme as well as the Aldous Huxley-ish viewpoint that science without mysticism is ultimately
In the tradition of the best thriller writers, the author manages to avoid the pitfalls common to many first-novelists, juggle multiple points of
view, and keep the pages turning with cliffhanger chapters. He also writes with a direct, unpretentious style that aids in the suspension of disbelief
and fits well with the technology-laden world he has created. And his characters, particularly Maya and Gabriel, have more depth than the
cookie-cutter heroes common to books of this sort.
At times, this book teeters on the edge of becoming an over-the-top amalgamation of too many proven Hollywood elements (martial arts, quantum physics,
Buddhist meditation, "Highlander"-esque chases, a "Terminator"-like bodyguard, travel to other dimensions a la "The Matrix," etc.), but the
author's palpable passion for the philosophical threads running through the book somehow links everything together in a way that is both entertaining
and mentally stimulating.