When reading the first few pages of a paranormal, it’s often difficult to make the necessary adjustments to your brain patterns that will allow you to absorb the details of a brand new world. In Traveler by Melanie Jackson, those adjustments hit you like a freight train.
From the very first paragraphs, readers are dumped unceremoniously into a wild new world with goblins, fey folks, and assorted critters, all following rules and regulations, and no quarter is given to the reader who can’t keep up. I do admit to re-reading a couple of the early chapters, since there was simply no way for me to get all the important stuff first time around. But before long I was swept up into the adventure with Io, a half-fey woman sent on a dangerous mission, and Jack Frost, her fey contact.
The plot is taut, and believable – yes, even with Goblins cast as the bad guys. And they’re really, really bad. Io is a charmer, in more ways than one, with a delightfully contemporary edge to her that appeals to Jack. And Jack – well, what can I say? He’s the alpha male, the hunky hero, the master-wizard – in short, Jack’s perfect! He’s charming, deadly, seductive and a little confused, all in the right quantities at the right times.
There may well be a subtle contemporary sub-text in this story, dealing as it does with the issues of addiction and control. Throw in some greed, add a dash of world-dominating political ambition, and only the paranormal element distinguishes it from some of the better political suspense I’ve read lately. But make no mistake – this is a paranormal book from the get-go. Magic is loose, creatures of horror and mystical abilities roam the streets, and even falling in love gets a seductive boost from a spell or two.
I’m not usually a big fan of paranormal romances, but this one shook up my thoughts about the genre, and encouraged me to try a few more. Especially by Melanie Jackson. If they’re as good as this one, then I’ll be in for a reading treat.