Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
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.
Traveler is the first installment in author L.E. DeLano's Traveler series. Meet the story's protagonist Jessa St. Clair. Jessa is a girl who is trying to figure out things for herself & her future. She wants to become a writer, or a journalist, and travel. But, the most curious thing about Jessa is that she's been dreaming about a boy with dark hair and green eyes. A boy who mysteriously appears to warn Jessa that she's in danger. This stuns Jessa because she never would have imagined that any of her dreams could possibly be true were it not for Finn's arrival.
As Jessa learns who Finn really is, and what she is capable of, you have to start asking yourself who is behind the killing of Jessa in various other realities and why Jessa seems to be in danger where ever she goes. You have to look at the characters who are introduced, including Jessa's best friend Ben. As Finn teaches Jessa about her abilities, Jessa meets her Dreamer. Dreamers like Mario keep an eye out on all realities and possibilities and ask travelers to step in when something is amiss. Dreamers spend most of their times in Dreamscapes where they can observe all the people who shape them.
With Jessa not being quite as open minded as Mario would have liked, he patiently teaches Jessa that dreams are fates, and Jessa has the best imagination. There are many realities; everyone can visit them in dream state, but only Travelers like Jessa and Finn are able to do it while still awake. We, as readers, also learn that certain objects are portals to other realities. Things like mirrors, lids on pots, teaspoons, water, and polished wood. As long as you can see yourself, and know where you want to go. A plus is that you are still you where ever you go. You even get the added benefits of having the same memories of the one you replaced.
Traveler isn't a new idea in the YA genre, but it is entertaining nonetheless. It follows a girl who is naive to what she really is. She ends up having an insta-attraction to the mysterious boy who she feels connected to. What makes Jessa interesting, in my humble opinion, is her brother Danny. Danny is a wonderful character who I loved so much. He is the older brother, but because of his autism, he's taken much of the attention away from Jessa. I don't believe at any point that Jessa ever once resented Danny.
I loved that Danny is in every single one of the alternative realities that she travels to. Sometimes he's normal, sometimes not so much. This is not a book that I would regard as not having a love triangle. Ben is her best friend who ends up getting caught up in things he would have been better walking away from. But, that's not Jessa's Ben. Finn is the boy she's dreamed of, and apparently with in a majority of alt-universes. I loved the traveling aspects because Jessa travels to places that peeked my imagination and curiosity. Especially when she lands in a steampunk world where Finn is a pirate, and Captain of his own ship. I also loved the different Jessa's. They are different in every way imaginable which leads to some interesting twists.
Traveler ends on a heart breaking cliffhanger, and so I will definitely be eager to read the sequel (Dreamer) once it is released. Thank you to Swoon Reads for sharing an advance readers copy with me.