What a marvelous surprise! Traveler by Greg Weisman is an enjoyable, swash-buckling fantasy for middle grade readers. Don’t let the “World of Warcraft” part fool you–this isn’t a thrown together, gimmicky, threadbare story. No! Quality writing, a fabulous cast of characters, mysterious circumstances, and a setting inspired by the game all come together to deliver the kind of quality adventure book that this demographic has been a little lean on recently. Never fear if you don’t know anything about the game, it is not necessary to enjoy Traveler. Mr. Weisman knows how to turn a phrase and structure a story with brisk pacing so you are in good hands. The illustrations by Samwise Didier are irresistible and compliment the descriptions in the narrative. The protagonist, Aram, is a bit petulant at first, but his growth and ingenuity in applying lessons from the past and his natural talents are inspiring, with friendship and loyalty being major themes.
Readers who love Brandon Mull, Rick Riordian, and adventures should snag a copy. Traveler is the first in a series so fasten your seatbelt.
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Scholastic
Profanity/Language: 1 anatomical term.
Violence/Gore: Character dumped on ground; sparring practice; song with violence in lyrics; brief fight with clubs, no injuries; extended battle scene on ship involving running through with swords, harpoons, etc. resulting in many deaths, some description, but not graphic; implied death of a mythical creature by cutlass/harpoon; injury from bashing against rocks; discussion of hot to cook and eat a human; hunting animals for food; fight with harpoon/knives resulting in death of mythical creatures and character being knocked unconscious ~ 3 pages, not graphic; threat with knife; abduction; shoving; desire to kill mythical creature; brief scuffle between human and mythical creature resulting in minor injuries; report of gladiator fight; report of leg being cut off when character tried to escape; minor cuts received; mythical male creature slaps mythical female creature; multi-page gladiator scene with humans and mythical creatures involving swords, clubs, minor injuries, mention of blood; multi page fight of human against mythical creature involving fire, crossbow, sword, etc.–mention that a mythical creatures head is cut of; sounds of battle; battle, general description, but a mythical creatures head does roll on the ground; verbal threats; death of mythical creatures; arrows shot at character resulting in death.
Sex/Nudity: A character finds another attractive/pretty.
Mature Subject Matter:
Death of friends and family member.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
There is drinking of ale at a tavern.