Book Review – The Traveler by Ashley Bourgeois and Kathryn McGowan

Title: The Traveler (Chronicles of the Inner Realm)

Author:  Ashley Bourgeois and Kathryn McGowan

Format: Digital Pdf

Published: 2013


When thinking of how to start this book I want to start with the words run away and never look onto this book again!  It was not what I was expecting in the least and not something I would recommend to anyone!  To start off let me just say that what I was expecting and what I got are two different things.  Based on the book blurb I was expecting a YA novel, as it is all about a girl who is a senior in high school and found a magic book that takes her to a magic world.  This is most certainly NOT a YA book.  Truth be told this is a NSFW (not safe for work) book.  I unfortunately did not know this and had the book with me at work.  Fortunately it was on my tablet rather than on my computer and was not easy for some random person to pick it up.  Sill all the same, the book was horrifying and I only made it just short half way through before I had to simply just put it down and not read any more.  This is not what I signed up for.  I don’t care to read smut and I additionally don’t care to read pointless and overtly wrong smut – more on that later.


First I would like to talk about formatting.  When I agree to take a copy of the book to read I was honest and stated that my preferred medium of reading is a hard copy rather than a digital copy. I was requested to take a digital copy instead and I obliged.  The author the precede to send me a pdf file.  I didn’t think much of it till I went to finally read the book and realized that it isn’t simply a pdf file it is a proof copy!  I was shocked and dismayed to say the least.  Really you send a proof copy for a review?  Still, I decided to be nice as I did get massively behind in my reading list and opened the file to find the formatting to be horrific at best.  I am no stranger to kindle as I’ve used it for a few other books I’ve read and this was not a Kindle friendly format.  It had the proofing instructions attached and everything was set up in the format of a double page so I had two pages of the book for every one page in my Kindle.  I had to zoom every time I turned the ‘page’ and then shift the ‘page’ around to get the fully text before I move the screen to the next page and had to repeat.  Additionally my place could not be marked in my kindle and I could not pull the book up by directly opening the kindle I had to ‘download’ it again from my e-mail to open it in Kindle.  I tried to read the story in Adobe.  It gave me the documents as 2 book pages for very page and it was linear document so I had to zoom in once then shift from one side to the other then down and over to repeat this over and over to read the book.  Why did I put up with this painful formatting, because the book started out semi-decent.


Upon starting the book, I found myself admittedly slightly captured by the writing and the story but at the same time I knew that the writing really wasn’t that good, as there were text and typographical errors as proofs are wonton to do but at the same time the writing really wasn’t all that great but I kept reading and not wanting to stop.  Finally I concluded that the caliber of the book was that of a well written fanfiction something that has a smattering of errors but is accepted and it really not that great of writing and yet you read it anyway because it is like a potato chip enjoyable hard to stop but terrible for you.  I expected the book to be that way though out particularly when the side story characters of the magical world all have animal nicknames such as Bird, Dragon and Snake, and there are several modernisms in a medieval esque fantasy setting.  Yet that was not my luck as these problems were the least of my worries.


The book starts off with character introductions such as Aislin who is a shy recently turned eighteen senior in high school and her new school teacher librarian Alexander Bookman who is a little more than what he seems.  (I had issues with Alex from the start but we won’t get into that here).  Anyway, Aislin lost her mother not too terribly long ago and is living with her step father with whom there is no love lost between them. It is during these character introductions that Aislin finds the mysterious book that leads her to a world of magic and gets stuck there only to be ‘rescued’ by her teacher.  At this point despite several problems and idiosyncrasies, I was finding the book enticing an enjoying it like one enjoys a few too many potato chips (with a wee bit of guilt) all of that came grinding to a halt.  Upon trying to ‘rescue’ Aislin, Alex learns that she refuses to leave and won’t do as he wishes  As a result Alex decides that Aislin is behaving as a child and thus needs to be punished as one, he therefore proceeds to toss the girl over his lap and lift up her skirts to spank her bare bottom!  Yes, completely bare naked bottom.  WHAT THE HELL!?


It was at this point that I should have just stopped reading the book, I almost did but it was late at night my judgment a bit impaired and I knew I had promised a review.  I figured that I could get past this and try to read more.  So I did despite being mentally scared by the insanity of the afore mentioned scene.  I continued on and things continued to go downhill.  Aislin still smarting over what her – let me remind you – school teacher, librarian did to her she decides to try and get revenge on him.  In the process on getting some sort of revenge she is caught by him and they argue before she gets a call from her step father who was now kicking her out of the house.


With her world crashing down around her, Alex decides to be a gentleman and allow Aislin to move into his spare room considering that she is of age and not really a child after all.  The whole fact that Aislin is 18 makes everything alright as there is nothing wrong with a young girl and student to move into his home with him, a teacher at her school.  Seriously?  There is EVERYTHING wrong with this!!  Worse yet she decides to trust him, it is even mentioned in the book how despite the fact that he humiliated her and spanked, she just had a feeling she could trust him and accepts his offer.


This is where sexual tension starts to build up as Alex realizes oh, not only is Aislin of age, she is a woman, a very pretty and very distracting one at that too, and Aislin is starting to notice that he has very nice and muscular arms.  Toss in a gratuitous scene of Aislin’s black lacy underware falling out a box and the awkwardness and sexual tension is so think you can cut it with a knife.   Things move on and the two characters make fast friends and Aislin decides that Alex is gay because he makes the remark that he likes a lot of mean.  (This was in the context of his ordering a pizza).  Aislin takes this to mean that Alex is gay.  She further concludes this fact because he’s ‘awkward’ around her, nice, and really cute as all gay men are.  Wait am I missing something here?


After a few additional scenes where Aislin is caught by Alex in just her underwear (all for stupid reasons that make no sense what so ever) Aislin concludes that she needs to be best friends with Alex and they start to play fight which leads to exposed satin red underwear and Alex unthinkingly tossing Aislin on his bed where she makes a remark about him being gay and while he’s turned on he offers to show her just how not gay he is for him to realize what he is doing is wrong and stops short of a kiss.  Up to this point I am struggling through things because of everything above but I figure I can make it it’s not as bad as some of the other books I’ve read – that was until, in anger Aislin storms off to her room and decides to pleasure herself seeing as Alex won’t do the job for her and she makes sure that she is loud as a form of getting back at him!


This is NOT what I signed up for this is not the kind of story I enjoy reading.  I am not a fan of smut, particularly pointless smut!  It was at this point I decided that I was done reading, as I could not take any more. I wish I could give this book a less than 1 page review because this was terrible and not something I would recommend to anyone, particularly after reading some of the other reviews to know things get worse from where I left off.



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