I detest books where the author deliberately waters-down a plot in order to extend it into a sequel as John Twelve Hawks did in “The Traveler.”
The premise is good, it focuses of three types of people in the world: The Travelers, who can subconsciously pass through to other worlds bringing back messages of peace and harmony. The Tabula, who seek to control the behavior of mankind and see Travelers as a menace that must be eliminated. And then there are the Harlequins, highly skilled martial artist hit men, who have dedicated their lives to protecting the Travelers.
Hawks drags on about the Tabula and the Harlequins while barely touching on the skills of the Travelers, when he suddenly runs out of pages.
I see this kind of story telling is a form of cheap prostitution, a means of hooking the reader’s loyalty to sell more books.
I tried reading this book, and found it unbearable. The craft was juvenile. Too many "the people were running" rather than the people ran. And why did the harlequins use swords rather than guns? Because the author thought it'd be cool was the only thing I could figure. The plot was too far fetched. (The one night a couple goes on vacation and gets house sitters is the one night the bad guys strike? c'mon). A lot of the dialogue is pretty bad (the scene between the dying mom and the traveler sons? People just don't talk like that.
I really think the only reason this book got published was because the fake "off the grid" bio of the author. Nothing sells like a conspiracy, even it's terrible fiction.
I'd comment on what you said, Antinomy, but I didn't finish the book. I returned it.