Posted in reviews

Travelers (Nel Bently #1) by V.S. Holmes Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young archeologist must contend with angry militants in Chile, a dangerous benefactor to her dig and a growing mystery that could define her career and change history as we know it in author V.S. Holmes’ “Travelers”, the first in the Nel Bently series.


The Synopsis

No One Fights Dirtier Than an Archaeologist

Archaeologist Nel Bently has her own crew, her own research, and a private patron to fund her passion for dirt. With her trowel barely into the dry earth of Chile’s coast, however, Nel learns she and her crew are being watched.

Los Pobladores, known to Nel only as vandals and looters, take issue with any archaeologist brave or stubborn enough to set boots on their land. Nel is both and far from willing to give up the site that will make her career. She must keep her crew, her friends, and her life’s work safe, but with a benefactor playing chess with their lives, and angry militants who may actually have a point, Nel is ready to fight dirty.

X-FILES meets LARA CROFT in this snarky sci-fi about where we came from, and where we’re going

The Review

A fantastic, short yet powerful sci-fi adventure, Travelers was an amazing start to this series. The author has crafted a beautiful tapestry of archeology and history, science-fiction drama and LGBTQ+ driven characters, and did so in a way that felt cohesive and engaging all at once. 

The story and characters did a great job of drawing the reader in immediately, from Nel’s relationship early on with her archeology friend Mikey to Nel’s journey as the site’s discoveries lead to some shocking twists and turns. What really stands out was the author’s way of incorporating real archeology techniques and methodology into the narrative, giving both the characters and their work within the novel a more realistic approach. 

Another thing that really was great to see was a strong, female-driven narrative and protagonist as well as a powerful LGBTQ+ sci-fi hero. Nel’s hold-no-bars approach to the challenges in this novel made her a true standout, and the emotional highs and lows she underwent helped to showcase just how much her character grew overall throughout the narrative, making this one of the more engaging sci-fi series with a LGBTQ+ protagonist. 

The Verdict

A memorable, entertaining and investing read, author V.S. Holmes’ “Travelers” is a must-read start to an incredible sci-fi saga. With emotional and action-packed twists and turns and an ending that leaves open some great story possibilities for future books, the author has crafted a masterful narrative and memorable characters that many readers will be able to identify with. If you haven’t yet, grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

V. S. Holmes is an international bestselling author. They created the REFORGED series and the NEL BENTLY BOOKS. Smoke and Rain, the first book in their fantasy quartet, won New Apple Literary’s Excellence in Independent Publishing Award in 2015. In addition, they have published short fiction in several anthologies.

When not writing, they work as a contract archaeologist throughout the northeastern U.S. They live in a Tiny House with their spouse, a fellow archaeologist, their not-so-tiny dog, and own too many books for such a small abode. As a disabled and queer human, they work as an advocate and educator for representation in SFF worlds.


Anthony Avina, (Born March 1990), is an author, a journalist, and a blogger. Born in Southern California, he has battled through injuries, disabilities, moves back and forth across the country, and more, yet still maintains a creative voice that he hopes to use not only to entertain but to inspire hope in even the darkest situations. He writes short stories and novels in several genres, and is also a seasoned journalist for the online magazine, On Request Magazine, as well as the popular site TheGamer. Having grown up reading the books of Dean Koontz and Stephen King, they inspired him to write new and exciting stories that delved into the minds of richly developed characters. He constantly tries to write stories that have never been told before, and to paint a picture in your mind while you are reading the book, as if you could see every scene of the book as if it were a movie you were watching. His stories will get your imaginations working, and will also show that in spite of the most despairing and horrific situations, hope is never out of reach. He am always writing, and so there will never be a shortage of new stories for your reading pleasure.

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