So, I have three questions to pose:
1. Can a climax be hidden and come on suddenly without warning as long as the tension has been clearly built over the course of the book? In which case it would not be without warning
For example, a hated antagonist that is only mentioned, but never seen, suddenly so long as it isn't out-of-the-blue suddenly. The cavalry coming over the hill just in time is okay so long as the reader knows someone sent for the cavalry appears at some gathering and the climax ensues.
2. Can a book simply just NOT have a climax, but still be a good story? Most good stories lead somewhere.
3. If you're trying to keep real-time pacing in your story, how do you fill time when you're character is traveling? What do you mean by real-time pacing?
I don't want to sit twiddling my thumbs sitting next to a character and staring out the window at the scenery while he spends two hours driving from A to B. If nothing of any interest or relevance happens during the journey - cut it and transition straight to the next scene.