Rivers of Fire by Patrick Carman
Illustrations by Squire Broel
Atherton, Book 2
Finished: June 10, 2009
First Published: May, 2008
Genre: children, science fiction
It was the middle of the night when Edgar entered the fig grove alone.
Reason for Reading: With the release of the last book in the trilogy this year, I decided to read the series. This is the second book. I received a review copy from Hatchette Book Group.
Comments: This book picks up right where book one left off and continues the story. I cannot tell you anything about the plot without spoiling details that happen in the first book and I like to keep my reviews spoiler free. So instead I'll focus on the characters. Edgar and Isabel are split up into different groups this time as they continue on important quests. They both join characters from book one whom we've only briefly met before; this time giving us greater insight into those characters. Doctor Kincaid, an aging scientist and Victor his attendant; Samuel, a boy from the upper class Highlands and Horace, the lead guard. We also become better acquainted with the villagers including Isabel's father and the owners of an Inn in The Village of Rabbits.
The story of is full of adventure, plot twists, mad villains and believable heroes who risk and sometimes give their lives for the greater good. Many of the mainstream reviews call this book, and the series, a fantasy (and the publishers add to the confusion with the fantasy covers) but while the plot does follow your basic fantasy quest premise it is not fantasy at all but science fiction. Everything that happens, is used, or met along the way has a scientific foundation and reason to be, there are no magical or fantastical elements.
I read this book through only stopping when life demanded I must. A real page-turner. I really love the world that Carman has created. It is very unique to say the least. This book ends with a finite ending, all threads are finished off and there is even a "One Year Later" epilogue. So the two book set does end very nicely here. There is a third book however, which goes in a completely different direction and I can't wait to read it; review to come soon. This is a great series, highly recommended for ages 9 and up!