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The House of Power (Atherton Series #1)

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Overview

Edgar, a gifted climber, secretly scales the treacherous walls separating the three worlds of Atherton: the humble grove that is his home...a mysterious highland realm of untold beauty and sinister secrets ...and a vast wasteland below, where a monstrous danger lurks that could destroy them all.

While searching the forbidden cliffs for a treasure lost in his faded memory, Edgar discovers the first of many startling revelations to come: the three realms are beginning to collapse,...

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The House of Power (Atherton Series #1)

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Overview

Edgar, a gifted climber, secretly scales the treacherous walls separating the three worlds of Atherton: the humble grove that is his home...a mysterious highland realm of untold beauty and sinister secrets ...and a vast wasteland below, where a monstrous danger lurks that could destroy them all.

While searching the forbidden cliffs for a treasure lost in his faded memory, Edgar discovers the first of many startling revelations to come: the three realms are beginning to collapse, turning his entire world inside out. Atherton is not what it seems, but something far more dangerous, with a history locked inside the mind of a madman and a future beyond Edgar's wildest imagining.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The world of Atherton consists of three distinct, interconnected lands stacked atop each other like a layer cake. At the top are the Highlands, home to Atherton's rich and oppressive ruling class; the middle layer is the Flatlands, populated by Atherton's subservient working class; the bottom layer is The Wastelands where none dare venture, for the few that have done so have never been heard from again. When the three worlds inexplicably begin to collapse into each other, and the Highlands and Flatlands prepare for war, it may well be young, insatiably curious Edgar who holds the key to Atherton's survival. With soft, well-articulated vocalizations, Davis portrays a wide range of characters here, and his intimate delivery proves perfect for pulling the listener into the heart of this complex fantasy. The augmentation of his performance with strategically placed music and sound effects only serves to enhance his storytelling. Ages 8-up. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
VOYA - Angelica Delgado
Edgar knows that in his world of Atherton, the Highlands above are forbidden and the Flatlands below are a wasteland. Yet he repeatedly climbs the walls between Tabletop and the Highlands. People think that he does it to annoy his employer, Mr. Ratikan, who controls access to water on Tabletop as it flows from above. Edgar, however, seeks a treasure in the rocky cliff wall. When mysterious earthquakes transform the landscape around his home and bring him closer to the Highlands, Edgar finds what he has been searching for. With this discovery comes a new friend, pasty bibliophile Samuel, as well as new enemies. Scheming Highlanders Lord Phineus and Sir Emerik will stop at nothing to maintain the hierarchy between the levels and keep the truth about the earthquakes hidden. As Edgar's world continues to change, he learns the frightening history of Atherton's existence. This first of three novels provides a compelling read for science fiction/fantasy aficionados and those who know the author's previous series, Land of Elyon. The novel's short, abruptly ending sections will keep many a reader up nights for "just one more chapter." Drawings interspersed throughout the text document the multilayered world, and appendixes illuminate its mysterious history. The publishers plan an interactive experience for the reader between the book and its tie-in Web site including audio/video clips. Carman includes frequent quotations from Shelley's Frankenstein; expect increased circulation of this classic as readers become engrossed in Carman's new saga.
School Library Journal

Gr 7-10
This first book in the series starts out reading like a pastoral fantasy set on a fig farm where children and adults labor side by side to handle the trees and reap the harvest. The farm is on Tabletop, which is bordered by a rising cliff on one side and a drop-off on the other. Edgar vaguely remembers his deceased father telling him that he had placed something in the cliffs for his son. The boy teaches himself to climb up there even though it is forbidden. When he finds the book his father left him on the cliff face, he knows that he must travel all the way to the Highlands above to have someone read it to him. But the world is getting more treacherous as the ground itself begins to rumble, shift, and change. The book that Edgar has holds the secrets of their entire world and its changing future. Despite the setting, this novel is actually not a fantasy but rather pure science fiction where a manufactured world created by a madman is throwing the inhabitants' lives into turmoil. It is a fast-paced novel with a unique setting, fascinating plot, and cliff-hanger ending. It shines because of the author's imagination and skill. The characterizations of even the secondary figures are skillfully done, which makes the world all the more vivid and believable.
—Tasha SaeckerCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
The world is Atherton; the inhabitants are human; the government is dystopian-a standard science fiction/fantasy formula. But there is more than that. Carman's complex plot frequently surprises even though he plants hints galore and indulges in a judicious amount of foreshadowing. Epigraphs from Shelley's Frankenstein introduce each of the novel's sections, along with snatches of dialogue-bits and pieces that hint that Atherton may be more than it appears to be-a world with three levels: a lush highland, an arid middle plateau and a seemingly sterile lowlands. The child characters-orphaned hero Edgar and his two friends Samuel and Isabel-are well-developed, while the "evil" lords are more stereotypical, living in the Highlands and ruling Tabletop's denizens by terror, pushing them into rebellion. As the story unfolds, Edgar discovers how Atherton was created and where it is located. Black-and-white illustrations add facts about the world and its ecology. A humdinger of a cliff-hanger will leave even reluctant readers demanding more, and soon. (Science fiction. 9-12)First printing of 150,000
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316166713
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Series: Atherton Series , #1
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 126,760
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick Carman

Patrick Carman's previous books in the Land of Elyon series (The Dark Hills Divide, Beyond the Valley of Thorns, and The Tenth City) have all been New York Times bestsellers. He is also the Creative Director of pcstudio, a packager and pioneer of the multimedia "vBook" (video+book), a format launched in 2009 with Skeleton Creek. He recently authored the fifth title in Rick Riordan's 39 Clues series, The Black Circle.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 59 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(44)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2013

    Amazing!

    Atherton is a suspenseful book, which makes it a page turner. I highly recommended this book. Trust me. You will love it!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2013

    Amazing book with suspense around every turn!

    Amazing book with suspense around every turn!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2013

    Perfect Childrens Thriller

    I love these kinds of books! I will admit, it did look strange at first, however, once picked up, it will never be put back down!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Breathtaking!

    "Atherton: The House of Power," by sensational author Patrick Carman, author of the "Land of Elyon" and "Skeleton Creek" series, is the first novel in the "Atherton" trilogy, which is truly unlike any other! Packed full of mystery and suspense that just keeps building up with each chapter, this book is full of unique characters and introduces a whole new world to readers! As an interactive activity, readers can log onto Atherton websites(unlockdrhardingsbrain.com and athertonseries.com) to enter in codes from the book, look at drawings, audio files, video segments, and discover exclusive information. Because this book was literally impossible to put down, I read it in just one sitting! It also constantly has the reader thinking about it! With a cliff-hanger ending that makes the reader excited to begin book two, "Ahterton: Rivers of Fire," "Atherton: The House of Power" is an amazing read that no one should miss out on! So, what are you waiting for? Do yourself a big favor and dive into this breathtaking and unique trilogy!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2013

    House of Power

    THIS WAS A GREAT BOOK!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2013

    One of my favorite books

    The muraculous world of atherton is a winderfu place with edgar ad hid friends trying to find out the secrets of Atherton. Its a great book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2011

    Favorite book

    I love this biok it keeps me up late at night just wondering wat will happen next :)#1

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Carrie Spellman for TeensReadToo.com

    Edgar knows that he should be working rather than climbing and swinging in the trees, but he just can't seem to help himself -- even if it does earn him a beating from Mr. Ratikan's stick. It would hardly be the first time and it isn't likely to be the last. He also knows he shouldn't be climbing the cliffs, but he has to. <BR/><BR/>Edgar's world is shaped sort of like a three-leveled top. The top level, the Highlands, are populated by the well-to-do people. They control the water for all of the other levels. If you fell off of the Highlands, and didn't die, you would land on the middle level, Tabletop, which is the level Edgar lives on. They are the workers who harvest food and raise animals. They receive water based on how well they feed the people above. If you fell off of Tabletop and weren't killed by the fall to the Flatlands, you would either be eaten by the monsters that live there, or die of starvation. If you could survive long enough to fall off of the Flatlands, you would fall off of the earth. <BR/><BR/>Edgar's father fell off of the middle level when Edgar was just a small boy. Edgar has one memory of him, though. The older he gets, the weaker the memory becomes, but he knows that it has to do with a book that he is supposed to find. It's hidden in the cliffs between the top and middle levels. So Edgar climbs, and searches, whenever he can. <BR/><BR/>In one day Edgar finds the book, climbs all the way to the Highlands (forbidden), and makes a friend (hopefully) there. The biggest discovery Edgar makes that day could be he most dangerous of all. The Highlands are sinking. If the cliffs keep shuddering, eventually the Highlands and Tabletop could be level with each other! That thought alone sends Edgar off on the adventure of a lifetime. <BR/><BR/>Edgar is off. He is on a search for answers, for the right questions, for his destiny. It's going to get far worse before it gets better. <BR/><BR/>This book is a fantastic mix of mad scientist, alternate worlds, and realistic people. Patrick Carman hasn't missed a trick in this one; believable characters, a fully imagined and realized world, and an absorbing plot. I had a hard time putting this book down. I can't wait to see what happens next! Though while you're waiting you should check out the very cool, interactive website www.athertonseries.com.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    This is a great page turner for all ages. The characters are lif

    This is a great page turner for all ages. The characters are life-like and the descriptions of the setting are so realistic that I feel like I could just reach out and touch one of the fig trees in the grove.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2014

    Love it

    Love this author

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2014

    Awsome book

    This is AWSOME book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

    Oh my goodness

    I read this book over and over again. This book truely is a must have.

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  • Posted September 16, 2012

    Atherton the House of Power is an unforgettable, original advent

    Atherton the House of Power is an unforgettable, original adventure book. This book left me staggering backwards in awe at how amazing the plot and dialogue is. I’ve never read anything like it! I rated this book five out of five dried figs, because that is the primary source of food in Atherton, very important to the people, because they trade most of it for their water. The books deserves the best rating because of how well written and designed it is. The book is about a boy who lives in a world that consists of three interesting levels. The highest is called the Highlands, for the wealthy and intelligent people. The middle is called tabletop, where the workers and animals live. Workers in tabletop farm animals like rabbits and sheep, and farm figs in return for water from the Highlands. The lowest level is very dangerous, where almost no one dares to travel. Edgar, the main character, is soon to be revealed as a rule breaker with a good cause. Throughout his adventure, he takes risks no human would ever consider, searching for clues about what is really going on. With ignorance to everything but water and figs, Edgar has much to learn about the world he lives in. The detail in the book is amazing, making you stay up late every night for just one more chapter! Here is an example of the creative detail, “… the rabbits sounded as if they’d gone to sleep. The sound persisted, like rocks scraping and sparking against each other.” Lastly, the carefully chosen wording in the story really adds to how the plot unravels itself, making the story more interesting, “Edgar listened deeply, placing his hands flat against the cliff. He could feel a vibration in the stones that made him jump back. Why was the wall shaking? It sounded to Edgar like the sound was coming from the rocks themselves… The cliff was slowly moving down, scraping against the earth of Tabletop and disappearing into the ground.” The world is changing, resulting in chaos and destruction, what will the people of tabletop do? What is to be the fate of Atherton? I highly recommend you buy this book to find out what happens.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2012

    Woo hoo!

    Awsomest book EVA!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2012

    BEST BOOK EVER

    I love it

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2012

    AWESOMENESS

    Pretty much what the titel says

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 4, 2012

    One of the Best books I have EVER read!

    Patrick Carman had really proved himself with this book! Everything from the people to the scenery is described in a way that makes it real. I have read this about 20 times and I can only garentee that if you liked this one, the next ones will only get better!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2011

    Awesome Book!

    You go Patrick Carman! Best way to start the series.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 31, 2011

    AMAZING

    I love the series just amazin good for an enjoying book for

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2011

    Great

    A must read for young readers. Very good.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews

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