Rivers of Fire (Atherton Series #2)
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Rivers of Fire (Atherton Series #2)

4.4 29
by Patrick Carman

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In bestselling author Patrick Carman's rich and riveting follow-up to The House of Power, an extraordinary world meets its destiny in an epic and unforgettable rebirth.

The world of Atherton has collapsed and the three levels have become one. Humans and monsters, once separated by vast cliffs, now roam the surface of Atherton together. The inside of

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In bestselling author Patrick Carman's rich and riveting follow-up to The House of Power, an extraordinary world meets its destiny in an epic and unforgettable rebirth.

The world of Atherton has collapsed and the three levels have become one. Humans and monsters, once separated by vast cliffs, now roam the surface of Atherton together. The inside of Atherton--where the most troubling secrets are hidden--has been breached. While Edgar embarks on a life-or-death quest to find Atherton's mad maker, his two friends, Samuel and Isabel, venture through dangerous underground realms, confronting deadly cave dwellers, rivers of fire, and waters of life.

Atherton is not what it seems at all, but something far more dangerous, with a history locked inside the mind of a madman and a future beyond Edgar's wildest imagining.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jamaica Johnson Conner
Fans of Atherton: The House of Power will love this sequel, which opens with action, adventure, and suspense that does not subside until the concluding sentence. As the world of Atherton collapses, three separate groups of characters must find a way to survive. In the process of searching for safe havens and water, all three separate groups encounter dangerous and seemingly indestructible monsters, the Cleaners, which make the survival efforts all the more difficult. One group, which includes three teenage protagonists named Edgar, Samuel, and Isabel, represents the future of Atherton; these characters play a central role as the story unfolds and they attempt to reunite with their families and friends. Themes addressed through the characters' adventures include teamwork, looking out for others, survival of the fittest, the value of friendship, reality versus disillusionment, the importance of a father figure, and redemption. Carman's use of suspense blended with symbolism and allegory provides the reader with an additional layer of interest and meaning beyond the story itself, keeping the reader constantly engaged. Readers who enjoy plot complexities, intense character adventures, and exploring the deeper meaning of a text, will delight in this piece as it delivers all of these features magnificently. Reviewer: Jamaica Johnson Conner
VOYA - Angelica Delgado
Atherton is a land in flux after flurry of seismic activity figuratively and literally leveled its three-tiered society in House of Power (Little, Brown, 2007/VOYA April 2007). The elite, learned individuals of the Highlands; the laborers of Tabletop; and the fanged, serpentine Cleaners of the Flatlands now share one domain. Even more worrisome, the Highlands, the source of Atherton's water supply, had slowly begun sinking into the Flatlands. As the planet's resources dwindle and the gnashing of the Cleaners' jaws grows louder, everyone's fate hangs in the balance. In a race against time, Edgar and his friends Isabel and Samuel, along with some unexpected allies, desperately strive to unravel the mysteries of their home as they battle fearsome beasts both large and small. Although not exactly well-written, the first book kept the reader entertained through a clever combination of brief chapters with cliffhanger endings and a fast-paced, engaging story with an ecological and social justice message. This sequel retains the same themes, yet it lacks the punch of its predecessor. Devoid of the elements that made the first book addicting and fun, Carman's clunky and frequently annoying prose glares through. The narrative offers too much explanation to the point of near-condescension to the reader's intelligence. Nothing, from character's facial expressions to their internal dialogue, is spared comment from the third-person narrator. The most egregious faux pas comes from a minor character who has the misfortune to deliver a sappy, hackneyed message before dying a hero. Still readers who loved the first novel may forgive this one's trespasses and keep it circulating. Reviewer: AngelicaDelgado
School Library Journal

Gr 6-9

Atherton was once a place of order and structure, with its people divided by geography and social class. Edgar, an orphan boy from Tabletop, has discovered that Atherton is a man-made satellite created as a refuge from a dying Earth, predestined to change and evolve. At the Highlands, the uppermost tier, are the ruling class who control the water supply, while the middle tier villagers provide the food. At the lowest level live frightening creatures. After severe seismic shifts erase the boundaries between the sections of this shared world, the residents are forced to become one people as their world is altered and chaos threatens to overtake them. Determined that the planet and its people survive, Edgar's quest leads him to incredible discoveries about his relationship to the planet and to its creator that makes for an exciting, introspective journey. Jonathan Davis's smooth and unhurried narration draws listeners into Patrick Carman's science fiction novel (Little, Brown, 2008), the sequel to House of Power (Little, Brown, 2007). He conveys the heroism, selflessness, courage, and profound sadness that are characteristics of the various main characters. This complex and entertaining story will captivate a wide audience of listeners, but will be most appreciated by those who have read the previous title.-Margaret Auguste, Franklin Middle School, Somerset, NJ

Kirkus Reviews
Carman continues the story he began in Atherton: The House of Power (2007), depicting a world created scientifically as an alternative to its ecologically failing parent planet. The sequel completes the violent metamorphosis that provided a dramatic climax for the first book. A verbal sketch of the world and a list of characters precedes the narrative, bringing series readers up to speed and allowing new readers to dive directly into the story. The fast-paced and suspenseful plot takes place on the planetoid's surface as well as in its bowels. In alternating narratives, readers follow the adventures of both the population above ground (who wrestle with massive environmental disaster) and the small group of key characters, which includes Samuel and Isobel, two of the three child heroes, who struggle to escape before the world's environmental transition traps them below. There's a lot to like in this science-fiction adventure-danger abounds, science seems to have run amok and a neat (but not too neat) ending ties up most of the loose ends. (Science fiction. 9-12)

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Product Details

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Atherton Series, #2
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)
920L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

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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