Weeks after his parents disappear on a hike, engineer Adam Carson, 27, searches for answers. Then he discovers a secret web site and learns his mom and dad are time travelers stuck in the past. Armed with the information he needs to find them, Adam convinces his younger siblings to join him on a rescue mission to the 1880s.
While Greg, the adventurous middle brother, follows leads in the Wild West, Adam, journalist Natalie, and high school seniors Cody and Caitlin do the same in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Like the residents of the bustling steel community, all are unaware of a flood that will destroy the city on May 31, 1889.
In RIVER RISING, the first novel in the Carson Chronicles series, five young adults find love, danger, and adventure as they experience America in the age of bustle dresses, gunslingers, and robber barons.
I have been reading and enjoying John Heldt's books for quite some time now. I guess I would describe his books as historical fiction with a twist. As a fan of historical fiction, I really love how Heldt brings prominent events in history to life for me. He has a way of creating the scenes perfectly in my head. When you add in the time travel aspect and some fun characters, the story takes on humanity and life.
This book builds up to a flood that destroyed so many lives in 1889 when a dam failed. I cannot ever recall hearing about this event so this was a new and interesting thing for me to read about.
The pacing in this book is sedate. We shift around from one point of view to another- following the five siblings who have traveled back in time to find their parents. The story isn't flashy or intense, but has a slow, gentle build as we get to know the characters and watch them settle into lives in 1889. There were times I wished for a little more OOMPH in the story but for the most part I was completely content to settle in and enjoy the journey. The story definitely builds to a climactic scene of destruction and devastation that is honestly horrifying to think about. So, so sad.
And then? I was left with a bit of a cliff hanger ending which is, I'm sure, meant to lead me perfectly into the following books that I assume follow the different characters established in this book. I am looking forward to the journey!
Content: some peril and death, mild swearing
- I picked this book up through Kindle Unlimited for review. All opinions expressed are my own.