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.
*May Contain Spoilers*
River Rising begins another time travel series by John A. Heldt, but one that promises a little more action with characters that are constant. I always enjoy time travel novels because they give me history with the facts mixed into the fiction, which I love. This novel is no exception as Heldt takes a family of five back to the 1880s in search of their parents. With five main characters, there's a character for any kind of reader to connect with and plenty of circumstances that demand it.
Adam is the oldest and the 'leader' of the Carson clan. He's intelligent but haunted by an old wound. His romantic history remains a mystery for most of the novel but is eventually revealed. As he falls in love with a woman from the 1880s, readers will enjoy his triumph over loss and feel connected to him emotionally.
Natalie was my favorite character as she is witty, smart, and likes to challenge the males around her. It was enjoyable to read her chapters and she even kept me on my toes at times. She also gains a love interest (like most of her siblings) but her story is much sadder than Adam's. Her story will offer a connection through empathy and understanding as well as through her personality.
Greg is sort of the wild sibling as he is the only one who stirs up trouble in the 1880s. Though he is also quite intelligent and an outdoorsman, the role he plays is mainly doing the actual searching for the Carson parents. He does much more traveling than anyone else and introduces readers to other places in 1880s besides Pennsylvania.
Caitlin and Cody are the youngest siblings and are also twins. They attend school in the 1880s and provide a younger perspective. Caitlin is kind of a bookworm, which I loved, while Cody tends to slip up and spout off clues to their time traveling status. He is also the youngest to fall in love with another high school senior which causes some teenage angst to enter the novel.
With something for everyone, this time traveling novel is bound to please. I really enjoyed all of the characters and am looking forward to seeing what happens in the next installment. The series follows the plot of the five siblings looking for their time traveling parents who they thought were dead in different historical settings. Next up: the year 1918. The only thing is, Tim and Caroline Carson are also looking for them as they eventually returned to the future and saw that their children had 'disappeared.' So with more danger and intrigue lurking, the next book in the series already seems to be pulling me in.
Rating: 3.5/5 Cups