Regular readers of my blog may remember that I have really enjoyed several books by John Heldt. So I was delighted when John asked me to review his latest book, River Rising. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.
Here is the book blurb.
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.
River Rising is the first book in a new series – The Carson Chronicles. It starts in the present day in Arizona when Adam Carson discovers from a secret letter left with their attorney and a secret website, that his parents who disappeared several months earlier, have in fact travelled back in time and are stuck in 1888 where they met Mark Twain. He convinces his siblings that they should all travel back to 1888 to try to rescue their parents.
They acquire some period clothing, locate the portal and step through at exactly 6:15pm on the winter solstice. They are surprised to find they are no longer in Arizona, but now in Pennsylvania. However Mark Twain’s writings about his meeting with Tim and Caroline Carson had mentioned that they were from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, so they follow this clue and head to Johnstown, where they book a couple of rooms at the Colbert House.
They bond with some of the people they meet in 1888/89 including some of them falling in love. Most of them follow clues in and around Johnstown, but Greg heads off to pursue clues in the dangerous Wild West. Natalie puts her journalist talents to good use, whilst 17 year old twins Cody and Caitlin enrol at school. Clues indicate that they have just missed their parents in Johnstown but they continue to maintain this as their base. Danger delays Greg in Arizona, so he also misses a chance to catch up with them and continues his trail to San Francisco, where it is even more like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
Meanwhile Natalie gets another clue from Mark Twain, and sends a telegram to Greg to get him to divert to Mount Shasta for the March solstice. He doesn’t have much time and shouting as loud as he can, he narrowly misses his parents passing through another portal.
Now what? The five siblings are still in 1888, but their parents are in a different time. They will have to wait until the June solstice and then decide whether to return to 2017 or to the next date mentioned on the secret website for a chance to reunite the family.
There is lots more to happen in this story including a major flood when a dam breaks and over 2000 people die. It eventually ends on a cliffhanger, leaving me anxiously waiting for book 2 to be written.
River Rising is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.88 in Kindle format. I really loved this book, but it is the first time in one of John’s books, that I’ve been left waiting on such a cliffhanger. A brilliant read which as usual lived up to my expectations of a John Heldt novel, As always I highly recommend this author. But how long will I have to wait for book 2 to be finished.
The 1889 Johnstown flood was an actual historical disaster. I do enjoy fiction intertwined with fact.
Disclosure. This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.