Sunday, January 24, 2016

Starmer, Aaron. The Whisper. (The Riverman Book 2)

Starmer, Aaron.  The Whisper.  (The Riverman Book 2)  Macmillan/Farrar Strauss  2015  361p.  $16.99  ISBN 978-0-374-36311-6  ms/hs  Fantasy  VG-BN        

After the climactic conclusion to Book 1 of The Riverman series, Alistair enters Fiona’s portal and is washed up on a shore in Aquavania.  It seems different from the descriptions Fiona had given him.  He is only twelve years old and small for his age.  All he wants is to find Fiona and her friends who have disappeared and then go home.  He sees that this will not be so easy as he enters strange worlds with strange inhabitants.  He does not know whom to trust.  As he travels from world to world, he must confront his past mistakes.  He discovers that the Riverman now uses the name Whisper but has been known by other names too.  Alistair does not find answers, only more questions.

As a sequel, this is not what was expected.  The Riverman was written in the first person, while Whisper is in third person.  It may be harder for readers to associate and empathize with Alistair.  The identification with reality and separation from fantasy was easy in the first book.  Book 2 is all fantasy with flashbacks to reality, or are they?  The story is even darker, with an active role being played by Whisper.  Predictions for Book 3 are totally up in the air.

Recommended for upper middle school or high school due to the very dark nature of the fantasy worlds.  This title is quite dark and except for readers who loved the first book, it will take some hard sell.       

Summary: Alistair has used Fiona’s portal to Aquavania.  It is not completely as she described it.  The Creators are disappearing and the worlds are falling apart.  Can he find the Riverman and the missing Creators?    Sequel to the Riverman. 

Fantasy-Fiction                                                   --Joan Theal

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