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The Compulsive Reader: The Riverman by Aaron Starmer

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Riverman by Aaron Starmer

Alistair is the type of person who can keep secrets. He’s observant and quiet. Smart. When his neighbor Fiona Loomis asks him to write her biography, he reluctantly agrees. Fiona tells him a story of portals and fantastic worlds, where kids can slip away and be the rulers of their own kingdoms. But Fiona also tells Alistair about the Riverman, who is stealing kids’ souls and making them disappear in the real world. At first Alistair thinks Fiona is crazy…but what if her story is a cry for help? Or, more impossibly, what if it’s true?

The Riverman is a sharply written, imaginative novel of friendship and trust. Alistair is a thoughtful and sensitive kid, and his observations about family, friends, and neighbors are keen for someone his age. Starmer has a knack for description, and the neighborhood setting that Alistair and Fiona inhabit is just as wonderfully described as the many realms of Aquavania. As Alistair’s story unfolds and Fiona reveals more and more Aquavania, Alistair is torn between the dangers of reality and the inexorable pull of fantasy. Determining which is which isn’t easy, especially as he begins to discover that it doesn’t exactly matter if Fiona is crazy or not—the questions she forces him to face are just as important either way. The Riverman is a creepy, compelling, and fantastically written mystery.

Cover Comments: I love this cover--the dark blues and the many tiny details in the drawings are beautiful--they just pull you in!

Book borrowed from a friend.

1 comment:

readingunderground.org said...

Huh, this sounds a bit like a dark twist on The Bridge to Terabithia. I love the cover - the art style really sells it as a creepy adventure/mystery story.