Jefferson according to Burr. Jefferson according to his daughter. These are fun to read at the same time!
The five Carson siblings have been in turmoil since the disappearance of their parents several months earlier. When oldest sibling, Adam receives a packet from his parent's lawyer, the pieces begin to come together. However, the packet reveals a secret website set up by their parents telling of their discovery of time travel portals and the subsequent adventures in different time periods. After Adam reviews the evidence and reads through how the portals work, he gets his siblings together and they unanimously vote to travel through time in order to reach their parents. They plan to go through a portal near their hometown in Arizona, taking them back to the 1880's; however when they step through the portal they end up near Johnstown, Pennsylvania in December 1888. The siblings quickly try to acclimate themselves into the time and begin the search for their parents. For twin siblings, Cody and Caitlin, this means enrolling in school. For middle brother, Greg, an adventure into the truly wild west to track a lead in Arizona territory and California. For Natalie, using her journalism skills to follow leads while Adam manages information and holds down the fort from the temporary home at the Colbert Boarding House. Even though the sibling's main objective is to find their parents and return home, the extended stay in Johnstown has led to romantic entanglements for four of the five siblings and their parents keep slipping through their fingers. On May 31st, 1889, the Johnstown flood devastates the town and the inhabitants leaving the Carson siblings in disarray.
River Rising is an epic time travel adventure. This is a story you will want to take your time with and sink into. From the moment the five siblings walk through the time portal and into 1880's Pennsylvania, I knew I was in for an exciting ride. Amazingly, all five siblings: Adam, Greg, Natalie, Cody and Caitlin are very well developed and individual characters. They each take turns at telling their part of the story through their point of view while continuing a cohesive story line. Pennsylvania 1888-89 was a wonderful year to travel back to; much like the Carson siblings I was amazed at the time period where Benjamin Harrison had just been elected President, Mark Twain was in his prime, the West was still wild and Punxsutawney Phil has made his first appearance. Through the sibling's eyes, I was able to see many of these events first hand. Unlike the characters in Heldt's other time travel series, the Carson siblings did not travel through time thinking about the possibility of altered timelines. I am very interested in how their very involved actions in 1888 may have altered things in the present. I am also very interested in how the time portals work; it is know that they appear on solstices and seem to appear in areas that are known to be sacred or have paranormal activity. I would love to figure out more about them and where else they seem to pop up. Near the end of the Carson sibling's grand adventure, the game of cat and mouse that they have been playing with their parents seems to be no closer to the end and the intensity increases when tragedy strikes with Johnstown flood; I had a hard time putting the book down. Ending, with a huge cliffhanger, I can not wait to see what happens with the Carson family next.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Farley (the merchant), addressing his wife:
'You ate worse than this when we were first married, mother.'
'I cooked for you when we were first married!' she answered indignantly.
'You think I've forgotten?' Fairley asked, then spooned another mouthful of burgoo.
Yeah, it's a bit of a cheap shot, but I still think it's funny.
Still estimating based on ereader page count...
'I'm not happy that we lost the convoy, Sharpe. I don't approve, but on board ship it's Peculiar's word that counts, not mine. You don't buy a dog and bark yourself.'
Those are the words of the merchant, Fairley, and I have to say I quite like him. The captain's name is Peculiar Cromwell, by the way.
The disadvantage of reading an ebook version of this is that I can't just look at the cover or the spine to discover what year this takes place (my history isn't great when it comes to the details of the Napoleonic wars).
The disadvantage of reading a 3-book collection of Sharpe novels that include Sharpe's Trafalgar is that I'm totally guessing as to how far I'm into the book (and no, I don't see much point in tracking that I'm at about 8% in the collection because I'm not going to read all three books in a row). Oh, and it means that my cover doesn't actually have the year (yes, I can check the list in the "back". No, I didn't think of it before now).
So far this installment is entertaining, although we haven't gotten to any battles yet because Sharpe is sailing home to England (although he's the first admit that it doesn't feel like home, he doesn't really have a home, and he liked India). The captain, Cromwell, is up to something but I can't figure out what.
The food sounds really awful:
"Breakfast was at eight every morning. The steerage passengers were divided into groups of ten and the men took it in turn to fetch each mess a cauldron of burgoo from the galley in the forecastle. The burgoo was a mixture of oatmeal and scraps of beef fat that had simmered all night on the galley stove. Dinner was at mid-day and was another burgoo, though this sometimes had larger scraps of meat or fibrous pieces of dried fish floating in the burned and lumpy oatmeal. On Sundays there was salt fish and ship’s biscuits that were as hard as stone, yet even so were infested with weevils that needed to be tapped out. The biscuits had to be chewed endlessly so that it was like masticating a dried brick that was occasionally enlivened by the juice of an insect that had escaped the tapping. Tea was served at four, but only to the passengers who travelled in the stern of the ship, while the steerage passengers had to wait for supper, which was more dried fish, biscuits and a hard cheese in which red worms made miniature tunnels."
"Occasionally enlivened by the juice of an insect"...? Ugh. And I wonder if the red worms get tapped out of the cheese...?