Alistair Cleary confronts the reality of his return home to Thessaly, New York, from the parallel world, Aquavania, and its impact on his family in this concluding volume of the Riverman Trilogy, narrated by his sister.
Continuing Alistair’s story from her own perspective, 14-year-old Kerrigan admits her brother seems like “someone from outer space” since the disappearance of his friends Fiona and Charlie and the shooting of Charlie’s brother, Kyle. Alistair’s silence worries his parents, and police suspect he’s involved in Kyle’s shooting. In response, Kerrigan begins her diary as a “place to confess…to tell stories.” While Alistair’s parents try to address his changed behavior, he gradually tells Kerrigan about Aquavania and how he’s working to release the souls of children like Fiona and Charlie who are trapped there. Fearing he’s delusional, Kerrigan starts believing in Alistair when her own stories “coincidentally” overlap with his. Alternating between the fantastical stories she’s writing and her factual chronicle of daily events, Kerrigan’s pithy, insightful, irreverent, and vulnerable diary spans the gap between Aquavania and Thessaly and between fantasy and reality, opening readers to the “different way of thinking” Kerrigan and Alistair share.
“Story is the important thing” in this consistently imaginative, intense, thoughtful, and satisfying finale. (Fantasy. 10-14)