ATHERTON by Patrick Carman

ATHERTON

The House of Power
Age Range: 9 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

The world is Atherton; the inhabitants are human; the government is dystopian—a standard science fiction/fantasy formula. But there is more than that. Carman’s complex plot frequently surprises even though he plants hints galore and indulges in a judicious amount of foreshadowing. Epigraphs from Shelley’s Frankenstein introduce each of the novel’s sections, along with snatches of dialogue—bits and pieces that hint that Atherton may be more than it appears to be—a world with three levels: a lush highland, an arid middle plateau and a seemingly sterile lowlands. The child characters—orphaned hero Edgar and his two friends Samuel and Isabel—are well-developed, while the “evil” lords are more stereotypical, living in the Highlands and ruling Tabletop’s denizens by terror, pushing them into rebellion. As the story unfolds, Edgar discovers how Atherton was created and where it is located. Black-and-white illustrations add facts about the world and its ecology. A humdinger of a cliff-hanger will leave even reluctant readers demanding more, and soon. (Science fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-316-16670-6
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2007




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