River Rising by John A. Heldt (Carson Chronicles #1)

Over the sunny Easter break, I spent my time reading the romantic science-fiction, River Rising by John A. Heldt, which is the first book in Heldt’s third time-travelling series, Carson Chronicles. Having previously enjoyed his American Journey series, I threw myself into this one looking forward to a new adventure.

In River Rising, Heldt took me back in time, with the five, modern Carson siblings, to the Golden Age America of bustle dresses, gunslingers, and robber barons in search of their missing parents, who they fear are trapped in the past, after they disappeared on what their children thought was a hiking trip. Instead it fantastically turns out that their mother and father have been using invisible portals to time travel for many years and as they haven’t returned it appears something must have gone wrong this time.

The eldest brother and engineer, Adam makes this discovery and convinces his siblings to launch a rescue mission. However, like their parents, their own trip goes awry and they find themselves unsure they have even come to the same place or time as their parents. So while Greg, the adventurous middle brother, travels to the Wild West to follow their initial plans, Adam and the other three siblings: journalist Natalie and high school seniors Cody and Caitlin stay in the steel city of Johnstown, Pennsylvania to build a base and search for more clues.

The narration skips between each of the siblings so we have a chance to get to know each of them and see the different experiences they have of the past, which wasn’t easy with five, new main characters. Many of them begin to make friendships and love interests in the past too, which added even more characters to get my head around, but also adds more jeopardy to the final chapters. As the Carsons, like the rest of residents of this bustling steel community, are unaware of the tragic disaster that comes to the city in May, 1889.

Overall, River Rising proved to be a longer and slower read then I anticipated, however it was a nice, light, time-travelling adventure, with some interesting real events and details worked into, that I am enjoyed out in the sunshine in my garden. And my issues with getting to know so many characters could be remedied with more time spent with the family in future adventures from the series. Okay read.

(Thank you to the author for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion)


I’d love to hear your thoughts: Have you read this? Or have you read any of John A. Heldt’s other novels? Any recommendations of some great time-travelling adventures I should read?

7 thoughts on “River Rising by John A. Heldt (Carson Chronicles #1)

  1. The premise to this sounds good, but I can see how it might have a few small pitfalls. Keeping track of lots of characters can be challenging. I’m glad it ended up being an “okay read” for you in the long run. Kitty looks quite content in that photo. πŸ™‚

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