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Publisher's Summary

Weeks after his parents disappear on a hike, engineer Adam Carson, 27, searches for answers. Then he discovers a secret website and learns his mom and dad are time travelers stuck in the past. Armed with the information he needs to find them, Adam convinces his younger siblings to join him on a rescue mission to the 1880s. 

While Greg, the adventurous middle brother, follows leads in the Wild West, Adam, journalist Natalie, and high school seniors Cody and Caitlin do the same in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Like the residents of the bustling steel community, all are unaware of a flood that will destroy the city on May 31, 1889. 

In River Rising, the first novel in the Carson Chronicles series, five young adults find love, danger, and adventure as they experience America in the age of bustle dresses, gunslingers, and robber barons.

©2017 John A. Heldt (P)2017 John A. Heldt

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

How Long Can You Tread Water?

I said to my spouse "Johnstown flood" and received the response "1889." How is it that well-educated people embark on time travel and somehow are ignorant of such a major event? But taking into account the surprising gaps in knowledge in today's youngsters, I will let that obvious oversight slide since had they known there'd be no story.

This is a fully-fleshed time-travel journey which takes you across the growing country from "the territories" to the sophisticated east coast and then back to the west and pre-earthquake San Francisco. You can imagine yourself trying to adjust to the myriad inconveniences ranging from modes of dress and travel to lack of rapid communication. I, myself, could not be happy without modern plumbing and would certainly miss the convenience of listening to audio books and instantly obtaining information on anything which catches my attention.

Complex and well-plotted (caveat notwithstanding); I fully enjoyed this first adventure of the Carson siblings.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Strong Characters and Good History Details.

I enjoyed this time travel adventure. Mr. Hedlt creates engaging characters and situations.

Adam Carson and his four siblings have lost their parents. Months after they are buried Adam gets a package from the family lawyer that reveals a remarkable secret. Their parents might not be dead because they have apparently traveled back in time. Adam presents the proposal to his brothers and sisters: stay without their parents or travel back in time to find them? The children agree to leave their world in 2017 to go to 1880 to find their parents.

The story follows the youths as they adjust to a past without cars, phones, computers or the many other modern conveniences they are accustomed to. Greg takes the train to the West, Arizona and California, running into a bit of frontier trouble. The rest of the family is in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a growing town where some find work, they all make friends and even a couple find romance. They become nicely involved in the community even as they watch the date for their return to 2017. However, they don’t realize they are in the path of a rising flood.

I thoroughly enjoyed the history as well as the story line. Heldt develops the characters of each of the siblings, who are good people, who have growing friendships. I enjoyed the gentle romances, the strength of Natalie’s character, and the excitement and danger that Greg faces. It was also fun to have Samuel Clemens as a brief character.

I have read early books that involved the parents’ time travels. Those explained the time mechanism where this book totally skimmed that which could be a hole for readers who weren’t familiar with the prior works. It was also unclear to me why the parents missed their timely return and the children arrived somewhere they didn’t expect to be. (Maybe it was there, and I missed it in the audio.)

I appreciate the warm characters and the imaginative and engaging story which are consistent with Mr. Heldt’s writings. I also liked how the story is told in different chapters from the view of the siblings. This story has an ending but it is not the end of the journey. I recommend the story to fans of time travel and also to those who like strong sibling adventure, historical details and clean romance.

Audio Notes: Chaz Allen takes a little bit of getting used to. He doesn’t really give a distinct voice to each character. However, his direct presentation with just a touch of a slow drawl, seems to fit the story, especially the historic settings. I was glad to listen to this in audio as it is a longer book than I normally pick up.

I received this audio book from the author for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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FANTASTIC HISTORICAL TIME TRAVEL TALE

I found this audiobook very interesting, full of time travel, adventure, and intrigue.

It didn't matter to me that this first book ended with a cliffhanger, because I just went right ahead and listened to the next one in the series! Yes, I'm spoiled in that way haha :)

This time-travel adventure follows the Carson family, Adam and his many siblings have lost their parents - not to death, as they had thought. A secret reveals that the Carson parents are time travelers are now in another time/place.
Imagine going from 2017 waaaaaaaay back to 1880? Sounds crazy, right? No iPhones, no laptops, no CABLE (I was born in 1968, so I can actually remember being alive in a time when we had none of those things! And, we managed just fine lol).....

So off they go to find their parents, and encounter all kinds of danger and intrigue - one to the old west, and the others to Johnstown, PA right in time for the horrific flood!

This is a very exciting, thrilling and fun adventure. I really enjoyed listening to it, and I'm now on to book #2 in the series (The Memory Tree), and suggest you do the same! :) :)

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Please take a moment to click the "YES" ("Helpful") button below if you found this review helpful :) Thank you! :)

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River Rising

A fanciful story about a family of kids who go back in time to find their parents.No one seems to be concerned about changing the future or getting stuck.Though they do research about where they are going,they somehow miss a big event that will happen in a town they settle in.I liked it thouh!Narrator Chaz Allen has a nice voice BUT he reads too fast and his sentences run on at times.I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.

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So good!!!

I wish I would've know this ends on a cliffhanger before going in. I enjoyed this story so much - I'm totally into time travel stories and this one was super good! Narration was really well done.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. The fact that I was gifted this book had no influence over my opinion of it.

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  • cps
  • Texas
  • 01-23-18

More excellent time travel with John Heldt

Any additional comments?

I love books about time travel. Don't I wish... John Heldt writes a compelling story in this new series Carson Chronicles. The only complaint is that the ending is a real cliff hanger and I hate to wait for the next book! MORE please! Absolute recommendation!I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

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Very good time travel book!

I enjoyed this book very much. I loved the idea of time travelers going back in time and having to deal with the Johnstown flood. I am familiar with the actual Johnstown flood and having been to Johnstown Pa. several times made listening to this story that much more interesting. The author did a fine job describing the flood and how it might have been for the town and it's people. The Carson family are all likable characters and each had an interesting adventure. I was rooting for each and every one of them to make it through the flood and live a long happy life. I am thankful I was given the chance to listen to this wonderful book. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

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a great journey

I think this book was very interested and a little bit special although it was a fantasy and a great journey they took to find your family the book itself was very how to say it right? delicate?
the book was very good five stars definitely

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

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Haven’t enjoyed a book so much in quite a while.

While not an action, in your face novel, I greatly enjoyed River Rising and can’t wait for the sequel. I was skeptical for the first little bit. The story didn’t move fast and the narrator was different than I am used to. However, it sucked me in completely. I haven’t enjoyed a book so much in quite a while. The characters are good people trying to do good things. It was refreshing.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Good Story Bad Ending

I got this story via audiobook boom and this is my voluntary review. This was a good story but a bad ending. More than 13 hours and a cliffhanger wow. Who writes a story that long and filled with plot twists and adventure but ends it with a cliffhanger. I was into the story and was so disappointed. I understand why the kids would not concentrate on the flood since they were looking for their parents. Also not being concerned about changing history we have to understand that time travel no matter what is going to change something. Even if you only show yourself to one person that one person will be changed. So recognizing that this is a story it's ok. What is not ok is to provide me with a good story then no end.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Layla
  • 03-20-18

Interesting read.

Any additional comments?

I have not read anything by this author so I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It has a bit of romance, adventure, shoot outs, survival and it is based around family. I liked how the sibling got together to go and find their parents. However, I found the beginning hard to believe, since they did not question the time travel consept more then I would have liked, but things happen quite quickly and we get into their adventure early on in the book.

This audiobook is long but it is intriguing and you want to know if they ever find their parents, what happens to them and what decisions they make.

I would highly recommend this book.

The narrator did a great job in voicing the characters, so I knew who was saying what.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful