Synopses & Reviews
Edgar, a gifted climber, secretly scales the treacherous walls separating the three worlds of Atherton: the humble grove that is his home...a mysterious highland realm of untold beauty and sinister secrets ...and a vast wasteland below, where a monstrous danger lurks that could destroy them all.
While searching the forbidden cliffs for a treasure lost in his faded memory, Edgar discovers the first of many startling revelations to come: the three realms are beginning to collapse, turning his entire world inside out. Atherton is not what it seems, but something far more dangerous, with a history locked inside the mind of a madman and a future beyond Edgar's wildest imagining.
"In this launch title of the Atherton series, as with his The Dark Hills Divide, Carman creates an isolated world whose very existence relies upon the hero venturing out of bounds. A trio of waterfalls connect the three-tiered world of Atherton, which is comprised of the upper-level Highlands, where the wealthy and powerful reside, the agrarian Tabletop beneath it, and the poverty-stricken Flatlands 'at the distant bottom.' Eleven-year-old Edgar lives in Tabletop, harvesting figs and scaling the cliff walls. A faint memory directs him to search for something hidden ('It will come for you,' says the voice in his memory) and he discovers it on the way to the forbidden Highlands. Edgar's discovery is a book, and he must enlist the help of a Highlands servant boy to read it to him (the residents of Tabletop are illiterate); thus the author points out the importance of cooperation. The book, it turns out, was written for Edward and offers up a cautionary tale: Atherton was built as a home for escapees of an Earth-like 'Dark Planet,' now poisoned and dying. With subtlety, Carman delivers a strong message; he constructs a world in which water is precious above all, and tampering with nature always ends badly. The author occasionally breaks out of the narrative to address readers directly, and these intrusions mar the flow of what is otherwise a fluid and compelling fantasy and mystery. Ages 8-12." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
From the creator of the Land of Elyon comes a riveting adventure set in an extraordinary satellite world?created as a refuge from a dying Earth?that begins to collapse and forever change the lives of its inhabitants. Edgar, a gifted climber, is a lonely boy scaling the perilous cliffs that separate the three realms of Atherton: a humble fig grove; a mysterious highland world of untold beauty and sinister secrets; and a vast wasteland where he must confront an unspeakable danger that could destroy the people of Atherton. When Edgar discovers a book which contains the history of Atherton's origins and ultimate apocalypse, his world?quite literally?begins to turn inside out.
From the "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Land of Elyon" comes a riveting adventure set in an extraordinary new satellite world--created as a refuge from a dying Earth--that begins to collapse and forever change the lives of its inhabitants. Illustrations.
About the Author
Patrick Carman's previous books in the Land of Elyon series (The Dark Hills Divide, Beyond the Valley of Thorns, and The Tenth City) have all been New York Times bestsellers. He is also the Creative Director of pcstudio, a packager and pioneer of the multimedia "vBook" (video+book), a format launched in 2009 with Skeleton Creek. He recently authored the fifth title in Rick Riordan's 39 Clues series, The Black Circle.