Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.
The Whisper by Aaron Starmer is the sequel to The Riverman, and much to my chagrin I haven’t had the chance to catch up yet but really want to tell you how awesome I think this trilogy is going to be! I remember Christina of A Reader of Fictions pushing The Riverman for middle grade fantasy lovers, and so of course I had to bite. Even from just the first chapter I can tell this is definitely a book for me :D.
Note: I received an advanced copy of The Whisper from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Whisper by Aaron Starmer (The Riverman Trilogy #2)
Published by Feiwel & Friends on March 17th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 368 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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Twelve-year-old Alistair Cleary has washed up on shore. But where? It seems to be Aquavania, the magical realm where children create entire worlds from their imagination. There’s something wrong, though. The creators have disappeared and the worlds are falling apart.
All Alistair wants is to find his friend Fiona Loomis and go home. Easier said than done. Animals made of starlight, a megalomaniacal boy king, and astronauts who peddle riddles are hard enough to outwit, but they’re only the beginning.
To find Fiona, Alistair must travel from world to world. He must confront the mistakes of his past. And he must face countless monsters, including the soul-stealing stalker that some people call the Riverman, the merciless but misunderstood servant of Aquavania who refers to himself as the Whisper.
How is the writing style?
The writing of The Whisper is exactly what I look for in middle grade fantasy. There is a feel of classic storytelling that weaves in poetic explanations that aren’t always clear. The prologue focuses on describing how this magical world came to be and is just the right mix of creepy and alluring :D.
The point-of-view is third person past focusing on Alistair’s mind as far as I can tell. The prologue features a different character, but I don’t think she’ll be coming back into the story. It seems like The Riverman might have included Fiona’s perspective as well so there could be two perspectives in The Whisper.
General tone of the beginning
As I said, there is a prologue titled “A Year Before Years” that captures the tone quite well. It tells the story of a girl in a primitive tribe before the modern world and gets a bit gruesome. Once that tale is complete, we jump to Alistair immediately going into this fantasy world in search of someone and he comes across some pretty awesome magic right away!
Setting, genre, etc?
Definitely fantasy, probably portal fantasy from the beginning. I struggle to put an appropriate age category though since the characters are preteens, but the prologue involves blood and death. I guess it’s that sort of middle grade that is good for adults or mature younger readers. From the back, the setting seems to be Aquavania, the magical realm that is way cooler than its name suggests ;-).
- What are you talking about, I already finished it last night (~5 stars)
- Definitely going to be reading this next (~4 stars)
- Keeping and hoping to get back to (~3 stars)
- Probably not getting back to but someone else will like it (~2 stars)
- Don’t really want to push this copy on anyone else (~1 star)
The Whisper is definitely a solid 4.5 stars and I probably would have continued it if I wasn’t afraid of spoiling things without having read The Riverman first. Therefore, I’ll be reading The Riverman as soon as I’m back in a middle grade mood and The Whisper shortly after. I’m already waiting for a nice hardcover of The Whisper to arrive though since I know I’ll need the complete set of this trilogy. Do yourself a favor and give The Riverman a try!
Have you read this one yet? Are you inclined to check it out?
The Whisper by Aaron Starmer
© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.