Posted in 2014-2015 Club, Not Mock Newbery

The Riverman, by Aaron Starmer

RivermanSummary:  The first book in a trilogy about a girl who claims she is visiting a parallel universe where a nefarious being called The Riverman is stealing the souls of children and the boy she asks to write her biography because she fears her soul may be next.


Find it at WCPL


5 thoughts on “The Riverman, by Aaron Starmer

  1. This book was intriguing. The plot is original and very complex, but still mostly understandable. Alistair is told a crazy story by a girl named Fiona about an alternate world in which kids create everything and anything they want to. At first, Alistair thinks Fiona is crazy, but then he begins to believe her. Fiona says that in the alternate world, a person called the Riverman is stealing kids’ souls and she has to stop him. There are lots of other twists and turns that I won’t go into because I don’t want to ruin the book for you.
    I really liked this book, right up until the end, which confused me. It all seemed to happen really quickly and chaotically, and I had to read it a couple times to understand it, which is frustrating because reading it twice draws you out of the book.
    So for me, if not for the ending, this might have had a chance at winning the Mock Newbery.

  2. The Riverman was one of those books that made me ask, “What if this was real?” Not only that but it made me think about the question for a pretty long time. When I finished reading it, I had a very difficult time bringing myself back to reality. I believe that this shows amazing writing style, especially when the plot involved things as unbelievable as talking radiators and alternate worlds. The whole point of this story I think was to mess with the reader’s mind. The theme was not exceptionally clear and the plot would not have been great except that it was written in such a creepy and plausible way, so what really made the Riverman so amazing had to be its thought provoking ideas, explanations, and frightening plot twists. The characters were unique, but I appreciated that Alistair was not as abstract as Fiona and that he cared what people thought occasionally. I liked Fiona in how different she was from any character in any book but she was also extremely hard to relate to. When she basically blows Alistair off near the end after their “date” I create a strong dislike for her suddenly as opposed to finally relating to her. Also, this is just me, but I almost would have preferred if the ending had turned out not to be magic and that it would have been the theme emphasized on instead of the plot twist but, this is Aaron Starmer’s book and apparently he wants to create a sequel and so he decided instead to blow the readers away with an ending nobody predicted and nobody understood. Well, at least, I didn’t. If not for the ending, I would have loved for The Riverman to be chosen as the most distinguished book and would have certainly fought for it within the Mock Newbery Club, but unfortunately I cannot do that without remembering the abrupt ending. I can definitely say though, that this book was the most mind-bending and thought provoking read of all times and will never be forgotten by me.

  3. I kept thinking, “Wow, this author is…imaginative.” I didn’t really like the book, because there wasn’t much detail, it was *kind of* boring, the characters didn’t really seem all that developed, and when Alistair was writing Fiona’s biography, it would abruptly stop the story and switch to another tale about Aquavania which made me annoyed: Why interrupt a story with another tale that has nothing to do with it?? In my opinion, the ending did not help. Fiona practically booted Alistair out, which created the thought that she was rather mean. Poor Alistair 😦 So overall, in my opinion, I would not choose this for the Newbery. (edited by Ms.Martha)

  4. I think the Riverman is quite a read. I really enjoyed the plot and found it interesting. There was a underlying menacing tone in the story that was put to good use. Even thought this was about a small town where everyone seemed to know each other, there was that feeling that something wasn’t quite right. What really got me was the character of Alistair and how this simple, boring buy came so entranced with Fiona and began to treat her like a jewel. It was so sweet and innocent coming from a young person. You really came to care for him. I can see why so many did not like the ending, but it didn’t ruin the rest of the book for me. I hope people will give it a chance. It’s definitely a non-traditional read.

    1. The Riverman did have a menacing tone to it and was somewhat good but the ending ruined it. The book was good and well written, but Fiona didn’t seem all that developed. Another problem was that Fiona’s biography would jump randomly into the story and that was confusing because the biography had nothing to do with what was going on in the real world. I don’t think that The Riverman will win the Mock Newbery award.

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