Blog Tour: The Kids From the River by Marc G. Cosman #bookreview
Young Adult / New Adult Dystopian
Date Published: July 2014
As the current age thunders to a close, five kids are playing together in a river that runs through a forest to the sea. All the while, the society they are soon to inherit is disintegrating. The story follows the diverse predispositions of the kids from the river into adulthood as they define their evolving personalities, amidst the chaos of their decaying world.
Marauding insurgents continually sweep down upon a teetering world government from autonomous northern frontiers, causing human suffering and misery.
As adults, the kids from the river take separate paths to finding love and losing it, to ascending on meteoric careers and plunging into the depths of self-destruction.
The desperate times open the way for Senator Aaron Mire, a charismatic charlatan, whose campaign is awash in conspiracies which polarize the kids from the river.
Amy Ramsey, a kid from the river, becomes the beautiful standard bearer for the Senator’s Genesis Party. Her position clashes with her father, John Ramsey, renowned as the “last great man.” Chairman of the world’s most successful company and the inventor of the mysterious Moon Glow project, John Ramsey is Mire’s most feared adversary.
Ramsey’s personal life is haunted by the memory of a fire-fight while on active duty patrol in the northern frontier, when he discovers his estranged son, born of an affair more than twenty years before, is among the insurgents he has killed.
James, a cheat and a liar when he was a kid in the river, maintains a twisted erotic passion for Amy, but her love since childhood has always been Max Morgan. With his powerful position in Mire’s New Order, James has Max imprisoned, using criminal connections and manufactured evidence to falsely link Max to terrorist activities.
Max’s claustrophobic isolation in prison is made painfully real by the prison experiences I witnessed as a prison corrections officer, while working my way through college, and years later, through interaction with my daughter’s murderer. While sequestered in isolation, Max battles ever encroaching madness to find liberation in a state of mind.
With Max locked away, James uses Amy to exact his erotic victory. Soon thereafter, his company is involved in an air traffic tragedy in which hundreds of lives are lost. James is indicted and is facing a lengthy prison term. At the same time, evidence surfaces to exonerate Max, resulting in his release.
As Senator Mire’s mystique grows, John Ramsey becomes infected with the dreaded Tezca virus, a pandemic plaguing the world’s population. Ramsey is able to self-analyze his dying experience during intermittent bolts of awareness that rifle through the black night of his coma. When next the kids from the river reconvene, it is at John Ramsey’s funeral.
James is already a withered, broken man facing years of incarceration. Max and Amy are, at long last, reunited. Together, they set the past is adrift downriver, around the bend and out of sight forever.
In these desperate times to come, the duration of life and memory diminish.
I think there are two main things that stick out for me with this novel. Number one being that it is a bit long winded. Number two being that it really could benefit from a Book Cover facelift. That being said, let me get into the actual story. The novel spans quite a bit of time and the characters change throughout the novel, I think that this is very reminiscent of life and growing up and apart from those we know when we are younger. People change, and this novel really highlights that. I enjoyed the fact that Marc G. Cosman has written characters who have flaws. None of them are perfect and it is in fact the way they grow that really shines. The Dystopian aspect of the novel could have been a bit more highlighted, it read more like general fiction at times to me.
Mark Cosman’s writing began when his daughter, Berlyn, was murdered following her high school prom. It was when he left the rubble of his beliefs and assumptions to go in search of answers to the most profound questions we humans ask ourselves. His first book, “A Flower in the Snow” and later, “The Kids from the River” are the result of that odyssey.