I absolutely hate not having an audio book to listen to in the car. For over 2 years now I have exclusively listened to books while driving. About a month ago, however, I found myself on the way to the grocery store just as I was finishing the last book I had in the car. Desperate, I decided to stop at the nearest library to pick something up (typically I reserve books beforehand to ensure I get something of high quality).
I normally stop at a library near my office, so this was not one I had ever been to before. While searching, I came across the book you see to the left - The House of Power by Patrick Carman. This caught my eye because I have read and enjoyed The Land of Elyon which was also written by Carman. It turned out to be a pretty good decision.
At this point I have finished all three books in the series (The House of Power, The Rivers of Fire, and The Dark Planet), and I enjoyed them all quite a bit. The Atherton series follows the adventures of an orphan boy named Edgar who loves to climb. He spends his nights climbing, and his days tending to the fig trees in the grove where he grew up. Soon, however, life becomes extremely interesting for Edgar as he discovers the truth about the world he's grown up on.
What makes the Atherton books better than the Land of Elyon books is the adventure. It starts sooner in Atherton, and is generally more exciting throughout. The only major problem in all three books is the narrator is merely sufficient to get the job done. He doesn't bring the characters or the setting to life the way many narrators do and as a result, I would recommend reading them before listening to them. At least it is the same narrator throughout, unlike the Land of Elyon, which went through 3 different narrators in 4 books.
If you enjoy books for younger readers (10-12?) definitely give these a shot. Especially if you enjoy unique worlds that, while narrow in scope, have a depth that allows for a pleasantly manageable thoroughness. (This can be said for both series by Carman, and is a clever writing technique that I'm surprised we don't see more often. You may also enjoy reading them just to see how he does a good job of creating small worlds that are efficiently well-realized).