Thursday, March 17, 2011

Review: Waterfall

Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Release Date: Already on shelves
Publisher: David C. Cook

Lisa Tawn Bergren's new YA series, River of Time, is romantic, historical fiction in which the plucky heroine doesn't have to fear a vampire's bite but must still fight for her life.

In Waterfall, American teenager Gabi Betarrini accidently finds herself in sixteenth-century Italy . . . Knights. Swords. Horses. Armor. And Italian hotties. Most American teens want an Italian vacation, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives there with their archaeologist parents. Stuck on yet another hot, dusty dig, they are bored out of their minds... until they place their hands atop handprints in an ancient tomb and find themselves catapulted into the sixteenth-century—and in the middle of a fierce battle between knights bent on killing one another.

You know those books that make you lose all sense of reality and you literally fall into the pages? And you feel such a huge disappointment when the story comes to an end because you don't want to resurface? Waterfall is exactly that. It is such a thoroughly engaging read! I loved everything about it - the 14th century setting, the characters, the plot, even the language. I caught myself slipping their dialect into my own thoughts so many times.

Sisters, Gabriella and Lia Betarrini find themselves being transported through time after finding handprints that match their exact own in an ancient tomb. But when Gabi jerks her hand away, Lia is nowhere to be find and Gabriella finds herself in the middle of a deadly battle between knights. Dressed in skinny jeans and tank top emerging from a tomb directly into a bloody warfare between opposing sides - not exactly ideal. Thanks to her archaeological parents, Gabriella is well versed in the Italian language, fencing and has some knowledge on their history. Which are all incredibly vital to her from the moment she is found. Thankfully it's the good guys who offer her shelter and safety, but Gabi's journey is only just beginning.

Desperate and determined to find her sister, Gabriella has to try fit into the Forelli's way of life. And pretend she's been living that way for the past 17 years rather than in a world of internet, hair conditioner and girls showing skin. While she does manage quite an admirable attempt at fitting in, it doesn't take long for her to become quite an oddity among the others. A girl who likes to wear down her hair, hates riding side-saddle, can wield a sword and isn't afraid to scale down a brick wall in order to escape into the night and find her sister. Not exactly your standard fare for 14th century prim and proper ladies. So it's not surprising that the men have taken an interest in her. Particularly Marcello Forelli - m'lord, what wonderful men we have in this era! Yes, I say men. These knights are FAR from boys.

The romance that develops between Marcello and Gabriella is fantastic and very believable. He is betrothed to another woman and the marriage will form a vital alliance. It may prove dangerous if something comes between their union.... say a time-travelling girl who just happens to be taken by the hottie just as much as he is her. Despite the consequences a relationship between them would cause, you're totally cheering them on to come together!

I also need to mention Luca, Marcello's cousin and most trusted - he is such a charmer! He's flirtatious, friendly, badass with a sword (and might I add, his fists) and such a genuine kind of guy. They all were - they're men who burst into battle with the intention of defeating the opposing side no matter what it takes, because really, it's either fight or die. But on the flip side of their manly badassness, they're such genuine, honest, loyal, sweet gentleman. A girl can't help but grow smitten with these men. Marcello, Luca and Fortino are more than welcome to develop their own love square with me in the centre. Everything about them and the book makes you want to do some time-travelling of your own.

Throughout the book you're swept away in the politics, the mystery, the romance and the complicated drama's and dangerous everyday living. Knights brandishing swords, arrows, daggers and axes - not something you want to get mixed up in! But oh, does Gabriella get mixed up in it. She is such an awesome heroine.That girl knows how to kick some serious butt, but at the same time she is just as vulnerable as she is headstrong. She's so easy to relate to - determined, stubborn, not to mention insanely worried about her sister,  but just like everyone, the girl makes mistakes and stupid decisions in the heat of the moment. Which result in her ending up in some sticky situations.

Waterfall offers so much - such a rich, fascinating landscape with characters who breath life from the very pages. Lisa balances the historical and modern vibe perfectly - the whole world around Gabriella is hundreds of years in the past, yet she adds her own modern touch. This book did not fill my appetite. Instead, it made me hungrier and left my imagination gnawing for more the minute I turned the last page! I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel and dive head-first back into this world, I'm so intrigued to see what happens next for these characters!

I've no doubt this is going to become one of my favourite series! Bring on Cascade :D

Rating: 5/5


  1. Every review I've read for this makes it sound super amazing and your review settled the situation - I'm going to be purchasing this once I get paid on Friday. Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much! :D

  2. Ahhhh! I've been dying to read this book! But I don't think they'll be releasing it here. Which is sad, if you ask me. I was fangirling as I read through your review. Way to tempt me, Brodie! I'm so glad you liked it!

  3. I never heard of this one before but it sounds great! And your review is stunning, obviously! Honestly, I'd be prepared to read this book just for the boys! I mean, men ;) Yummm!

  4. I had *never* heard of this book until Small Review recently reviewed it. She made it sound amazing. YOU made it sound amazing! I am so, so glad that I special-ordered a copy from my local B&N last week. I picked it, Friday I think? This absolutely HAS to be one of my next books!

  5. Ahh, Brodie. My sister from Down Under. Obviously, you were meant to join me in medieval Italy...thanks for the fab review. Almost done with page proofs for CASCADE--can't wait to see what you think of #2.

  6. Great review Brodie! :) I love it! '...fascinating landscape with characters that breathe life...' This line really got me!

  7. I just finished this, and I'm posting my review this coming week. ;D It was absolutely *amazing*, lol! I'm dying for Cascade at this point.

  8. I just loved this book so, so much. Oh Mah Gah. gushgushgush. Loved it. Your review does it way more justice than mine! Glad to have another Waterfall fan I can squee with. :)

  9. i HAD NEVER EVEN HEARD OF THIS BOOK AND IT SOUNDS completely AWESOME (ooops ~ caps lock...)

    Thansi for this review ~ I've also just looked it up and it's on sale 30% off @ The Book Depo so its, like, a sign, haha. Can't wait to read it!

  10. Awesome awesome book!! I read it and then reread it all in the space of two and a half days!!This blog pretty much says it all!!I would recommend this book to one and to all!!! can't wait for CASCADE!!! a Hafta-read-it-now kinda book!!!

  11. Ahhhh!!! I've been wanting this book so bad! Your review is killing me cause I want it SO BAD! It sounds AMAZING!


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