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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Review: Waterfall (River of Time #1) by Lisa T. Bergren

Publisher: David C. Cook
Published: February 1, 2011
Pages: 352
Source: Free ebook from Amazon
Rating: 4 Stars - I Loved It!

American teenager Gabi Betarrini accidently finds herself in Fourteenth-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 Fourteenth Century and in the middle of a fierce battle between knights bent on killing one another.

In short: Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren is entertainment at its best - complete with non-stop action and swoon-worthy boys.
I participated in a month long Read-Along for Waterfall in which I got to share in my reading experience of Waterfall with a whole bunch of lovely book bloggers. It was excellent fun but also terribly hard to stay within the allotted chapters for each week. Why? Because Waterfall is just so darn fast paced and exciting; I was never even remotely bored at any point. Lisa T. Bergren keeps the action coming page after page. Waterfall is entertainment at its best.

And how could you not be entertained by the events that take place in Waterfall? Getting mistaken for a lady in a past time period, meeting some swoon-worthy and gallant boys men and falling in love with one of them, getting to impart your modern knowledge and save a life, getting to wear pretty dresses and go to balls, taking part in the action even though you're a lady - this is all stuff of escapist fantasies. It was like Lisa T. Bergren knew exactly what her audience was looking for in a dream book and then delivered exactly that and more.

Gabi makes for a feisty and determined heroine, though I did find that she was a little too good to be true as a character. It seems awfully convenient to me that she would be fluent in Italian, basic in Latin and French, have experience in riding bareback, have a knowledge of various herbs and remedies, and be an experienced fencer (and somehow have this experience translate into wielding an extremely heavy broadsword). I guess I just would've liked to have seen Gabi struggle a bit more with her new and strange surroundings - not that I hate her or anything. I just think that would be more realistic.

I also think the pacing was a bit too fast at times (because I'm weird like that); I would've liked to have read a bit more detail about the plan that was put into place to save Gabi's sister, for instance, because I found it a bit hard to follow. But besides these minor quibbles, I had tons of fun reading Waterfall and I can't imagine a person not enjoying themselves while reading it either. I can't wait to check out the sequels, Cascade and Torrent, which also came out this year!

Other Reviews:
Logan E. Turner
Poetry to Prose
Small Review

Author Links:

*Read as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge
*Read as part of the YA Series Challenge


  1. I've heard nothing but good things about this book! Glad to see you enjoyed it, too. I love books that hook you and make you went to keep reading! :)

  2. I know I'm getting this one soon because you and Small have recommend it so much. LOL
    I just love reading the reviews :)

  3. This book is waaaay good!!! I need to read the next two. =)

  4. Lauren: Boy, did this one ever make me want to keep reading, and keep reading fast. I hope to get to Cascade soon!

    Alex: I love reading reviews for a book that everyone seems to have high praise for too!

    Juju: The pace was what made it so hard to stop reading, that's for sure!

  5. Bailey: I need to too! I have so many obligation books that I need to get to first though!

  6. Oh man, kudos to you for being able to stop after the scheduled chapters each week. I would not have been able to do that. I'm really glad you ended up loving it, though, and I hope you enjoy the next two just as much!

    Thanks for the linkage.

  7. I have this on my TBR list. Only heard great things about it so far. The protagonist sounds great I love feisty! Great review!

    Xpresso Reads

  8. Even though Gabi was too good to be a realistic character, I still ended up loving this one too. She's not hard to root for and the plot is just so easy to get absorbed into.

  9. Yup, that was my biggest problem with Gabi too. Her abilities were too convenient for a modern day teen. My teen cousins can barely be bothered to pick up a fork and they talk in text speak that is hardly recognizable as English. So with that in mind, Gabi didn't really seem very authentic and her abilities were too good to be true. But when I learned to let that go, I enjoyed it for what it was, a fantasy.

    So happy you joined us for the read a long.

  10. This sounds like my kind of book. I really enjoyed following the discussion, so I definitely want to read this.

  11. Stephanie: It was tough. Thankfully, I was reading Anna around the same time so that helped distract me.

    Giselle: I've only ever heard good things too. I hope that I'll come to love Gabi even more in the sequels.

    Zahida: Yeah, I really admired Gabi's bravery and determination. If I had been in her situation, I would've given up!

    Missie: Yes, I think it's important to keep in perspective the actual story because once I got over the Mary-Sueness of Gabi's character, I was able to enjoy the story immensely. It was great fun!

    Jessica: I recommend it! It's good if you need to escape from real life :)

  12. Everyone's reading this series. I feel like I'm out of the loop! I must get on The Waterfall bandwagon. Great review :)

  13. I agree with you Aylee, that's what I thought of her too... but I couldn't help but love this book! Thats why I had a hard time doing my review (which I posted today - finally!) because I didn't know what to say to get across how much I loved it! Anyhoo, you did a way better job than me! Thanks for sharing your thoughs :)

  14. Julie: I felt the same way. If there's anything I hate worse, it's being left out of the bandwagon.

    Lulu: I often have a harder time writing reviews for books that I love; it's easier when I have something to criticize. I'm off to read your review soon! I'm sure it's great :)