Friday, August 26, 2011

Book Review: Waterfall

Title: Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren
Release Date: Feb. 1, 2011
Publisher: David C. Cook
Pages: 352 pages
Genre: Historical, Christian
Rating: 5 stars
Source: Purchased
Goodreads Summary: 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 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.
Bored and annoyed that they are going to spend yet another summer at an archeological site and not allowed to touch anything, Gabi convinces her sister Lia to sneak into the site with her where Gabi is accidentally sent through time and finds herself in the middle of battle between neighboring castles. The action starts right away as Gabi is rescued by the swoon worthy Marcello and his men. Not knowing if Lia traveled through time as well, Gabi works to find her, find a way back home and protect herself from falling for Marcello…

I have seen tons of glowing reviews for Waterfall and have been dying to see what all the hype is about but it’s not hype if the book really is that good! Waterfall is an awesome mix of time travel, romance, fast paced action/adventure and political intrigue.

Gabi is a very likable character. She is smart, resourceful and can ride a horse and wield a sword like it’s nobody’s business. Having archeologists for parents, she speaks Italian and has a decent grasp on medieval history. The novel is told in first person from Gabi’s point of view so while she has to speak in a manner appropriate to the time period, her thoughts are that of any modern teenager and she is hilarious. Gabi is devoted to her family and I love her relationship with Lia (who is very Katniss-esque with a bow and arrow). Clearly, the girls in Waterfall rock and while Marcello is clearly the leading man in this story, his older brother Fortino and his cousin Luca are awesome as well and I can’t wait to learn more about them.

The one and only thing that I did not love about the story is that when Marcello meets Gabi, he is engaged to someone else and despite the relationship being arranged by their parents and the girl being not very nice, it still bothered me just a bit.

Waterfall is the kind of book that as soon as you finish it, you need to read the sequel right away so I am very happy that Cascade has already been released. The books are classified as historical Christian fiction, a genre that I like a lot. I know many readers avoid Christian fiction like the plague but the Christian elements in Waterfall are not overwhelming and flow very well with the story.

From other reviews I have seen, Waterfall has immense crossover appeal and I hope publishers are taking note. Christian YA can have the heart stopping romance, adventure, cool supernatural elements, be fun and successful and still stay true to the genre. Waterfall, and the entire River of Time Series by Ms. Bergren, are exactly my kind of books and I would love to read more like them.

Content: Kissing and violence.


Lisa Tawn Bergren said...

Thanks for the great review!!

Tia said...

Great review! I love the setting of the book.

Tia @Falling For Books

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I'm going to start this series. I enjoyed your review.

KM said...

I can't wait to read this series! I have the first book downloaded on my Kindle.

I agree that there are lots of crossover opportunities for books like this! The one I'm reading now, THERE YOU'LL FIND ME, by Jenny B. Jones is one, as well. It was published by Thomas Nelson and definitely has some Christian themes, but there are a lot of other bits that non-Christians can relate to. I love that Christian YA is starting to get a little bigger. It's a huge void in the market!!!

Amy said...

Great review! I've had this one on my TBR list for a while, and I think I should definitely read it now. Thank you for sharing! :)

Have a great weekend!

Read.Breathe.Relax. said...

I'm about 70 percent through reading this book, and I LOVE it! I'm so, so glad I saw your amazing post about it being free! :)

I didn't realize this book was historical Christian fiction, by the way! It sort of surprised me a few chapters in, but it was definitely refreshing to see characters praying and referring to their faith in the story! Although, at times it did seem just a little out of place.

Great review! :D

Selina said...

Great review! I just finished it last week and I am reading Cascade right now. You can find my review here if you are interested!

KM said...

Hey, I don't know if you have it already, but I bought CASCADE for my Kindle today and thought you might want to borrow it when I'm done. :) Let me know!


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