Release Date: Feb. 1, 2011
Publisher: David C. Cook
Pages: 352 pages
Genre: Historical, Christian
Rating: 5 stars
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.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…
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.
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.