Thursday, July 16, 2015

Review: Waterfall by Lisa Bergren

Title: Waterfall
Author: Lisa Bergren
Series: River of Time, Book One
Publisher: David C. Cook
Published Date: 1 February 2011
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

What do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?

Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives among the romantic hills with their archaelogist parents. Stuck among the rubble of the medieval castles in rural Tuscany, on yet another hot, dusty archaeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds...until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.

Suddenly Gabi's summer in Italy is much, much more interesting.
(summary from Goodreads)

Waterfall is a riveting read full of heart-stopping action and a slow burn romance to make you sigh.

Time travel? Check. Knights in shining armour? Check. Kickass heronie? Check. Happy reader? Check! Okay, so that's the short version, but seriously, these combine to make a great read. Waterfall was more than I was expecting and I believe it comes down to Bergren's world building and Gabi. I have a thing about historical fiction, always have. It's something I really like. Add in time travel and it's all the more enjoyable. I like historical fiction for its world building, and Waterfall has it. Bergren has a way of detailing Fourteenth Century Italy that is enthralling and realistic. I could imagine everything so clearly, and it helped create atmosphere throughout the book. Bergren was really able to evoke the terrifying fear and captivating fascination of a world so very different to the one we - and Gabi - know. Added to this is Gabi herself, who is strong and capable. I admit, with this being time travel fiction, I had certain expectations of Gabi as too much a damsel in distress, but that really wasn't the case. Gabi is often impressive with her quick thinking, and her realising wholly the situation - and danger - she is in. Yet she also experiences real shock and disgust at how different some things are and brings some modern day knowledge into play. Sure, some of her know-how - the language, history and a little sword fighting - is convenient, but it plays into the 'this is Gabi and Lia's destiny' appeal. I was fully invested in Gabi's journey from start to finish.

Speaking of Lia, there is much too little of her throughout Waterfall, and so I'm certainly interested to read more of her. Her skill with archery and obvious connection with Luca are sure to add to the enjoyment of this series. And oh, how I adore Luca. Flirty and sassy, Luca is a knight after my own heart. All the characters are ones I want more of, to be honest. Fortino especially, who is so sweet, and I'm intrigued to see where the story takes Lady Rossi. And then there's Marcello. Yeah, I'm definitely looking forward to more of him and his relationship with Gabi. Marcello is strong and honourable, and his romance with Gabi sparks from page one. The attraction between them smoulders. The thing about Waterfall is that the romance is not wholly developed as the priority is Gabi finding Lia and getting them both home, and for me, that's another tick towards this book being great. But yes, I'll be coming back so I can get more romance!

A fast-paced and engaging story, be sure to read Waterfall when you have time to finish it in one sitting! 



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