Thursday, December 29, 2011

Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren

Waterfall (River of Time, #1)
Rating: **
Genre: Historical fiction, sci fi, romance
Series: First of a trilogy
Pages: 369
For Gabi and Lia, it's shaping up to be yet another boring of summer of uncovering artifacts in ancient Italian burial mounds. Their mother is an archaeologist. They do that every summer. But when they decide to explore the tomb for themselves instead of watching their mom do it from afar, Gabi is swept back seven hundred years to medieval battlefield. Lia is nowhere to be found.
Waterfall avoided some of the more annoying quirks of time travel romances. Gabi is fluent in both Italian and Latin, so there's no need for everybody in Medieval Italy to magically and conveniently start speaking twenty-first century English. She doesn't cower behind knight in shining armor whenever the Bad Guys come out to play. Half the time she's the one wielding the sword.
Waterfall is a very good time travel novel, but a deplorable romance. It's obvious why Marcello (aka Sir Shiny Armor) likes Gabi. How many fourteenth century woman have the spunk to repel down a castle wall with a sword in hand, pretend to be nobility, and back-talk a man, all in effort to find and save her little sister?
But I can't see why Gabi would be willing to spend fifteen seconds of her life fantasizing over this guy. He's described as being hot and treats her with all the courtesy that befits the lady she's pretending to be. But that means nothing to me. I have to see heroic feats of bravery or heartmelting acts of kindness before I bat an eyelash.
The climax happens about a hundred pages before the end of the book. Twenty of those are necessary. The rest is an extended victory party.
Then there's the title. There is no waterfall or even a waterfall metaphor in the entire story.
Waterfall is a good read for anybody who enjoys strong protagonists, action, historical detail, and hot guys on horses (with a disappointing lack of other positive qualities).

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