Saturday, April 30, 2011


Title: Waterfall

Series: The River of Time #1

Author: Lisa T. Bergren

Genre: YA Time-Travel Romance

Excerpt from the Prologue of Waterfall:

We paused on our hike, panting and wiping our upper lips as our guide—the old Italian farmer who owned this land—chopped down a small sapling, clearing the overgrown trail. “Ecco, vedi,” he said, pointing at the ground. See, here.

“See that?” my mom cried, pushing the tree branch back farther, squatting beside a slightly sculpted limestone paver. Not really expecting a response, she spoke more to herself—or was it Dad’s ghost she addressed?—than to us. But the hairs on the back of my neck prickled with echoed excitement.

“Here, too,” she said, her blue eyes wide, pointing at another. She followed our guide, tossing her Danish blonde braid over her shoulder, ignoring the brambles scratching at her lean, tanned legs. She never noticed much of anything in such situations. I could fall and break my leg, but it would take a fair amount of screaming for her to turn around and tune in.

My sister, Lia, rolled her blue eyes—so much like Mom’s—as if to say, Oh brother, here we go again.

The teenaged daughters of an archeologist inadvertently travel back to fourteenth-century Italy, becoming entangled in warring lords, betrothals, and political intrigue.

Craft: Waterfall was a delightful story all around! It has a well-paced plot with mystery, suspense, and romance; colorful descriptions of an era long gone; and a protagonist, though slightly difficult (at least for me) to connect with at first, that’s ultimately likeable and multi-dimensional.

This is a story that hooks the attention, engages the imagination, and suspends disbelief, even tickling the funny bone along the way.

Content: Waterfall has a clear but low-lying spiritual thread interwoven throughout as the main protagonist struggles with her lack of faith. It’s not that she doesn’t believe God exist so much, but rather whether He has any place in her life—she has no personal relationship with Him.

As a result, questions are raised about who God is and to what extent does He control events. For example, was the time-traveling accidental . . . or intentional?

Beyond this, you’ll deal with medieval violence, everything from swordfights to poison, but everything is shown within reasonable context, neither dwelt on nor graphically portrayed. There are also several references to rape and one attempt thereof.

Summary: Waterfall, though perhaps a little slow to get into, is a delightful tale of history, adventure, and romance. Highly recommended, especially for teen girls who enjoy historical novels and/or romance.

Rating: Craft—5, Content—4, Overall—4.3 out of 5 stars

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