Gritty, inspiring, action-packed: My review of "Waterfall" by Lisa T. Bergren

Publisher: David C. Cook

I must admit that I'm a bit late to the game.

Recently, I was introduced to Lisa Bergren's latest trilogy for teens, the River of Time Series, a series released throughout 2011, and one that first hit the market back in February 2011. Although the books appear to primarily be written for the female teen audience, I am confident that teen guys will secretly enjoy them too - and their parents may find themselves picking them up too!

The description provided by the publisher of the first book in the series, Waterfall, was enough to stir my interest. Take a look:

"Gabriella has never spent a summer in Italy like this one. Remaining means giving up all she’s known and loved … and leaving means forfeiting what she’s come to know—and love itself.

Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Bentarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives with their parents, famed Etruscan scholars, among the romantic hills. In Book One of the River of Time series, Gabi and Lia are stuck among the rubble of medieval castles in rural Tuscany on yet another hot, boring, and dusty archeological site … 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.

And thus she comes to be rescued by the knight-prince Marcello Falassi, who takes her back to his father’s castle—a castle Gabi has seen in ruins in another life. Suddenly Gabi’s summer in Italy is much, much more interesting. But what do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?"
I found Waterfall to be highly entertaining, with compelling characters, fascinating history, and enough action and intrigue to keep the pages flying. Now, I will admit that I had to get used to experiencing Gabi's assessment of the guys in the story, who she continued to describe as "hot". Being a father, I read such statements with utter fear and trembling as I pictured my own daughters having such a reaction. I will be sure to apply for a gun license the moment my oldest hits puberty.
However, beyond the teen romance, the story was unique, fast-pacing, and was a gripping read. I enjoyed watching Gabi shatter the stereotypes of women of the day, including her propensity to ride a horse bareback, refuse to take no for an answer, and wield a sword in the most dangerous of situations. She is a character that teen girls will both relate to, learn from, and be inspired by.
I would not hesitate to recommend this book to Christian teens and I give it my highest recommendation of 5 out of 5 stars.
Thanks to my local library for investing in this series and allowing me to peruse it for my own enjoyment!

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