Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Publisher: David C. Cook
Release date: June 1, 2011
Source: ARC received from publicist
Series: River of Time #2
**NOTE - contains mild spoilers for the first book**
Summary: (from Goodreads) Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, weeks have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while the Florentines will go to great lengths to see them dead. But Marcello patiently awaits, and Gabi must decide if she’s willing to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.
First impressions: I knew I was going to like this book from the first line: "Mom freaked out when she saw us, of course." (p. 11) Best. First. Line. Ever. Slipping back into this world was like throwing on your favorite comfy jeans. I was a goner.
Lasting impressions: I'm so anxious to read Torrent, the final book in the trilogy, that I may develop an ulcer by September 1st. At least I only have to wait the summer, though. This quick release series thing is my new favorite.
Conflicting impressions: I don't know if I'm just not remembering Waterfall that well, but Gabi felt a bit off to me in this book. Her voice came through a little differently than I was expecting - more typical teenager-isms, I guess. As a result, the internal monologue was 21st century, but the dialogue was 14th century, which was more jarring for me this time around.
Overall impressions: That said, the book was written the way I think. And the way I like to write. So, OF COURSE, I loved it!
At this point, I feel almost like, "What else can I say?" I love this series. Unless Lisa Bergren had written this sequel with Gabi murdering her own sister with noxious farts, I couldn't have been disappointed. No. You know what? Even with the death-by-farting, I still probably would have rolled with it, nodding along as I read, assuming this was a weird ritual Italian thing that only Lisa is smart enough to know, and that eventually Lia would spring back to life and pull a rabbit out of a hat or something.
Lucky for us, Lisa didn't write anything quite so silly. Instead, she completely rose to the occasion and crafted a sequel with even more of the heart-pounding action and non-stop danger that hooked me in the first book. Let's face it. Medieval Italy was HARD LIVING, especially if you were a woman. Gabi, still a teenager, has a hard time accepting just how tough life in Marcello's Italy can be. This book didn't cut her any slack. Gabi and Lia are constantly under attack, but in a believable way and without anything seeming over the top or overdone.
Perhaps the best part of this installment is getting to spend nearly the entire book with Gabi and Lia together. I love seeing the She-Wolves of Siena fighting along side each other, and witnessing their bond grow through the time they spend in the past. Lia kind of steals Gabi's thunder in this book, actually, showing off those mad archery skills and proving herself every bit as tough as our main heroine.
No review of this book could be complete without mention of Marcello and Luca. Cue the handheld fans! Our Italian hotties are back and better than ever, joined by the somewhat sinister Rodolfo Greco. Lord Greco added a nice element this time around - not purely evil like Lord Paratore, but not fully good like our main men. I appreciated his duplicity and scheming, and I think this is not the last we will hear from him.
Marcello and Gabi are totally sweet together, of course, but Luca and Lia stole the show for me. I think I may be falling more in love with Luca! I'm a sucker for his wit and smile, and I can't wait to see how things develop with Lia. I love the pace at which these relationships are moving (not that they have much choice given all of the danger and violence constantly chasing them!), and I particularly enjoy watching Gabi struggle with her growing feelings for Marcello. Would you be willing to give up modern life for your possible true love? Oh! It's so heart-wrenching!
The end of this book is so sweet and joyous despite its uncertainty. I absolutely cannot wait to read Torrent and find out what happens next! I could personally relate to the final events of Cascade's story (minus the time travel, natch), which led to many bittersweet but also happy tears while reading the last chapter. The entire book will have your heart leaping into your throat, dashing down to your stomach, and hammering so hard you might fear for your own life.
So what are you waiting for?
Rating: 5/5 stars
Want to read my take on the first book? Click to read my review of Waterfall. I'm also giving away a copy of Cascade this month, so click here to enter. You should also check out Small Review's incredible review of Cascade. She's got some sweet giveaways happening as well!
PS - Lisa just sent me the link to the book trailer, and it's too pretty not to include. Enjoy!