Waterfall: A Novel by Lisa Bergren (River of Time #1)

Summary: A surprisingly prepared 17 year old gets sent back into time to 14th Century Italy.

I have a pretty high tolerance for cheesy stories. But Waterfall really pushed the cheesy factors. I was pretty tired of all the teen slang that felt like it was included to try and be more authentic, but ended up being annoying and making the book feel younger and less professional.

Gabi is a 17 year old daughter of a pair of archeologists. Her father recently died and she and her sister and mother are on site in Italy trying to excavate an ancient tomb. While exploring the tomb, Gabi and her sister touches the wall and somehow Gabi gets sent back to 14th century Italy. When she walks out of the tomb she is in the midst of a small battle between two neighboring keeps (and her sister is no where to be found.)

Gabi pretends to be a lost young noblewoman from Normandy that was separated from her sister and in search of their mother. In addition to the teen slang, the focus on romance (in a Twilight style obsessions) was annoying (there are ‘lots of Italian hotties’).  Gabi spends much more time thinking about the hotties than thinking about the fact that she is in the 14th century.

Of course, being a novel, Gabi just happens to be fluent in Italian, able to fluently read Latin, knowledgeable enough of early Italian writers that she can speak the 14th century dialects without a problem. Her father taught her how to sword fight and rappel and her mother taught her about wild herbs and medicine and other survival skills.

And since she is from the future, she can help fix many of the backward problems of the age, like the allergies of the heir of castle where she ends up and teach his younger brother that women are just as good as men.

I am not a 14 year old girl, although I tend to like a lot of books that are targeted toward 14 year old girls. Waterfall both kept me relatively engaged with the story, but also kept me annoyed with the writing. Several times I decided to just give up on the book but I went on. It was a light read (which I am not opposed to and frankly needed a bit right now.) But just too light, too focused on love at first sight, too inadequate on the deeper issues.

This is also a Christian fiction books, but other than a few prayers and some very brief wondering if it was God’s will that drew her back in time, Christian elements are basically absent. (Although there is also no language or sex, just a few stolen kisses and discussions of ‘hotness’.)

One last complaint is that I have no idea where the title comes in.  There is not a single mention of a waterfall in the whole book from what I remember. My guess is that the idea was that she came back through time like water over a waterfall, but it was an odd title choice.

Waterfall: A Novel Purchase Links: Paperback, Kindle Edition, Audible.com AudiobookAudiobook is discounted to $3.49 with purchase of Kindle Book, this is the first book in a series of 4 books and it is often free on kindle (although it is not right now.)


LOL – but how do you really feel, Adam?

Which proves again why “Christian” publishers don’t know how to market the writings of J. Mark Bertrand!

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