Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review: Waterfell by Amalie Howard

Title: Waterfell
Author: Amalie Howard
Genre: Paranormal Young-Adult
Series: The Aquarathi #1

Paperback, 360 pages  
Publication: October 29, 2013 by Harlequin Teen 

Source: I recieved an Arc from the publicist.


Nerissa Marin hides among teens in her human form, waiting for the day she can claim her birthright—the undersea kingdom stolen from her the day her father was murdered. Blending in is her best weapon—until her father's betrayer confronts Nerissa and challenges her to a battle to the death on Nerissa's upcoming birthday—the day she comes of age.

Amid danger and the heartbreak of her missing mother, falling for a human boy is the last thing Nerissa should do. But Lo Seavon breaches her defenses and somehow becomes the only person she can count on to help her desperate search for her mother, a prisoner of Nerissa's mortal enemy. Is Lo the linchpin that might win Nerissa back her crown? Or will this mortal boy become the weakness that destroys her?

I initially thought Waterfell was a mermaid book, which I haven't read much of but thought the synopsis sounded great and wanted to read it. However Waterfell isn't about mermaid per-say but about sea creatures...alien sea creatures that is. Our main heroine Nerissa is a sixteen-year-old going on seventeen Aquarathi princess and future Queen of Waterfell (underwater kingdom). Nerissa and some of her people left their home planet after the land inhabitant decimated the sea and made everything uninhabitable, so they made their new home on earth.

I'm going to be honest, when I read that they were an alien race, I didn't want to continue. It didn't sound like an original idea. It also didn't help that I was having a hard time connecting with Nerissa. Nerissa was kind of a mean girl. She came off as selfish and shallow not really caring about other people's feelings but herself. She kept repeating over and over how selfish she was with her peers and how she didn't want to face her responsibility as the only heir to the throne of Waterfell. Even when she knew her people were suffering, she was contempt on to stay on land pretending to be a human teenager. Thankfully Nerissa realizes (even if it took awhile) that she couldn't continue running away from her fear and responsibilities and took action. Nerissa's personality was a huge improvement and I found myself warming up to her in the end.

Most of the secondary character were also great, not fully fleshed-out but enough to make them memorable. My favorite character was Jenna, the human best friend. Nerissa's foster/Aquarathi family thought Jenna was a weak human and nothing but a liability. Jenna was far from being a liability, and was a total kick-butt heroine. She is fierce and loyal and even out shined Nerissa in some of the scenes. A kind of friend anyone would be happy to have. I know I sure would!

Waterfell is a perfect balance of romance, action and suspense. The chemistry between Nerissa and Lo from the start was undeniable. Nerissa tried to fight off Lo's charm but he was just so upfront about his feeling, you can't help but get all mushy about it. The romance was probably the main focus for the first half of the book but the second half was full of action and suspense. Some parts were predictable, but Howard was still able to surprise me with the nonstop twists and turns at the end. The ending literally left me gosmack at how good it was! I can't wait to see what happens next, especially with how Waterfell ended.

Waterfell is a wonderful addition to the young-adult genre, and in the end it IS an original play on mer-people/sea creatures. I'm so glad I didn't give up on this book, because there's more to the story than what the synopsis proposes. I have had difficuilty with lot of YAs in the past, but I am really happy with what I am reading this year...and so far I'm loving everything that coming out from the YA genre. I highly recommend Waterfell to YA and Paranromal book lovers, there is really something speical here, and I definitely see this series getting better and going far.

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