01 December 2013

(ARC) Book Review: Waterfell by Amelie Howard

Waterfell (The Aquarathi #1)
by Amalie Howard
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Published: October 29th 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Format Acquired: ARC from publisher via NetGalley (thanks!)
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

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?
Perhaps it's the fact that I haven't read or seen The Little Mermaid (don't kill me) that made it easier for to like this book. I'm not fond of mermaid stories, to be honest, so I wasn't expecting Nerissa to be one. Nothing about the synopsis gave me the impression that this would be some sort of mermaid story. I mean, not all underwater sea creatures are mermaids (or mermen) right?

But anyway. On to the review!

There were a couple of things I liked about Waterfell. The first would be the Aquarathi. I liked how vividly they were described - from their history down to their true form. I had a tough time picturing them though but that could just be because of my lack of imagination at that time. (I think I got the description right in my head though. I'm just not 100% sure.) Nevertheless I think the author did a good job at creating a solid background for the Aquarathi. Another thing I liked was Nerissa. A lot of readers think she's such a bad character because she's proud and selfish yada yada yada. But I think this side of her only makes her believable. I like characters that have flaws, that start out really bad but along the way becomes better. I don't like characters who are too good or kickass from the get-go. I want to see them grow, make mistakes, be annoying - stuff like that. With Nerissa, you definitely see a lot of her bad side. In fact, her selfishness is part of the conflict and it takes a complete 180 to fix things. Nerissa came to her senses eventually and I liked seeing how much better she got when she accepted the throne. She still has a long way to go though but at least she's less of a selfish bitch.

While I liked Nerissa's flaws, I didn't like some of the things it brought on. For example, her stubbornness when it came to her royal duties led her to ignore them completely in the beginning. She distracted herself by being human. She went to school, got into sports... that sort of thing. Naturally this included dating. When she started getting interested in Lo, I knew it would be one of the things I would hate about this book. I didn't like Nerissa's constant denial of her growing feelings for Lo. Just freaking date him already. Geez! The more Nerissa focused on Lo and less on her kingdom, the more the book seemed like a love story more than anything. Furthermore, it kind of made the story a little too predictable - and that's the other aspect I didn't like. I'm really slow with these things so me getting the plot twist right says a lot.

The verdict? I liked Waterfell. I still want to check out the next book but I seriously hope we get more Aquarathi action and less hormonal-teenage drama. This series has potential.



  1. Wow, yours is the first review that I've read that actually liked it...to be honest I read a heap of other reviews that really put me off the book. I loved what you said about flawed characters, I guess that makes it more realistic. Lovely review Sab!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    1. Thanks, Jeann! I've read a lot of negative 3-star reviews too which kind of confuses me. I just figured, I liked it better than the other 2 star books I've read so I gave it 3 stars! Haha! Thanks for dropping by, Jeann :D