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Waterfell (The Aquarathi #1)

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  495 ratings  ·  192 reviews

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.
Paperback, 350 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by Harlequin Teen (first published January 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Khanh (Clowns, Nightmares, and Bunnies)

This book almost became one of those rarest of rare objects: it could have been a really good book about sea creatures. It came so frustratingly, heartbreakingly close. I love mermaids. I love sirens. I am always on the lookout for a really good book based on those creatures. To this day, I have yet to come across any such novels, and this book came so close to being one I enjoyed. It had a lot of the elements I search for in a novel: an enjoyably flawed heroine, a compelling plot line, a new sp
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

Thank you HarlequinTeen for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.

Gee, I don't even know where to begin. If you want a good mermaid book, this is not where you want to start. Heck, this isn't even a mermaid book. This book for majority of the time does not even let us see the characters under the water signing Under The Sea--we didn't even see the antagonist until the last few chapters. I can't really give any recommen
4.5 stars

This can also be seen at

Talk about a book being NOT what you expected! I thought this was going to go into my every growing pile of mermaid books. So color me shocked when I finally realized what Nerissa was, and where she came from.
Yeah. She's so not a mermaid.

I thought this book was heading straight into typical territory after the first chapter or so, but then it surprised me by taking off in an entirely different direction.
And I want to tell you...I really really do! But par
1 stars

Dear publishers and authors,

Consider the following warning label:

WARNING: This book contains instalove. The protagonist falls head over heels for the love interest in less than 10% of the novel for some undeniable and yet inexplicable reason. And after that, 90% of the protagonist's thoughts and actions concern this undying love. It will be insufferable. You will hate it. Stay away.

For the love of god. Please start using this label. Because I'm getting sick of going into these books expec
Stacia (the 2010 club)
I'm going to refrain from rating because I read the first half of the book, then skipped ahead to the last couple of chapters.

I think I would have liked this a lot better had I read it when I was younger and loved fairy tale-esque stories of all-encompassing love. There's definitely a target audience for Waterfell, but unfortunately, it's not me at this time.

The last sentence of the book made me realize that I was perfectly okay with the fact that I didn't read much of the second half : I am yo
Not what I was expecting. Going into this book, I was thinking "forbidden romance, mermaids, basically a standard YA paranormal romance." But, what I got was something much better. Waterfell was a wonderful YA read. Romantic, thrilling, and full of surprises. I LOVED this book!

I loved the mythology of this book. It was a new take on the mermaid-ish trope. Combine mermaid with aliens and some magic and we have the Aquarathi. It was really interesting and really well thought out. I really liked it
Review from Ja čitam, a ti?

And I thought this would be a Little Mermaid re-telling. I was sure Waterfell would be a retelling of Andersen's famous fairy tale about mermaid princess who fell in love with a boy and wanted to be human so she could be with him. Even after first few pages I wasn't sure, everything pointed out to that premise, but quickly I realized I was wrong.

Our heroine, Nerissa, is not human but also she is not mermaid no matter the fact that her "natural habitat" is sea and ocea
Jennifer Siegel
Waterfell is not a lot of things. It is not a romance. It is not a mermaid tale. It not your usual teen book. Waterfell, instead is a book about love, honor, trust and betrayal. It is a book about friendship and loyalty and about being true to who you really are. It is all of those things wrapped up in an action packed book about a race of sea creatures that can morph into human form. It is about Nerissa, their princess, who is living among humans to stay safe from those that killed her father a ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Pages Read: 94

Okay, I know I said I would finish this, but I'm booooored. Suffice it to say that this book is full of ill-considered metaphors, instalove, and O_o worldbuilding.
Marissa DeCuir
What a brilliant idea for a story!! I was so fascinated by the premise of this whole other world out there us humans don't know about, but the Aquarathi all know well about us and actually send their leaders to come learn with the humans so we can all live peacefully. And the heir to the throne is having to save her people, yes, but more so the humans from the Aquarathi "bad guys."

I kept picturing this under water world, and what the Aquarathi look like. And the way the author brings up certain
Steph Sinclair

I've been disappointed by too many "mermaid" books. I hope this one delivers.
Nose Graze — Young Adult book reviews

Waterfell barely qualifies as a mermaid book. The problem is that Nerissa has spent most of her recent life on land, so about 95% of the book takes place on land, in high school, with high school drama, and high school love interests. There are a couple snippets of mermaid action near the end, or talks about this underwater kingdom, but they don't feel real. Even the antagonist (Ehmora—the one who stole Nerissa's kingdom) feels distant and far away, because w
Originally Reviewed At: Mother/Gamer/Writer
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Controllers
Review Source: NetGalley
Reviewer: Sarika

This book was, in my opinion, the perfect example of how a YA novel should be written. To give you a better idea of my admiration of the author, I actually began devising a list of reasons why this book (or the author) can seriously kick ass (in the best possible way).

-The book starts off brilliantly-in the heart of the conflict. Needless to say, I was raptured from the very first p
Nemo (the Moonlight Library)
Nerissa Marin isn’t your average teenager. She’s secretly the runaway princess of an ancient underwater world called Waterfell, sent away by her father to learn the ways of humans to better understand them. Rissa also has run away from her duties as the queen-to-be by deciding not to return to Waterfell and avenge her father’s murderer – except that her guardians still expect her to take up her crown, and when she comes of age she’s expected to fight for her kingdom.

I really liked Nerissa as a c
Krissy (BooksWithKris)
**Cue the sighing**

I'm so disappointed because this book had so much potential.

I don't want to write a long review because I know it's going to end up being a rant, so I'll just list the things I did and did not like.

-The writing style. It's very simple; The author doesn't just gloss over things, yet she also doesn't pound you with too much detail. I thought it was pretty decent.
-The world. The "creatures" in the novel were really interesting and I loved the different take on mermaids (but
Paula  Phillips
Nerissa hopes to blend in but soon finds herself loving human life and her friends. How can she leave all this now ? Four years ago, Nerissa was living under sea in her home community of Waterfell where she is a Royal Princess and next in line for the throne. As part of the royal commands - Nerissa must in order to prepare for the throne spend four years in the "human world" . Whilst living in the human world Nerissa receives notification that her father has died and soon her priorities have ch ...more
Dana Square
Waterfell is definitely not the story I was expecting it to be. I was expecting a cool mermaid story that had a deeper mythology and a really strong main character. I wouldn't say I hated this book but because of my high expectations and misconceptions I ended up being turned off my this novel. It actually got me into a reading slump. I didn't want to even finish it but I was half-way through so I felt I needed to.

I was expecting a book about mermaids but what I got is a book about aliens that
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Harlequin teen and Netgalley.)
16-year-old Nerissa looks like a normal human girl, but is actually a sea-creature taking on the form of a human.
Nerissa is also royalty within her kind, and with her father murdered, she’s the rightful heir to the throne, but things aren’t that simple. While Nerissa is living among humans and going to school, someone else has taken her throne, and it’s up to Nerissa to ge
Soma "Insomnia Of Books"
I have heard of the author and I was familiar with her writing before, since I read her other book, Bloodspell, a while ago. Although I didn't like Bloodspell a lot, I fell in love with this one. And it was a truly delightful read!
Nerissa has been hiding among humans for a long while. She has to. No one can know her true identity. That she's a princess of a kingdom under the sea. And on her seventeenth birthday, she has to fight the evil ruler who killed her father and take back her kingdom. S
Colleen Houck
I fell in love with the Aquarathi right along with Lo. Such a fresh take on an "under the sea" adventure. Loved it!
Julie Schoerke
I don't want to let out any spoilers, so I'm very careful how I write this. But, one of my favorite aspects of this is novel is the relationship between Riss and Jenna. The author handled it really well and it's a friendship between girls that is very satisfying. There are twists at every turn in this book about the sea. I dare you not to love it!
Kathlyn La
Reading the first chapter of this book, I'm already blown away thinking and expecting life and death on the run, but oh. .hockey!!

This is the first book I've read that have sea creatures as main characters in the story after watching The Little Mermaid, and I'm not disappointed. This book valued the friendship, trust , loyalty and understanding and responsibility. Nerissa, the protagonist in this story started out as a selfish, bossy and mean person improving and realizing her mistakes as the st
Waterfell is not your typical mermaid book. I liked how Howard put her own spin on the “mermaid” tale and that these aren’t just regular sea creatures, but actual alien sea creatures. She did a great job with describing their race, their powers, and their hierarchy. This story has a lot of twists and turns, some that are obvious, and some that surprise you. There’s a good amount of danger and intrigue to keep you interested, but I have to admit, it didn’t really do anything for me. Like I said, ...more
Damaris (GoodChoiceReading)
Love, love, love this book! I was looking for something different, new, and unique and Waterfell delivered just that.

I know some have asked if this is another mermaid book, I can tell you right now it is not. Mermaids do not exist in this book. LOL!

This book was awesome!

Full review to come!



I think I am getting my YA mojo back. I took a long break from young adult novels and recently have jumped back into the scene. I have been lucky enough to
Isabel (Sab The Book Eater)
Also posted on Sab The Book Eater

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
Ornella (Nyx)
A copy was provided through NetGalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review

Waterfell was...intriguing to say the least. I'm still not quite sure how I feel about the whole book. There were aspects I liked and not liked. They were both so well balanced out that I just can't say if I really did like it or not.

So, let's start with the things I did like. The writing, the whole idea of the Aquarathi, and Jenna. Jenna was amezeballs. Her relationship with Nerissa was great! She was just s
Waterfell is a completely consuming read that enchanted me in right from the beginning and had me hooked. For fans of Of Poseidon and Wake, Waterfell is a fantastic tale that shouldn't be missed.

This novel caught my attention when I heard the awesome synopsis, plus the absolutely fantastic cover, and I just knew I had to read it. What I thought was unique about Waterfell was how the dilemma and main protagonist, Nerissa, were structured. It seems like the norm would be for the character to find
I was so incredibly sad that I didn't enjoy this one :(
It was so promising, with an original and unique premise! But it all had to be ruined by the characters...
Waterfell was a story that had it all; a wonderful premise, a wonderful idea, a well-thought out plot. But that was all destroyed by the hands of an exceedingly insufferable protagonist.

I loved the premise of the novel, the concepts. It was original and wholly unique. I admired the detour it took from marine mythical beings; not our
Rachael Woohoo
2 – 2.5 Stars The main thing about this book is that the first half is just so boring >__< The blurb tells you that Nerissa’s challenged to this epic battle for her kingdom on the day that she comes of age. Well, that doesn’t happen until almost three quarters into the book. Instead, the story is basically Rissa making googly eyes at Lo (but, of course, not admitting that she likes him).

However, I admit that I liked the last fifty or so pages of the book. There’s much more action, and Riss
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AMALIE HOWARD grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 22 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn’t entirely convinced which ...more
More about Amalie Howard...

Other Books in the Series

The Aquarathi (2 books)
  • Oceanborn (The Aquarathi, #2)
Bloodspell (Bloodspell, #1) The Almost Girl (The Almost Girl, #1) Alpha Goddess Oceanborn (The Aquarathi, #2) Bloodcraft (Bloodspell, #2)

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