This was an exciting time travel story about a girl who must travel to 1890s Chicago to correct the timeline that led to the disappearance of her pare...moreThis was an exciting time travel story about a girl who must travel to 1890s Chicago to correct the timeline that led to the disappearance of her parents and grandmother. In the different time threads there are different love interests and it all got a little confusing at times, but that's the nature of the beast with time travel books. The big baddie's plot to change history to create his own uber religion was pretty cool, and the action bits were fun to read. The book got a little bogged down in the middle and lost momentum, meaning our heroine didn't travel back in time until the last quarter of the book, which was a bit of a disappointment. I didn't need the day-to-day interactions with her boyfriend and his school projects - I wanted to get to the time travel! Still, it was a very fun book and I'd like to find out if Kate and company can stop the Cyrists, so I will probably read on in the series.(less)
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....moreFirst 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.
**spoiler alert** First impressions: We're back! After jumping through some serious hoops with major consequences, the Bettarini girls are back in Mar...more**spoiler alert** First impressions: We're back! After jumping through some serious hoops with major consequences, the Bettarini girls are back in Marcello's time, and the action picks up immediately. At this point, reading this series feels like meeting old friends for coffee. No need for pleasantries, we can jump right into the heart of things.
Conflicting impressions: There wasn't nearly enough resolution for me. I wanted to know the fate of Paratore. And what happened to Giacinta? I felt like the book rushed through all of the events without taking the time to fully explore them in a way I'd have more enjoyed.
Overall impressions: It's impossible to sum up my feelings on this book without a few spoilers, so if you've made it this far by ignoring my above disclaimer, then I wash my hands of responsibility for spoiling the party.
I want to start first with what annoyed me. Ben had it far too easy working his way into this new century. He's thrust into battle right off the bat, and then they have to run for their lives without any time to stop and consider what just happened. When they do, I found it to be desiring. Much like others' complaints that Marcello and Luca don't seem curious enough about the future, Dad seemed a little too accepting. For all the trouble they went to to bring him back, Dad gets the short stick in this tale, which was a bit disappointing.
The ending was also a bit cliffhanger-y. There's a huge battle (which Lisa Bergren continues to write with exquisite pacing and detail), but the story ends just after it. I wanted some more clues on where their lives were headed and just how much the events of the three books have impacted them. I felt I was denied a complete resolution for these characters.
Okay, but there was way more good stuff than bad stuff. All of my whiny complaints aside, Bergren has given us a solid third book in the River of Time trilogy. As in Cascade, the action drives the story at a brisk pace. The war between Firenze and Siena is threatening to boil over, and Firenze wants nothing more than to get their greedy paws on the She-Wolves of Siena. Gabi faces the pressure of marriage in order to save the dying and tortured Fortino. Can she thrust aside her feelings for Marcello and save Siena by marrying the alluring and attractive Lord Greco?
Marcello seemed miles away from Greco in this one. Rash, stubborn, and a bit immature, the luster of Marcello was wearing thin for me. Along comes dashing Rodolfo Greco and I'm all "Marry him Gabi!" I love books that can make you divide your allegiance between hot, strapping men. It gave Gabi some needed perspective and made her choice to get married at all more informed and adult instead of just a bit of teen love cementing her fate.
Obviously, this is a must-read for River of Time readers. It is full of excitement, love, doubt, sacrifice, and faith. Not just faith in God or destiny, but faith in ourselves and our choices. Gabi's story is all about the decisions she makes and how she knows they are the right ones. Sometimes she does, and sometimes she has to take a leap of faith and do what she thinks is right. It's a fantastic journey for her and for the readers, and I'm glad I got to be a part of it.(less)
After fumbling my way through Fiery Cross, this one took me awhile to get caught up in the story. I started it, then put it down, and finally dusted i...moreAfter fumbling my way through Fiery Cross, this one took me awhile to get caught up in the story. I started it, then put it down, and finally dusted it off again when I'd had a sufficient break from Claire and Jamie. Once Part II takes off, there are very few slow bits left in the book, despite the length. I found myself just as enthralled as I had been with the earlier books, and Gabaldon redeemed herself after the Book 5 mis-step. I'm going to give myself some time before attempting Echo in the Bone, however, since I think I enjoyed this one much more after not trying to read her books back-to-back.(less)
This was the first in the series I found hard to plow through. Jamie and Claire in the woods building a house is not interesting. However, I loved the...moreThis was the first in the series I found hard to plow through. Jamie and Claire in the woods building a house is not interesting. However, I loved the introduction of Brianna and Roger as characters more central to the story. One of my favorite things about DG's writing is that she is not afraid to force her characters to make difficult choices and have bad things happen to them. It's so refreshing to have such vibrant, heart-breakingly real people to read about. I think this book will prove to be a major turning point leading into the next few novels, so I'll give it 3 stars just because I do love the story and the plot of this one certainly had it's un-put-down-able moments, just not as consistently as the first three did.(less)
The second in the series, and probably my favorite so far. I could barely keep from putting this book down. It is full of excitement, adventure, roman...moreThe second in the series, and probably my favorite so far. I could barely keep from putting this book down. It is full of excitement, adventure, romance, and a lovely bit of French court politics thrown in for good measure. If you enjoy historical fiction with a great love story, these are the books for you.(less)
I picked this up off a shelf a few years back and on the urging of a friend who is a big fan of Ms. Gabaldon's, I finally got around to reading it las...moreI picked this up off a shelf a few years back and on the urging of a friend who is a big fan of Ms. Gabaldon's, I finally got around to reading it last year. I immediately fell in love with these characters, the dual times she creates, and the story that binds it all together. Perhaps a bit more lusty at times than I anticipated, I certainly enjoyed every minute of it. You cannot help but fall in love with Jamie, and I am so excited to see where the series takes me.(less)