SKC's Reviews > Tributary

Tributary by Lisa Tawn Bergren
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Jul 02, 12

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Read in July, 2012

OK, I'm going to review this whole series as a whole here...

Overall, yes, I do rather like these. I think the author has a good sense of character, even if I do with the characters could be differentiated a wee bit more. The romance is at an enticing, convincing pace... for the most part.

I want to get the religion thing out of the way. I do understand that these are faith-based and I understand where the author is coming from. That being said... it's a little too "blind" for my taste. My religious views really don't matter and they're frankly not anyone's business, but I do enjoy a well presented viewpoint. But you see a lot of prayer in these novels. A lot of prayer. Which is fine and all—after all, it IS relevant to the time period—but, if the author is trying to make a case of the power of prayer, she's not doing that great of a job.

Why? Well, these are strong-willed characters. They are not just weak-minded girls who collapse into a puddle of skirts, head bowed, hands clasped tightly as they beg for help/mercy/whatever. No, these girls make very strong, very deliberate choices. Which is great! Now, why are they that way? Do these traits come from within or from above? This debate would be interesting to see played out throughout, and it seems the author is missing out on the opportunity. Yeah, these make good study questions to list at the end of the novel... but why not put them IN the novel?

That being said, and again, my viewpoints aside, the discussion between Tomas and Lia in this last one was probably the most interesting sections that explored the religious side of the plot.

OK. On to other things...

These books went WAY TOO FAST. And by fast, I mean the pacing of the internal events are just so incredibly unrealistic. You mean to tell me Luca contracted, suffered, and recovered from the plague in , what, 5 days? And Gabi and Lia were absolutely non-stop. Why did everything have to take place within such a short time period for the girls?

Which brings me to the MAJOR fallacy. Gabi and Lia had control of what time they could pop out when traveling into the past. Yeah, it wasn't precise, but it was smart to have Marcello on the other side leave things in the tomb that would give Gabi the hint to let go of the handprint.

So... why were they always in a hurry in the present to get back into the past before it was "too late?" That made absolutely, 100% zero sense whatsoever. They could've hung around present time for a month or two before heading back into the past—and if they were practiced enough, could've landed closer enough to the time in the 14th century that they left. Time was NOT progressing in the past whilst they tarried in the present. That's exactly opposite of what the author presented on how the past worked.

That's just strange. I know some would say "Eh, it's just a story, don't get caught up in the details." Well, as a logical person, it took me out of the story. And probably other readers, too, which is a shame.

Unfortunately, the author has fallen into a trap...and the way things are set-up, it doesn't look like she's going to switch things up anytime soon. Here it is:

"You must do A."

"I refuse to do A, I must do B."

"No, you cannot. I INSIST you do A."

"OK, whatever you say. I'll do A."

And then they go and do B.

And then everyone gets upset by it, but then it all works out in the end. Wash, rinse, repeat. ALL of the characters fit this pattern. Why not have the person who always does what they say? Or a character that offers B or C? Or better yet... avoid the argument altogether and have everyone on the same page for once? Just to take us out of the predictability of it.

On to characters... I actually liked pretty much all of them. Very believable, and the comparisons and references of the two time periods were both funny and effective—especially with Lia for some reason.

But thank you for showing a rather realistic responses, otherwise. Marcello realized that he could not wait any longer, emotionally and physically, for Gabriella. A lot of authors—especially the religious ones—would have kept the interactions to sweet, shy kisses, or longing glances and mild flirting, as if they have hormones of steel.

If I had to pick my favorite, it'd be Luca. But man, the author makes him suffer. He's had to keep his pants on for 3-4 years waiting for Lia, and he's STILL WAITING. Hardly fair if you ask me. But his humor is refreshing, especially when it's contrasted with the more somber moments he has.

But you know what? The author CAN go there. Risque it up a bit, make it more dangerous, which has been happening as the novels progressed, especially with the novellas. Readers, especially the young adults, can take it. And it makes the wait all the more worth it.

I've written enough. But yes, if more novellas pop up, I will continue to read this series... unless it just seems to be a neverending series of events that follow the same mold. Then I shall turn elsewhere.


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