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Bourne by Lisa Tawn Bergren
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Originally posted on Small Review

This is a review for book #3.1 in the River of Time series and THERE ARE SPOILERS in this review for earlier books!

Don't want spoilers? Check out my reviews for the first three books:


Whenever I read an "extra" like a novella or short story, I always have a few nagging questions and, ok, I'll admit it, fears. The worst thing an author can do to a beloved story is stretch it beyond its limits, and oftentimes that's exactly what happens with little extras like this.

But...but it's the River of Time! Let's be honest here, I would probably gobble up anything even remotely related to this series.

But I'm also super picky and because I love these characters so much, I'm really protective over them. I can't bear to see them fall victim to series stretching. My heart would break to see them in filler stories or, worse, forced rehashes of the same old plotline.

So it was with an emotional mess of unbridled elation and gut-punch dread that I entered Bourne.

And thankfully, I had nothing to fear!

Is there a point to the story?

Yes! The fact that this is a novella and not a full-length novel plays zero part in the story's construction. This is not an "add on for fans"--the plot is original and makes sense as the logical fallout of the events in Torrent. I also finally got to learn more about the mysterious brotherhood! The best way to think of Bourne is to just forget that it is a novella and treat it like part one of the next full book in the series.

The story picks up almost immediately after the end of Torrent and it is essential that you read Waterfall, Cascade, and Torrent before reading Bourne (unless you want massive spoilers for the first three books). The same breakneck pacing mixed with tender character moments and thoughtful soul searching that characterized the first three books is present again in Bourne.

The only time I felt the limitations of the novella length was at the end. Yes, there is resolution, but the greater story arc that has been set in motion promises MUCH more to come. Seeds have been planted and threads have been left dangling, and of course I am dying to find out what happens next! I wouldn't say the end is a cliffhanger exactly, but Lisa is certainly a diabolical tease.

Do I get to see the characters I know and love?

Yes! All of my favorite characters make an appearance (except the ones who have DIED! Oh Fortino!), although for many it is a tantalizingly small appearance. Marcello, Gabi, and Greco all play a decent role but the meat of this story is Lia and Luca (yay!). Though, even there, the short nature of the book makes it so that none of the characters get as much page time as I wanted.

But that's not a criticism of Lisa. You see, this series is like a pastry shop. I love it so much that I want to scarf down everything all at once without waiting. But that really isn't possible (my mouth is, regrettably, just as small as the rest of me). The same goes for these characters. I want to absorb all of their stories, secrets, hopes, fears, desires, everything all at once. Like book osmosis. And that's not possible, so I need to learn how to be patient and savor what I do have.

And, oh my, what a treat I have in Bourne! I have always been a huge Lia and Luca fan, and I am VERY happy with the events of Bourne. It wasn't just that things finally happened (but, total YAY for things finally happening!), it was HOW they happened. Luca's personality was so perfectly displayed in the most adorable, swoony, heart-melting, giggle-inducing scenes of PURE WIN. The witty banter between Lia and Luca was everything I had been hoping for and more. I couldn't have daydreamed it better.

Does the author mess with a good thing?

Not much is different from the first three books, and that is a very good thing. There isn't any new girl causing love drama, Marcello and Gabi don't have a "misunderstanding" to carry the plot, and the characters don't suffer mysterious personality transplants.

What IS different is the inclusion of Lia's perspective! Gabi still narrates plenty (and it was such a comfort to be back in her head again), but the introduction of Lia's POV was thoroughly welcome.

I'll blushingly admit that Lia left me a little star struck in the first three books. She was just so darn cool with her arrows and calm reserve. I loved this opportunity to get into her head and see the "woman behind the mask."

Her voice is similar to Gabi's, but her caution and control seen in the previous books came through in her narrative as well. While I can't help but get swept up in Gabi's romantic view of the 14th century, Lia has always been the character my practical side can relate to. I hope more books are told from her POV in the future.

Bottom line

LOVE! More please!

Oh, and can someone magic me up a print copy please? That man on the cover would look so nice on my shelf.

FYI, the length is about 160 pages.

Originally posted on Small Review
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Reading Progress

12/04/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Sierra (new) - added it

Sierra Abrams I just bought this and I'M DYING to read it!!!

Small Review It's so good!

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