Monday, November 4, 2013

Waterfell by Amalie Howard- Review

Waterfell (Book 1 The Aquarathi) by Amalie Howard
Available Now
Harlequin Teen
Paperback 350 pages
Received E-ARC through NetGalley from publisher for review
To Buy Links-
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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?


I think you may have read by now that the Aquarathi are not mermaids. They aren't. My problem is despite their lovely description I can't picture them. I need a picture. I see giant squid with scales. And it is not the beautiful image I think the author is trying to get across. But I know that's kind of a personal problem, I'm a visual person, I need a picture.

I thought this story was going to be predictable. It was not. I was really pleasantly surprised by some of the twists in the novel. The author threw out enough red herrings that some things I just knew were going to happen never did. And she even left me doubting myself as to what would happen with the main characters. After reading so many YA novels, when you can still surprise me, I am a happy girl (woman, whatever).

I wasn't very keen on Nerissa. She's haughty, proud, indifferent to everyone and everything and selfish. She even knows and admits these things about herself and does nothing to change them. What's worse- she used to be a mean girl and she knows that. She still isn't sorry about the people she hurt. She gives herself a pass because she didn't know any better. But she doesn't think about the people she hurt, the people still hurting from what she did. And, to me, she STILL seems like she has a bit of a mean girl streak in her. Especially towards her arch enemy who is suffering under Nerissa's onslaught of abuse. She's also oblivious to her BF and guardian's excruciating hurt at not being able to mate or have his own friends because she refuses to return to Waterfell.

What we see of Speio, her BF and guardian, leaves the impression that he is shifty and reckless, a moody teenage boy. He doesn't care about the fact that Nerissa's life will be in danger, he just wants to go back to Waterfell. Nerissa's true BF, Jenna is wise beyond her years and is a relief to have in the story. She calls Nerissa out continuously for her behavior until finally Nerissa can't deny that Jenna is right. As best friends go, Jenna ticks all the boxes. Sets Nerissa up with the guy she likes, forces Nerissa to face her character flaws, keeps her secrets, fights for her, you really couldn't ask for a better one. I would love to have a BF like Jenna and her oblivious boyfriend Sawyer.

Lo Seavon, I have to laugh at that name because it seems so obvious. He is the human boy Nerissa falls for, hard, but she doesn't want to and denies herself through most of the novel. She's mean to him, pushes him away, breaks dates, pushes him towards her arch enemy. I'm not sure why he even keeps trying. Well, I know why, but not until the end. He's an easy going surfer dude who'd rather be surfing than going to school. He never pushes himself on Nerissa and other than Sawyer, he doesn't have any close friends.

As I said about the story, it's interesting and has some unique twists, but some of it is tiring. Like Nerissa pushing Lo away. It got tiresome. And her treatment of Cara, who once used to be her best friend. And then there are some scenes, the twists, that are just so unlikely I can't buy. If this was pure fantasy, sure, but it's realistic so much of the time, I just can't buy what happens when everyone is surfing and Nerissa dips her head down into the water and sees what's swimming with them.

And I was left with some questions. The secondary issues were murky and still didn't feel cleared up to me. I can't say anything more without revealing anything, but I don't know really what's going on with that secondary issue. And how it affects one of the main characters. How they can do certain things that the others before them could not. Yeah, I know you're totally confused.

So to sum it all up, there were some unique twists and turns, some unbelievable moments, a new take on underwater creatures, some good secondary characters, and an annoying main character. However, I do have to say that Nerissa did show character growth, she turned everything down a notch, maybe almost too much. I still didn't like her, though. She just lacked warmth. There is a snippet of the next novel in the e-arc, I'm assuming it will be included in the book and it starts out with an eventful and worrisome beginning. Almost like a cliffhanger for this book. Yes, I will be reading the next one. For those of us that are descriptively impaired, please Harlequin Teen, put a picture of the Aquarathi on the back of the next book!

Recommended for lovers of romance, mystery, sci-fi, and YA realistic fantasy. One sex scene off the page, very generic. One thing I'm not liking in YA books that I see often is immediate 

I received an e-arc of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes only. I was not compensated for my review in any way. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Find Amalie Howard


  1. Huh, when I first saw this book I immediately thought "Mermaid!" Well, you set me straight. Despite some of the problems of the book, I'm glad you enjoyed most of it. I'm still curious enough about it to pick it up and read. Thanks for your honest review, Heather!

  2. Ha! I so would imagine the same thing! Lol. I've never had any luck with merma---er, sea creature books so if a novel is not rated a 5, I'm definitely skipping.

    Great review!

  3. Glad it was enjoyable even if imagery and connecting issues

  4. Now I'm really curious to see how they are described. I'm disappointed that it isn't a mermaid book, but at least it was enjoyable. Might have to check this one out in the future. Hopefully the next book rocks as well.

  5. I was not interested in this one at all and the reviews so far are mediocre. I just don't like water based books and creatures, I have tried numerous mermaid books and such and still haven't found one that appeals to me.


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