by Amalie Howard
Series: The Aquarathi #1
Published by Harlequin Teen Release date : October 29th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: The Publisher | Format: eARC
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THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE QUEEN
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 received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I wasn’t sure, exactly, what to expect when heading into Waterfell. Mermaids, sure. A little romance. Some action and epic under the sea shit. Sadly though, this blurb is very, very misleading.
For the first, say, 70-75% of the book, I was utterly bored. We get a little information here and there about Waterfell, the Aquarathi– the lore, the creatures the whole bit is really fascinating and pretty interesting. Then later a major info dump. That wasn’t the issue. The issue was all high school drama. The romance. The protagonist and this constant nagging feeling; “What’s going on?” I just.. didn’t care. There were a few times I was interested in what was going on– mainly when something was actually going on beside the back and forth, arguing and constant thoughts of strangling Nerissa. When the book started to pick up– the direction was so clear that I wasn’t at all surprised about many of events/twists/secrets were revealed. Except for one.
Nerissa is a snotty brat. When you think spoiled Princess, she is the first person that comes to mind. She is cruel, careless, selfish and as she likes to call others, arrogant. It was really difficult to connect with her, or care, because she was really hard to like. She is the heir to the High Court, the “highest” ruling count in all of Waterfell. She was warned by her father to never return to Waterfell before his death. So, she just.. accepts this? She is more or less running from her duty. She starts to change as the book progresses but it was so abrupt it was unbelievable. You don’t just.. change your mind about something so life altering SO FAST. Maybe that’s just me. *shrug* I would also like to mention that she was pretty demanding of fealty and respect, when she didn’t even want to rule. You can’t have it both ways, Princess.
The romance… *sigh* I really want to call it insta love. The attraction was there, the “OMG he is soooo cute” the “OMG he makes my heart go a flutter”. Yet… this girl was in some serious denial. She kept telling herself over and over again that she didn’t “like him”, that he was arrogant, infuriating and even stalking. Yet, we know she really does and that he does and once they get together, the direction of that was clear as day. Once she got over her…. whatever is was, we don’t see their relationship really develop. “It’s OK. We are together.. “. Yes, I am talking in circles. Deal. Anyway, Lo is just weird. I don’t know anything about him other than the fact that he’s lazy, likes to surf and lives alone View Spoiler » Also, that he is a hybrid and mother is eviiiil. Which is one of the many things I was able to figure out way before we were enlightened about this detail. « Hide Spoiler. Once everything started coming out about his past, it still wasn’t enough. Of all the secondary characters, I really liked Jenna. Most of the other characters were weak and aren’t worth mentioning. Especially Speio.
Right at the point I was going to quit was when things started to pick up and get interesting. I don’t want to get into details because of spoilers but if you want to know View Spoiler » When we see Nerissa’ mother, the principle being in on it. The relationship with Lo and Nerissa. I mean, really? Is was so obvious, people. « Hide Spoiler There was a lot of action and we finally got to see —at the end– a glimpse of Waterfell. Also to note, I liked the scientific aspects of the novel too. That was pretty fascinating.
My Peeve- I think my biggest issues overall was that I felt like I was mislead about the book entirely. I was hoping for more underwater “scenes”. More action. Not a Princess/Heir that refuses to take her crown and get caught up in “human” high school melodrama. Is this fair? Maybe not, but…
Overall- Waterfell has an interesting premise with a fascinating concept to underwater creatures and lore. Sadly, this wasn’t the focus of the book and didn’t deliver to my expectations. I probably won’t continue the series.