Series: The Aquarathi #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on October 29, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
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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?
Enter the “this is fine” book, the hardest kind to review. That’s how I would classify Waterfell. It was fine. It held my attention enough to get me to read to the end. Did I skim some? Sure. Did I generally enjoy the plot and the characters? Yeah. They were fine.
Waterfell is sort of this jumble of like, weird alien/paranormal action, regular high school girl drama, teen-angst-romance, and surfing (and the hot guys that come with that). As I’m reflecting on the book, it was actually a little exhausting. There was more telling (rather than showing) than I normally prefer, and I wasn’t really clear on all the alien/paranormal aspects.
Nerissa is just a regular high school girl. She plays field hockey. She surfs. She does her homework. Except she can turn into some vague water dragon alien monster thing (see, I really don’t have a clear picture of what they actually look like) and is actually the princess of some alien race that lives underwater. But she’s able to look like a human and is going to a human high school so that she can understand the culture? Oh but wait, she’s actually sort of in hiding because her father was killed by this crazy water dragon that wants to take her throne. Sweet.
Actually, the plot was pretty interesting. Something about the execution made it slightly less effective than it could have been, but that’s a job for the editors.
Anyway, the characters were generally likable. Nerissa was like “Oh I used to be such a b*tch” and we kind of had to take her word for it. She seemed like a generally nice person to me. Her best friend Jenna was GREAT. Super fun personality and a great addition to Nerissa’s fairly boring character. Speio is another water dragon, who’s like a brother to Nerissa. I liked their sibling rivalry and closeness. And then there’s Lo, who prefers surfing to pretty much anything else, who was suspicious to me from the start. I called his back story around chapter 3, so the mystery kind of died as far as he was concerned. Lo and Nerissa’s romance was nothing to write home about. It was actually fairly boring, but if you’re a romantic, you’ll find it a sweet addition to the paranormal/alien plot.
There’s some water dragon fighting. Nerissa occasionally swims with sharks. And lots of surfing. And water conservation. And cutting class to go surfing. And like, somehow controlling people using magical water powers? Not really clear on how that worked but I just went with it.
So all in all, Waterfell isn’t a bad read. Not one that I would necessarily tell you to go out and find for yourself, but if it finds its way onto your kindle or your shelf, it’s acceptably enjoyable.
Content: Some kissing, fantasy violence. Jenna tasers people. Recommended for 14+.