Waterfall (River of Time Series #1) [NOOK Book]


Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Bentarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives with their parents, famed Etruscan scholars, among the romantic hills. In Book One of the River of Time series, Gabi and Lia are stuck among the rubble of medieval castles in rural Tuscany on yet another hot, boring, and dusty archeological site … until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce ...
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Waterfall (River of Time Series #1)

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Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Bentarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives with their parents, famed Etruscan scholars, among the romantic hills. In Book One of the River of Time series, Gabi and Lia are stuck among the rubble of medieval castles in rural Tuscany on yet another hot, boring, and dusty archeological site … until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.            And thus she comes to be rescued by the knight-prince Marcello Falassi, who takes her back to his father’s castle—a castle Gabi has seen in ruins in another life. Suddenly Gabi’s summer in Italy is much, much more interesting. But what do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Lisa Bergren has stirred up an exciting and memorable tale that teen readers should thoroughly enjoy!” 
-Melody Carlson, author of the Diary of a Teenage Girl and True Colors series
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781434703293
  • Publisher: David C Cook
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Series: River of Time Series, #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 40,494
  • File size: 599 KB

Meet the Author

Lisa T. Bergren is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than thirty books that have sold 1.5 million copies. A former publishing executive, she is currently a freelance editor and mother. She lives in Colorado Springs.  

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Read an Excerpt


The River of Time Series

By Lisa T. Bergren

David C. Cook

Copyright © 2011 Lisa T. Bergren
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4347-0329-3


Okay, fast forward. Over the next few weeks, my mom settled in, finding us a lame apartment—probably built in the 1970s, judging by the burnt-orange and avocado decor. It was outside Radda in Chianti, which, trust me, was not a happenin' town, and still a thirty-minute drive down stomach-bending roads and a hike into the archeological site. Did I mention she made me and Lia get up at 5:00 a.m. every morning to come with her? The only good thing about that was that we gladly hit the pillow early each night, and I was able to dream of better places for a teen to spend her summer.

Things progressed on the tumuli "campus," as my mom called it, as expected, with two of the old tombs already largely free of the five feet of soil that once surrounded them, and all trees and brush cut down and pulled away from the remaining tombs. The rest would be unearthed by volunteers trucked in from Roma and Firenze, as well as American university campuses, in the coming weeks. But my mother had been all excited about getting inside these first two—the one the farmer had broken into—"Tomb Two"—and the other, the one she referred to as "the mother ship."

She wouldn't let us near them. Sure, as usual, she was happy enough to hand us a shovel and pail and tell us to get within six inches of the structure. But inside? No. She and my dad had always been like that at a dig. Worried we'd "compromise" a site. You practically needed a doctoral degree to enter, until everything was documented from top to bottom, sketched, photographed, videotaped, logged on paper. Then, a couple weeks later, they'd let "the kids" in.

Basically, I was sick of it. I was seventeen. I felt ignored. Used. Just how much damage could Lia and I do to the place? And I was curious. Had this site really been worth my dad's life?

So I was a little bit grumpy when we drove up that morning and tiredly blinked in the pink, early-morning light. The new dirt road was blocked by two uniformed guards and a jeep with the words Archeologica Societa Archaeologico dell' Italia emblazoned on the side. Whenever these guys showed up, it inevitably meant delays and trouble for my parents.

A man stepped out of the back of the jeep, wearing khaki slacks and a starched white shirt that was rolled at the sleeves, as well as expensive leather shoes. He looked like the slick, rival archeologist in the first Indiana Jones movie—yeah, my parents loved those old flicks—and my mom reacted the same way Indy had, muttering the man's name like a curse word.


I knew if she could she'd bang her head against the steering wheel. I glanced over at Lia, in the back seat, and raised my brows. We hadn't run across Dr. Manero for more than a year, but the last time ... well, it wasn't pretty. Dad almost decked him, he was so mad.

Could Manero shut her down for good this time? The upshot would be we'd have to go home to Boulder—or at least to Roma or Firenze for a time—but Mom would be seriously bummed.

"Doctor Betarrini," Dr. Manero said in a thick Italian accent, as my mom rolled down the window.

"Doctor," Mom returned with a nod, her voice even, polite.

"I've reviewed your documentation in the Commune"—by Commune, he meant Siena—"and discovered you haven't filed forms 201B or D for this dig," he said, crossing his arms.

"Imagine you, digging around in our paperwork," Mom muttered. She still had a habit of referring to projects as ours, the result of two decades of working alongside my dad. I wondered how long that would last. I'd kinda miss it when she stopped.

"What was that you said?" Manero asked, leaning down toward her window opening.

"I can't imagine we didn't file the right paperwork," Mom amended. "We filed over fifty documents."

"It seems a common problem for you," he said with a thin-lipped smile. "Always one or two missing, it seems."

"And you appear to have appointed yourself as our personal guard dog," my mom said, losing patience.

"This isn't about you," Manero said, standing erect again. He gestured behind himself. "I guard Italia's treasures.

That is my only goal."

My mom looked up at the ceiling of the car as if she wanted to scream.

"Please," Manero said. "I've set up a tent beside your own. Let us discuss what must happen for you to continue your work here."

"You mean, in order for you to horn in on the glory," Mom said.

"Please," Manero repeated. "Let us sit down and discuss this as fellow scholars. I have espresso in a thermos...." He smiled, clearly trying to kiss up.

"Espresso?" my mom said, her tone softening.

"Si." Dr. Manero's slight smile moved across his handsome face. He reached for the door handle and opened it. "Sounds inviting on this chilly morning, does it not?"

Mom ignored his outstretched hand and climbed out on her own, slamming the door. She brushed by him. Dr. Manero hurried to catch up with her.

"C'mon, Lia, let's go see it," I said.

"See what?" she said, frowning as if in a fog.

"The tomb," I said, eyes wide. "We won't get another chance for, what—another month or two? While they debate it, let's go see what the fuss is all about."

Lia paused on the other side of the car, door still open, and frowned at me. "I dunno...."

"C'mon," I said, irritated by her hesitation. What was the risk? If we were going to spend our summer here, we might as well know what the sacrifice was for. I, for one, was going to see it, with her or not.

I trudged past the new guards that had arrived with Manero, pretending like I was following my mom, and after a bit, glanced back to see that Lia was coming after me. I smiled smugly to myself. I could always get her to do anything—especially if she felt like she was getting left behind.

My mind whirled with memories of my parents' hushed, excited conversations, shared in an intimate tone. It had always been an affair of the mind between them, as well as the heart. They'd been connected like no other couple I had ever known.

I'd loved it. And hated it.

Sure. I was glad that my parents loved each other, but we always felt left out. It was like Mom and Dad were always in the same orbit, Lia and me in some constellation around them, never quite intersecting. I wanted to know what it was like, to share the same airspace, even for a moment. And since Dad died ... well, it was like Mom wasn't even in our galaxy at all.

So I trudged forward, ignoring the questioning glances of a couple of students heading in the opposite direction. The sun was gaining now, cresting the trees in the east, casting long, dusty streams of light across the field, illuminating the tops of wild lavender, spiraling upward, and the domes of the tumuli.

I ignored my suddenly speeding heartbeat and went directly to the nearest tomb, as if my mother had sent me there on a mission. Lia was right behind. Pausing for a moment at the entrance of the tunnel, I took a deep breath, bent down, and crawled through, glad I had my jeans on. I hoped Mom had left an electric lantern ahead, as she often did on site. In a moment, I bumped into it, and eagerly fumbled for the switch.

I was inside Tomb Two. I swung my legs around as the halogen bulb caught and flickered on, casting blue light all around.

I gaped at the artwork inside. Mom had gone on and on about it, but her voice had become like a buzzing bee, and I'd tuned her out. The colors were magnificent, some of the best we'd seen. Bright. And so many of them.... Men and women, black stick figures depicted feasts, hunts, battles.

I lifted the lantern and cruised along one wall and then another, mouth agape, as my sister came through the tunnel.

"Gabi, we really shouldn't be here," she said, standing there as if she hadn't already made the decision to join me.

"We're here. Aren't you the least bit curious?"

"Yes, but you know how Mom is." She brushed her hands against her jeans. "They—she likes to choose when to invite us in."

"So we'll act surprised," I said. "Check it out. If this is Tomb Two, what is Tomb One like?" I raised the lantern so that we could both better see a family dining at a table, a large, roasted bird on a platter before them. "It looks like it's Thanksgiving."

"In China. That's a goose."

"Nah, not big enough. Probably a pheasant. Or a quail."

"If that's a quail, they grew them big, back in Etruscan times."

I smiled. "Okay, a pheasant."

I moved on down the wall as Lia studied images I'd already taken in.

A sound at the tunnel entrance made us both draw in our breath for a moment, but whatever it was moved on, and so did we.

I stared at the portrait of a fierce warrior with sword in hand. Dad and I had sparred from time to time. He'd been trained in the art of fencing and made me learn too. I didn't mind much—it'd been one way we could spend time together. And now that he was gone, I kinda missed it. But this guy on the wall hefted a much heavier, broader sword than I'd ever picked up.

To the right of the warrior, there was a moon, a sun, and two handprints. "Lia, check this out," I said.

She moved over to me and stared. "Ever seen anything like it?"

I glanced at her, and she shook her head. "Have you?"

"No." I handed her the lantern and then lifted my hand to the print. It seemed familiar, somehow. Like I'd seen it before, even though I knew I hadn't. I heard my sister's sudden intake of breath—Mom would kill me if she found out I was touching anything in here—but it was like I couldn't stop. I was drawn to it.

"Mom will ground you for weeks for touching that," Lia hissed as I put my hand on the fresco again. The oils from our skin and ancient paintings were never to meet; it was a cardinal rule in the Betarrini workplace. I knew this. Lia knew this. But still, I couldn't resist.

"It's a perfect match! Look!" I said, nodding toward the handprint. "And what's weirder ... it's warm, Lia. Warm."

Her angry blue eyes moved from me to the wall in confusion. Stone wasn't warm. It was never warm.

"Maybe there's a hot spring on the other side."

"Thought of that. But I don't smell any sulfur, do you?" We both took a big whiff of the air. No, just your standard Etruscan tomb—with odors of water evaporated on old stone. "And it's just the handprint that's warm. This handprint that fits mine." I stepped back and looked again to the pair of prints on the wall. The left fit my hand, but the right was smaller—and was the normal-temperature cool stone I'd come to expect in places like this. "Lia, here. Come here." I wrapped my right arm around her so she could edge in closer, directly beside me. "The left print fits my hand, but the right is too small." I glanced from the print to my sister. "You try it."

Lia glanced at me and then toward the tomb entrance, down a long corridor to my right. We were both thinking about our mother arguing with Manero in Italian. I doubted the espresso was helping.

"They're not coming anytime soon. Go on, try it. It's so weird, touching a handprint from someone who's been dead for a couple of thousand years."

I knew before Lia's fingers were settled within the lines that it would fit as surely as the other print had fit mine.

"I thought you said this one was cold," Lia said.

"I did."

"It's—it's warm," she said in wonder.

"Yours too?" I frowned. "Really?" I leaned in and put my hand on the left again. "When I touched it—"

My voice broke off because something odd was happening. The room was spinning, slowly, the paintings on the wall stretching as if I was looking at them through fun-house glasses. And the wall was getting warmer. I tried to pull my hand away, but couldn't.

"Gabi!" Lia cried. I tried to focus on her, the only thing in the room that seemed static. Her wide blue eyes flashed terror. "It's hot!"

I looked up, to the tomb raiders' hole. Up top, I could see trees, which comforted me for a moment, but then I blinked and looked again. Hundred-year-old oaks were shrinking, rising, shrinking, rising like one of those time-lapse cameras ... set to record a thousand years.

There was no sound. I couldn't even hear Lia any longer.

My mind raced. Handprints that fit our own. Heat where there should be cold. A room spinning, faster and faster about us. A tomb built three or four hundred years before Christ came to earth. Were we ...

I screamed, but it came out as a mere breath, come and gone as if it had never happened. I glanced up again. The trees outside were rising, shrinking, rising, faster than ever before. We had to stop it. Had to pull our hands from the wall. It was so hot my skin felt fused to it, as if it might tear the flesh from my palm if I dared to move. But we had to. Had to!

I looked again into my sister's eyes, silently telling her to get ready, since we couldn't speak. I had to put my foot on the wall and yank, so surely was my hand now one with the print. As I wrenched it away—so hard it was like breaking a powerful magnetic connection—I wrapped both arms around my sister and fell to the ground behind us, like a football player sacking the quarterback. Except backward. But as my shoulder met the travertine floor, I knew I didn't have her, after all. My arms were empty.

It was dark.

I groaned, taking stock, wondering if I'd hit my head. But it felt okay. Even my hand had immediately ceased burning. I blinked in confusion, hoping my vision would clear. "Lia?" I ventured.

As soon as I said it, I knew I was alone. My voice echoed around the chamber with nothing but inanimate objects to absorb the sound. Mom's lantern was long gone. Up top, there was no daylight. Had I passed out? Was it now night?

Mom's gonna be so mad ...

But I detected other sounds, odd, muffled sounds, the sounds of men crying out, and alarming sounds like horses, metal clanging, men screaming. Had Manero brought in reinforcements?

"Mom?" I cried. "Lia!"

I had to have hit my head, forgotten. I looked up—willing my eyes to see stars, moonlight, anything—but was met with only darkness.

"Hey!" I yelled upward. "Hey, I'm in here!" All I could think was that the Archeologica Societa guys had ordered the tomb resealed, replacing the stone and covering the hole. My mom had lost her temporary jurisdiction over the site and somehow had not noticed that my sister and I were inside—or at least I was—before it was resealed. As for the warm handprint, my sister's disappearance, the time-lapse forest ... I had no idea what that was all about.

I had to have fainted or something. Or picked up some weird bug and was running a fever. Maybe, in opening up these tombs, we'd awakened some odd virus. That'd be uncool. I reached up to feel my forehead, fully expecting a raging fever. But it didn't feel like it.

"Don't panic," I said to myself, feeling my heart race. "Gabriella, get a grip." I'd spent far too many years in and out of Etruscan tombs to be creeped out. And I knew where the entrance was. I knew the way out.

I got to my feet and felt my way toward the corridor. "Sorry, Mom," I muttered, knowing that I was now spreading oil from my skin all along the wall. I used my right hand; my shoulder ached from my fall to the ground. I brushed up against a smooth shape and winced as I felt it give way, then crash to the floor. I'd seen the urns on the way in—seventh-century Magna Graecia, Mom said. Four matched urns, now three, miraculously surviving three centuries before they were put in this tomb. Somehow, the tomb raiders had left them behind. The urns had thrown my mom into an excited frenzy, because she couldn't connect the style of the frescoes with the dating on the urns.

"Oh, she's really gonna kill me," I said, heartsick, thinking of the coming wrath of my mom when she discovered what I'd done. Never before had I so damaged a site or artifact, even as a little kid.

But I'd gladly face her fury rather than be stuck in here.

The urn at least helped me know where I was, for sure. At the end of the passageway was the curved stone that marked the entrance. I could see the outline of daylight around it as I neared. Only problem: It was plugged with the entrance stone again. And the entrance stones were heavy, maybe three, four hundred pounds. I knelt and ran my fingers around the edge, considering options for removing it, remembering how my dad would pry them away with a crowbar. But always from the outside.

I leaned my shoulder against it and pushed. My height—and fencing—made me stronger than most girls. But the stone barely moved.

I paused. There were odd sounds coming from the other side. Men shouting, grunting. The clang of metal again as if ... I shoved the thought aside. Impossible. And the main thing I had to focus on right now was escape. "Hey! Help! I'm in here! Help!" I shouted, so loudly it made my throat hurt.

I could hear the pause in whatever metalwork was happening. "Mom? Lia! Help! Help me!" I screamed again. But then the sounds resumed.

"Oh, brother," I muttered. I maneuvered in the tunnel until my back and shoulders were against one side, and at an angle, I could press my feet against the stone. I pushed, pushed so hard that my butt lifted from the ground. I grunted, willing that stupid rock to move, to move, move ... and then it did, scraping, groaning, then falling away to the dirt outside with a big thump.

My eyes narrowed, and I cautiously peered outward.

There appeared to be some sort of Renaissance faire battle-scene reenactment going on. How'd all these men get here? And why here? Perhaps some protest by the local Sienese, bent on reclaiming this land? Manero's doing? It figured ... now that they knew it held the treasures it did.

But then I saw a man block another man's sword strike with his own, then plunge a dagger into him with his other hand. I gasped, too surprised to scream. The injured man fell to his knees, clutching the hilt of the knife, his mouth agape. Blood spread across his white shirt in a slowly seeping circle. No Renaissance faire I'd seen had had special effects like that. With growing horror, I glanced to my right, where another man was writhing on the ground, groaning. My hand came to my mouth. His belly had been split open, and some of his intestines were bulging out. Blood spread across the ground in a wide pool.

It was real.


Excerpted from WATERFALL by Lisa T. Bergren. Copyright © 2011 Lisa T. Bergren. Excerpted by permission of David C. Cook.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 367 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 370 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 7, 2011

    Wonderful escape!

    I am an eclectic reader...fiction, non-fiction, biographies, parenting books, mysteries, romances, cookbooks, travel books, whatever! Sometimes I just read to escape from something (perhaps laundry or housecleaning) or to something (like an exciting adventure devoid of day-to-day chores). Waterfall started as none of the above. It was a "preview" to discover if it would be a good read for a couple young adult (YA) readers in my life. However, it quickly transitioned into a wonderful escape. The beginning, set in current time, didn't grab me. However, as soon as Gabi was transported to 14th century Italy, I was sucked in to a world of non-stop action, adventure and romance. I couldn't put it down. And yes, I would recommend it highly for all YA readers - and their moms! Sorry laundry... you will have to wait! Thank you Lisa T. Bergren...for sharing your gift of writing, story telling, and historical perspective. I'm so anxious to read the rest of the series!

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2011


    this was a magical read!!! Gabi is a strong and relatable heroin and marcello makes me melt! this book is one of my favs now!!!! If you havent read it, get it now!!!! its worth every penny! cant wait for Cascade to come out!

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Waterfall has everything one could possibly want out of a novel,

    Waterfall has everything one could possibly want out of a novel, it literally sweep me off my feet. With time travel, history, romance, action, strong dashing men & brave young women, there isn't anything I didn't love about this novel.

    Gabi is a confident and capable young heroine who after being thrown into fourteenth century Italy, uses her historical knowledge, smarts and quick thinking to adapts to her surroundings. She's also fearlessly determined to find her missing sister, who she believes might have travel back with her. Not one to seat back and wait for others to aid her, she's often the one helping people through difficult situations.

    Gabi's attraction to Marcello, a young knight, really pulled me into the story since its development is very well paced and never felt to rushed or to intense. Marcello is of course handsome & charming but its his admiration and respect for Gabi that really melted my heart. Despite the fact that his instincts tell him that women shouldn't be doing or acting the way Gabi does he never discourages her from staying true to herself and is more then impressed with her toughness. Marcello's best friend Luca won me over for the same reasons, but also has spunk of his own. He's more easy going then his friend and has the luxury of being able to flirt openly with Gabi, something that she both hates & finds amusing.

    Lisa Bergren clearly did her research when it comes to fourteenth century Italy, as every page made me feel as though I was right there living within the walls of the Forelli castle or being chased down by knights on horseback. The smallest details such as the way people bathed or ate their meals added so much realism to the story. Your never overwhelmed by to many historical facts as the blend effortlessly into the story, much like the description of the vast landscapes and cities.

    I found the beginning to be a bit slow since the story doesn't really pick up until after Gabi is sent back in time, but once there it doesn't really let up. Something is always happening, whether its knights fighting to the death, women being chased on horseback or fancy banquets inside the castle's great hall, the novel steadily moves along making it impossible to put down.

    There are a few scenes that stretch believability, like Gabi's ability to wield a giant, iron sword because she took fencing or how easily she switches off talking like a teen from the 21st century. However none of these things really bothered me since I was deeply engrossed in the incredible characters and story.

    Although the ending of the novel might be easy to predict, I didn't feel that it took anything away from the story since getting to the end was filled with so many twists & turns. Also the constant push & pull that Gabi felt to either stay or go was really well balanced, I struggled right along with her on what she should do. Thankfully its also doesn't end on a cliffhanger, which is always nice in my book and yet sets the stage for what's to come.

    Waterfall is classified as Christian young adult fiction but I highly recommended the novel to any fan of fantasy, romance or historical fiction as the novel easily blends all three genres. Gabi is a mature, confidant young woman who will appeal to adults as well as teens. Also besides for a few scenes where Gabi wonders if God is the one who sent her back to the past and praying amongst the knights, religion is never really discussed. Please don't let either label effect your decision to read Waterfall, as its a beautifully written historical adventure, with an intelligent and strong young heroine.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2012


    I got this book for free while I was looking for nook bargins. I thought why not it's free. At first I wasn't that impressed with the story, but I like to always give authors a few chapters before I decide if I will continue to read a story. Boy am I glad I stuck with the story. This series is one of the best I've come across in a long time. I read one a day and now I can't get them out of my head and I can't wait for the next one to come out. I loved these books!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2011

    This book with grab you and not let go!

    Absolutely loved this book. The characters are well developed and pertinent to the story. No excess ideas just to fill space. The time period traveled to is believeable and comes to life by Lisa's ability to write out a picture. I can't wait for the next two books.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2011

    Better than Twilight!

    No, this isn't a vampire book, but like Twilight it's the kind of book young adults will eat up! And it's far better written than the Meyers' books. Full of dramatic plot twists, it will keep you on the edge of your seat and yet the romance is sizzling. An amazingly romantic setting with a protagonist that will melt your heart. I loved it and you will too!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2012


    Well, thanks to rude, hateful, egotistical posters like harriet klausner and all the others who feel the obscessive compulsiin to RUIN a book for others, this is yet another i dont have to read. FYI....im sure most ppl can read so we DONT need you telling us every detail...got it? Go to a web site,a blog, anywhere but STOP POSTING PLOT SPOILERS AND RUINING IT FOR OTHERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012


    This book truly was good. I recommend it to all my friends and they loved it too. The detail in this book was just fasinating and real, I couldn't put it down. I stayed up to two o'clock in the morning and finished it in a day. This book really was good. I reccomend it to all. I can't wait to read the Cascade (the second book)!!!!!!!:)

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2011

    An adventure of a lifetime

    "Waterfall" is the first book in Lisa T. Bergren's 'River of Time Series'. It's a young adult book, but I believe that readers of all ages would enjoy reading it. The story is about an American teenager, Gabriella Betarrini, who has spent the majority of her summers in Italy, with her younger sister, Lia, and her archeologist parents. This summer they're in rural Tuscany, amidst a new archeological site, filled with crumbling castles and old burial tombs. The two girls, bored out of their minds, decide to do a little exploring, never imaging that this will land them in fourteenth-century Italy...
    I literally could NOT put this book down. It grabbed me from the beginning and would not let me go. I was instantly swept into the world of knights and Lords and Ladies, of beautiful dresses, sword fights, adventure, and intrigue. And of course, romance. For what young lady wouldn't fall in love with a smoldering, medieval Italian man? (Sigh....) I don't want to give the whole story away, but needless to say, I can assure you that you will love every page of this book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2011

    Must Read!

    I read this book last week and literally cannot stop thinking about it. The Italian setting for the novel was wondrous and obviously much researched. As I walked across a park field with my children, the sun on my face, the wind whipping my hair, I imagined the rolling hills described in Waterfall. I even found myself wishing to be wearing a long dress like so many Lisa beautifully described in her novel. When reading Waterfall, I felt completely immersed. Every time I had to put the book down I found myself plotting the next portion of time I would have to read it! The characters in Waterfall are fully developed. Insight of each character is gained through interesting dialogue, descriptions of facial expressions and the response each character has to the many wonderful and exciting scenarios Bergren leads readers through. The next book cannot be on shelves soon enough for me or the other fans of The River of Time Series. In fact, I have half a mind to storm the castle walls of David C. Cook to get my hands on Cascade!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2011

    An AWESOME Read!

    The cover of this book drew me in first, and reading about the book thoroughly intrigued me. It sounded like a really neat, adventurous read. But I was slightly wrong in my assumptions. It wasn't just a neat read-it was an AWESOME read!

    It had everything a reader could want in a medieval adventure: battles, sword fights, balls, adventure, peril, humor, suspense, mystery, romance-everything! To put it simply-I was completely wowed by this book. The River of Time series ranks right up there with the best of them and will have a permanent spot on my bookshelf!
    Gabriella (Gabi) was one amazing woman. While she was strong and fearless, she was also gentle, compassionate, and had her weaknesses. Being able to wield a sword gave her some advantage when the time travel landed her in the middle of a small war, but knowing how to spar with her father did little to prepare her to take on seasoned knights much stronger than herself. But even then, she does not shirk from danger. That was one of my favorite aspects of Gabi-she was heroic and brave, even if she was inwardly scared out of her wits.

    I didn't get to know her sister, Evangelia (Lia) that much, but she was very similar to her sister, though a bit more sensitive and naïve. But living with the Sienese had caused Gabi to grow up almost overnight, and Lia was no different. What a heroine she was as she used her impeccable skill with the bow and arrow! I was cheering for her right alongside Gabi-what a formidable team they formed. No wonder they were called the She-Wolves of Siena.

    The men in this books was amazing! Marcello and Luca were simply awesome. What girl wouldn't want a brave knight beside you, ready to die to keep you safe? And handsome, ta boot! While Marcello was wonderful, I felt more of a liking his sidekick, Luca. His gentle teasing and quirky comments in the face of danger endeared me to this man who was so devoted to Marcello, and in turn, Gabi and Lia.

    While this book is published as YA fiction, I believe adults would find Gabi and Lia's adventures to be stirring and extremely satisfying. Geared for the younger readers, Lisa kept her book clean, light-hearted, and funny. I loved the writing style she used, giving Gabi such a dry sense of humor as she struggled with the differences of living in the medieval world as opposed to the 21st century. There were times where I outright laughed!

    Lisa has written a true winner with this book, and, I am confident to presume, with the next two in the series. The book doesn't end with that bad of a cliffhanger, but enough to make the reader run to the calendar and figure out how much longer they must wait for the next book to be released. What an awesome series this will be! I think the uniqueness of the storyline-21st century girls traveling back to the 1300s-really make for it to be such an awesome series. I can confidently say that I won't tire of rereading this book again, and again, and again!

    The perilous adventures that Gabi faces will leave you breathlessly clinging to each word as you read through the pages. I loved that Lisa didn't make her characters invincible or anything--they were hurt and bested at some points. This all made their adventures that much more believable and the characters that much more human. And it added a hook to the whole plot as I read into the wee hours of the night, wondering how on earth Gabi and Lia would make it out of such a predicament alive.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    ....and then what happened?

    I love time travel stories. The writing was nice, and is quite appropriate for teens, and appreciated by adults who don't need the "hot and heavy" stuff. I was disappointed at the end. Perhaps the journey should have been enough, cool as it was, but with the accomplishments and discoveries of these strong young women, there should have been a change in the future. I wanted to at least see an un-ruined castle in the end....

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2012


    This book was ok but all my friends told me It was so great so I read It and I truly didn't like it very much. The story line was really creative and I liked the whole point of how she gets transported back in time to the 14th century. But It got kind of boring towards the middle of the book. Some people may like this book but If your like me..... I'd give the book a try and see if you like it or not. Lisa Tawn Bergren did nice job creating the story and you may or may not like this book. But before you judge it give it a try :)

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Is this the first book?

    What a steal!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 4, 2011

    Oh yeah!

    LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2011


    marcello would be the guy 4meXD

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2011

    AMAZING book!!! A must read!!

    This book was absolutly wonderful! Not only was it action packed, 'lil romantic, mysterious, and just all out a top read, but it also faces problems any young adult faces, and you can relate to the charecters! In fact the scenes just about pop out of the book!!! This is a hafta-read type of book!!! Great Job to Mrs.Bergren!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Next Huge Thing!!!!!!! Dangerously Addictive!

    WATERFALL is the perfect beginning to a series that will set people on fire! It is a page-turner that is irresistible because of its inspiration and adventure. It truly brings you to 14th century Italy and morphs you into the courageous, independent heroine that Gabi is. It's dangerously addictive because of its eloquently written plot and characters. This is a unique novel that is the perfect beginning to a series that, mark my words, is bound to be bigger than TWILIGHT.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2011

    My teen says it's the best book she ever read!

    My 13-year-old daughter reads a LOT but she rarely reads Christian fiction. She loves mainstream fantasy and authors like JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer. But when she picked up this book, she was hooked from the first page and was practically swooning every night when she told me about the chapters she'd read that day. She's telling all her friends about this book, and she can't wait for more in this series from Lisa T. Bergren.

    Lisa, you hit it out of the park with this one!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2011

    Like Outlander for teens - Absolutely perfect!

    If you're not already loading this one into your online shopping carts, you don't know what you're missing. This story has it all: adventure, suspense, romance, and mystery. It will keep you guessing, and keep your heart in your throat.

    Gabi is a wonderful protagonist. She is thrust back through the centuries, uncertain if her sister is there with her, and winds up smack in the middle of an ongoing Italian turf war. Despite political, physical, and emotional hurdles, she uses her brain to make the best of her unexpected situation. Even though she doesn't know who she can trust, she outmaneuvers everyone to put together a daring plan to rescue her sister.

    I am a sucker for time travel books, mostly because it is a personal fantasy of mine. In the hands of an excellent researcher, that wish nearly comes true. I can always tell when a historical novelist really knows their stuff, and Bergren does not disappoint. Everything about the world rings true, which only sucked me deeper into the story. I melted into Gabi's castle life with ease, and every room, road and character was brought vividly to life.

    And oh, the characters! A flirtatious sidekick, a mothering cook, a sickly heir, a mean girl. It would be so easy to write the caricature and be done with it, but Bergren doesn't do easy. She writes complicated, deep characters that read like actual humans faced with difficult circumstances. Each of these types becomes so much more, surprising our expectations and threatening our snap judgments.

    Above all, this story has heart. Gabi will stop at nothing to find and save her sister, yet just when she thinks she is ready to leave, the beautiful Marcello gives her pause. It is a testament to Bergren's gift that we can simultaneously want Gabi to leave and to stay. Her choice is difficult because we see the good Gabi can bring, and the love that can be her reward. Yet she struggles to cement her own fate one way or the other. It is the ultimate impasse, and completely riveting.

    To me this book was like Outlander for teens. No lust. No sex. But a courageous, stubborn, time-traveling heroine who discovers more about herself in the past than in the present? Oh yes. That, and so much more.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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