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I Belong

Early Review: Waterfell by Amalie Howard


Author: Amalie Howard

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: The Aquarathi (Book 1)

Publication Date: October 29, 2013

Format: Paperback, 304 Pages

ISBN-10: 0373211058 (Harlequin Teen)

ISBN-13: 978-0373211050 (Harlequin Teen)

Reviewed by: Bridget



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?

Quick & Dirty: Unique story with fascinating mythology, intriguing characters, and a beautiful beginning to an epic love story.  Filled with action and suspense, Waterfell is sure to keep you interested until the very last page.

Opening Sentence: Shivers race through my veins like gilded fireworks.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Nerissa Marin is the rightful heir to the undersea throne in Waterfell, which is inhabited by the mystical sea creatures known as the Aquarathi. Years ago her father was murdered and Nerissa left her home to live among humans until she came of age to rightfully take her kingdom back.  Fitting in and not drawing much attention is dire to Narissa’s survival in the human world. She knows that it will be a fight to take back her kingdom and she has to do everything in her power to prepare.  She has no room for any kind of distractions; they could prove fatal to her and her whole kingdom.

Then Lo Seavon walks into her life and all her carefully placed walls are slowly torn down.  Falling for a human isn’t against the rules, but it is pointless because a relationship with a human can never last. Nerissa knows she should stay away from Lo but he doesn’t give up easily and the more he pursues her the more Nerissa finds herself falling for him. Can she trust him with her secrets or will he put her future and her world in more danger than ever?

Nerissa really grew on me throughout the story.  At first her standoffish attitude was a little frustrating and it made it hard for me to connect with her right away.  But it fit for her situation and the more you learn about her the more you understand why she shuts everyone out.  She displays a wide variety of characteristics throughout the book and not all of them are great qualities, but in the end I felt like she really grew into herself.   While I didn’t love everything about her at first, by the end I really liked her and I am excited to see her grow and develop more in the books to come.

Lo is a total dream boat.  He is sexy, charming, and confident, pretty much everything I could ask for in a swoon worthy YA boy. With his cocky attitude and funny personality he was hard not to fall for. He is very persistent in his pursuit of Nerissa which was sweet to watch.   But not everything in Lo’s life is perfect, he has his own heartache that he covers with snarky comments.  I really enjoyed how his layers were unfolded throughout the pages.

This book actually really surprised me in a good way.  It was way more action packed than I was expecting and I found myself wishing I was reading it when I had a million other things to get done.  It really kept me interested and guessing the whole way through.  The romance took time to develop, which made it feel more realistic and believable.  The cast of characters were engaging and fun to get to know.  The writing was captivating and it drew me in instantly.  I am really looking forward to reading the sequel and seeing where Howard takes the story.  I would highly recommend this to mermaid fans, I think you will really enjoy it.

Notable Scene:

I watch him as he deftly paddles to catch a wave, his body sleek as a seal’s in his wet suit. He rides the wave expertly, skimming along the foamy lip of its crest to curl across its open face and twisting his body like a whip to bring the board up and around.

Lo’s a pretty good surfer, I admit to myself.

Then again, he probably surfs every available hour out of every day like half the other kids carving it up out there. He’s just another boy with a board, and I’ve certainly seen my share of them showing off their tricks, especially living in San Diego. Jenna’s boyfriend, Sawyer, is captain of the surf team at Dover, the reigning state champions. We’d always joked that if she and Sawyer ever had kids, they’d be born All-Star All-Americans just from the gene pool. Jenna likes her boys talented and driven, just as she is. It is one of the reasons I like her so much—she gives everything her all, from sports to studies to her relationships. She never shies away from anything.

Typical surfer-boy bravado aside, for some reason, I can’t tear my eyes away from Lo’s lithe form. He moves as if he is one with the wave, a part of it instead of riding on top of it, in some kind of fluid symmetry. He surfs like how I like to surf, something that Sawyer calls Zen-surfing.

As if sensing my stare, at the very last minute on his final turn, Lo rips backward on his surfboard to make eye contact with me one last time —a look that I can feel even as far away as he is—and winks before somersaulting backward into the surf.

I feel that last glance of his all the way to my toenails. Not even the icy touch of the water can calm the deep flush that tunnels its way through me.

The Aquarathi Series:

1. Waterfell

FTC Advisory: Harlequin Teen provided me with a copy of Waterfell. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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