Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Me on Waterfell

Title: Waterfell
Author: Amalie Howard
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Publisher: HarlequinTeen

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?

Waterfell is a somewhat of a different sort of spin on mermaids, different enough to not sound like a repeat of similar books. Nerissa is a girl with massive amounts of responsibility and she wants nothing to do with it. She would rather stay safe, stay alive, stay far away from the one who betrayed her father the king, but her birthright won't allow it. As interested as I was in the book initially, I wasn't the biggest fan of Nerissa herself.

It's very clear from her voice and her tone that Nerissa has a massive ego. She's smart, she's athletic, she's strong, she's friendly. But it's too much. She's not angry but she seems annoyed, she's not necessarily spoiled but she's bordering on petulant. Nerissa's the kind of girl who gives orders, who sees taking orders as something almost beneath her. But Lo doesn't really listen to her 'orders' when she tells him to leave her alone, which only serves to infuriate her. He only keeps at it, slowly chipping away at her (not-existent, apparently, when it comes to him) barrier. It's rather suspicious.

She doesn't want to go back to Waterfell and takes her father's dying warning seriously, but her position isn't one she can easily walk away from. Being born into a position of power, being forced to take charge at a young age, it can be rather daunting. Every instinct is screaming at her to run and hide, but the weight of responsibility won't go away with a flick of her hand.

I have to give the author credit for trying to hide the twist, for raising suspicion in almost every other character to make Narissa suspect almost everyone, but when it was revealed I wasn't all that surprised. I do think fans of mermaids, of characters torn between love and royal duty, will like this book, but Nerissa's voice bothered me too much from the start for me to enjoy the book more.

(I received an e-galley of this title to review from HarlequinTeen through NetGalley.)

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