Book Review: Waterfell (The Aquarathi #1) by Amalie Howard

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?

Release Date: October 29, 2013
Age Group: YA
Source: Review copy from NetGalley
Reviewed By: Kelli

Going off of the summary alone, I thought Waterfell was going to be about a mermaid posing as a human.  It was so much more than that, and different from what I'd expected.  I was surprised at how unique Waterfell was.  It reminded me of Sophie Jordan's Firelight series in a good way, with the complex world-building and intriguing premise. 

I didn't like Nerissa all that much at the beginning of the story.  She appeared spoiled and it was hard for me to really understand her.  But as the story progressed, I began to appreciate her character and as she grew and changed, I liked her even more.  

One thing that bothered me about Waterfell was that I had a hard time picturing Nerissa's true form.  The description was perfectly adequate; however, the concept of Nerissa's true form was very alien to me and I could not hold the image of her in my head.  I found myself altering the image each time she shifted.  I would have liked a picture or maybe Nerissa's true form to be included in the cover art. 

Waterfell is a long book, longer than my typical YA reads, which allowed for a lot of world-building and character growth.  I like the way Howard describes the history of Waterfell and Nerissa's people.  There was a nice surprise at the end of the book, which left me aching for book two.  

Waterfell was well-written and engaging.  It's much more than your typical mermaid story.  It's not a mermaid story at all!  I enjoyed this book and look forward to the next installment in the series.  


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