Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: Cascade (ARC)

Cascade (River of Time, #2)Cascade

Series: River of Time, #2
Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA Historical Fiction
Features: Time travel, 14th century Italy
Publisher: David C. Cook
Publication Date: June 1, 2011
Source: Author/publicist for review
*Note: The text featured in this post is from an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC). Changes may have been made in the final proof.
Mom touched my underdress—a gown made six hundred years before—and her eyes widened as she rubbed the raw silk between thumb and forefinger. She turned and touched Lia’s gown. “Where did you get these clothes?”

Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, weeks have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while the Florentines will go to great lengths to see them dead. But Marcello patiently awaits, and Gabi must decide if she’s willing to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.
I didn't think it was possible, but Ms. Bergren did it. Cascade is even better than Waterfall. After reading the first book, I was super excited to read the next one, but also a little wary and had very high expectations. Ms. Bergren achieved them and beyond. This book does not lack at all in the strength of Gabi, the kindheartedness of Lia, the humorous jabs of Luca, and the pure hotness of Marcello. I have come to know and love each of the characters and consider them my friends, unless they happen to be very evil, like *cough* certain villains in this novel.

This book had even more action and adventure. More challenges are presented, much more danger is threatening our protagonists. The threat is no longer between the two rival families. It involves two very large cities of Italy, and could lead onto a full-fledged war. And that's not all. There isn't just a war between man here. The fearsome Black Plague has been caught, and may be the downfall of everybody. I mean, the humans were scary enough, but something nobody can fight? Great. (That was sarcasm, by the way.)

The suspenseful escape and fight scenes aren't the only ones that will keep you reading. Each romantic scene sends chills down your back, too, only of a completely different kind. Once again, the romance between Gabi and Marcello is perfect. If they can't be together, I will be heartbroken.

I believe this book would be right for everybody, because it seems to have a bit of everything: humor and fun, adventure, romance. I just can't get enough of this series. It is pure AWESOME. Lisa T. Bergren has woven an enthralling literary net that will capture the eyes and hearts of many. Don't hesitate to pick these up! The covers are gorgeous! I couldn't stop turning the pages and I just couldn't put the book down. I almost screamed in frustration when I reached the end, because I simply cannot wait for Torrent!

Personal Thoughts (What I thought as a teen reader, not a reviewer)
Saints in Heaven, I can't wait for Torrent! Have I said that yet?

One thing: Lia, my dear, are you feeling ill? *places hand on her forehead* Luca has pretty much declared his undying love for you, and you're still being a stubborn mule! He's hot, he's funny, he's charming! He can joke even when falling in battle! You're perfect for each other!!!! *breathes hard*

Beginning Excerpt:
Mom freaked out when she saw us, of course.
     I couldn't blame her, with Lia in her medieval gown. And me looking like I'd been mauled by a bear. Especially when two meaty guards were hauling us into Dr. Manero's tent. "It's all right, Mom," I said, hands out, as she rushed toward us. Her face was white.
     "Lasiateli," she shouted in irritation -let them go- brushing the guards' hands off our arms, staring at the blood on me. "Girls, what in the-"
     "She's all right, Mom," Lia began. "It's not as bad as it looks."
     "It's okay," I said, pushing her hands away as she touched my undress -a gown made hundreds of years before- and tried to figure out what kind of wound had made me look like I'd been doused in ketchup. "I'm fine, Mom. Really."
     But her fingers remained on the raw weave of the silk fabric. Her beautiful blue eyes widened, then her narrow brows lowered as she rubbed it between thumb and forefinger and bent to study the weave. She turned and touched Lia's gown. "Where did you get these clothes?"
     "Mom," I whispered, "can we talk about it alone" Manero -Dr. Manero, my parents' long-time adversary, a bigwig with the Societa Archaeologico dell' Italia- was staring at us with a smug look on his face, as if he had us all exactly where he wanted us.
     "They were found in Tomb Two, Dr. Betarrini," he said, crossing his arms. I pictured him stuffing a cigar into his mouth, leaning back into a chair, and putting his feet up on the desk, hands behind his head. "You know what giving unauthorized persons access can do to one's site approvals."
     Mom frowned now and shook her head a little. "Impossible. They're never..." Her words faded as she saw the sheepish looks in our eyes. "No. Girls, tell me you weren't inside. No. Why?"
     "Mom, we need to talk to you alone," I said again.
     She stared at me, eye to eye -we're exactly the same height- and then at Lia, and finally at Manero. "Ci serve un' attimo." We need a minute.
     "What's to say? Yes, your papers are in order, but you clearly need my help here to secure the site. If your own daughters feel free to run roughshod over-" 
     "We were not 'running roughshod' over the site," I bite back at him. "We were just peeking in."
     He raised one dark brow. "Climbing inside hardly constitutes peeking."
     Mom looked at us in horror.
     "We need a minute, Mom," I said for the third time. "We can explain."
     She was getting that There's-No-Explanation-for-Trespassing kind of wild fury look in her eyes. The sort that usually left her sputtering before she found her steam and really let us have it.
     Lia saw it too. "Mom," she said, "can we go outside?"
     "No need," Manero said, chin in the air. "I shall leave you three to discuss your business. I'll return in fifteen minutes to discuss our busineszs."
     "Thanks for the warning," I muttered. He paused but did not turn, then left the tent.
     Mom crossed her arms and took a seat on a folding stool. "Start talking."
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Spoilers may or may not have been present in this review. While iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does review honestly, reviews are not specifically checked for spoilers. Attempts at avoiding spoilers are made, but not all are removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement placed on all reviews as a warning to those who read them.


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