Book Review: Waterfell 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?

About the Author: ama
AMALIE HOWARD grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. Traveling the globe, she has worked as a research assistant, marketing representative, teen speaker and global sales executive. In between writing novels and indulging her love of reading, Amalie is also a books review editor for TheLoopNY, and blogs at She is represented by the Liza Royce Agency.

Her debut novel, BLOODSPELL, was selected as a Seventeen Magazine Summer Club Read. She is also the author of The AQUARATHI series from Harlequin TEEN (WATERFELL Nov 2013 and OCEANBORN Aug 2014), THE ALMOST GIRL from Strange Chemistry Jan 2014, and ALPHA GODDESS from Skyhorse/Sky Pony Press Mar 2014.

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(above info taken from GoodReads)

My Review:

My strange love of mermaids started with being given Hans Christian Anderson’s book ‘The Little Mermaid’ when I was a little girl. It was the first fairy story I had which really didn’t end too well for the protagonist. If you haven’t read the original (not the Disney version) then you’re missing out and should Google to find it online. The second book that re-ignited this weird addiction was P C Cast’s ‘Goddess of the Sea’, which was a 5 out of 5 star book for me and kept me gripped from start to finish. These two books was why I requested Waterfell from Netgalley – but to be honest, it really didn’t deliver what I thought. It kind of delivered something more, something unexpected…

Okay, so the protagonist Rissa is a bit of an arrogant bitch to begin with. She hides from her responsibility and seems intent to be queen bee at her school with little care to those around her. But she does change through the book – there is a definitive character arch. However maybe it would have been better to give her the ‘good deed’ moment a little sooner as this aspect alone might stop a more sensitive reader from continuing – to be fair, it almost stopped me. No one roots for the mean girl!

From a writer’s perspective, it was slow to get going, but the plot really does start to develop midway through the book – so you do need to stick with it – if you don’t, you could very well miss out on a the start of a new YA paranormal romance series that breaks the traditional literary monster boundaries. I personally would have threaded in a bit of action in the first part – maybe, in their first meeting, she could have saved Lo from drowning so it gave a literary nod to the Little Mermaid and Rissa’s character the good deed that would have made her likeable much quicker.

One thing I will highlight is that it’s not really set in the water, and the mercreatures are really not the traditional ones we know and love, so approach the book with an open mind and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

I loved the front cover – beautiful and serene – however maybe a little misleading as the action doesn’t really happen in the water, but on dry land.

Waterfell kind of felt like a Twilight in reverse – supernatural-like girl who falls for geeky new boy. Overall I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars. Whether you are actually a YA or you just enjoy YA fiction – you should try this book.


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