[ARC Review] Waterfell by Amalie Howard

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(The Aquarathi #1)
Author: Amalie Howard
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Publication Date: October 29th, 2013
Pages: 360
Genre: YA – Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance
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?
Thank you Harlequin TEEN and Netgalley for the review copy! This doesn’t affect my review or opinions at all.


Oh yay, it’s a book about mermaids! I love those creatures <3

I expected mermaids, yet what I got were… Bleh, and the romance turned me off.


I must admit that I was particularly interested in this book because of mermaids and it’s been such a long time since I read a good mermaid book. Well, Waterfell definitely didn’t fall to that category in my opinion.

So I actually liked the sci-fi element, it was slightly interesting and would have been easier to understand if it hadn’t been too info-dumpy. I mean, I get that it will sound more logical if there are scientific explanations behind all that but to be honest, I felt really confused reading THAT part. I don’t understand why the heroine explains how this “mermaid” works complicatedly…

Talking about the heroine, I didn’t like her at all. She is too selfish and too dramatic. Also, she keeps going back and forth in the beginning about the love interest. One second, she cannot stand the love interest, the next second he is giving her butterflies and then she’s annoyed with him again. Yes, she is really inconsistent. The transition between her feelings/emotions was not smooth enough, I think. In one page she is annoyed, in the next page she feels guilty and then she feels like a coward. Nerissa didn’t sound realistic or likable at all. It seems like she has serious stomach and emotion-control issues. I also didn’t like the way she treats her best friend. So Nerissa breaks down and her best friend – Jenna – is visiting to cheer her up or something but you know what Nerissa does? She bluntly tells Jenna to go away. I get that she’s angry but no need to act so harsh to your best friend who literally keeps your biggest secrets.

In addition, the plot was predictable, starting from the drop-dead gorgeous love interest, typical guy best friend and the infamous love triangle. Honestly, there’s supposed to be this big twist at the end of the book but alas, it didn’t catch me by surprise at all since I had already seen it coming miles away. This book was just too obvious.

Another point I’d like to make is how weird and unusual their names are. If they want to go in disguise in the human world, why stick to your strange original names like Echlios, Soren and Speio. Plus, the love interest’s full name is TOO obvious.

Overall, Waterfell was a disappointment. I thought it would be a cool and light mermaid book. Instead, there were info-dumpy worldbuilding, unlikable characters, predictable plotline and bad romance. The only characters I truly liked in this book are Jenna and Sawyer – but even those two aren’t enough to redeem this book.