Review: Waterfell by Amalie Howard

Posted November 1st, 2013 in book review / 26 comments


The Aquarthi Series #1

by Amalie Howard

Publisher: Harlequin Teen (Oct 29th, 2013)
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult, Mermaids
Format: eARC (360 pages)
Source: Free book from Publisher (Netgalley) for honest review
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2 stars)


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?

At A Glance
If you are looking for a good mermaid book, Waterfell is not it. This book had great promise but almost nothing happened and the main character was not likable.

The Good
I was excited going into Waterfell. It had an interesting premise, and I loved the idea of what these “mermaids” really were. They weren’t quite mermaids, but something more unique. I loved being surprised by that.

I also liked the side characters a lot, especially Nerissa’s best friend, Jenna. She was smart and honest. She didn’t let Nerissa get away with her bitchy attitude. She always told it how it was. She was also a great friend. She stood up for and stood by Nerissa when she most needed it. Jenna’s boyfriend was also a fun character. He was always upbeat and positive. Lo even had his moments where he made my heart melt.

Even though I saw it coming, the ending was kinda exciting.

The Bad
Waterfell‘s biggest downfall was Nerissa and the plot.

Nerissa was a straight up snobby, stuck-up b*tch. There was no way in hell I could like or enjoy reading about a character like her. I will admit, she did change her ways by the end, but that didn’t erase the 80% of the book where she was just a horror to everyone. Nerissa was also kind of stupid. She did reckless things knowing people were after her. She put herself and others in danger almost constantly. She whined about Lo being arrogant and self-absorbed for half the book when in reality she was worse than him by leaps and bounds. Delusional, party of one!

Then there was the plot. Nothing happens!!!! I mean it, nothing happened in this book until the very end. I got so bored and was impatient for it to be over. Even the “mermaid” part was lacking in the fact that we only get “mermaid” action at the end, but the rest of the book was on land. You could also see the twists and turns a mile away. In the end, this book was an angsty teen drama, nothing else.

The writing was meh and the pacing was slow.

The Snuggly
Nerissa was such a b*tch to Lo I just couldn’t understand why he kept chasing her. By the end we understand, but still, I didn’t even want them to end up together. When they do finally get together it doesn’t even feel that real because they don’t really know each other. All Nerissa does is act snarky while Lo smirks. That’s the extent of their relationship.

Final Thoughts
Waterfell is between a 2.5 and 2 starer. But I settled with 2 because I hated the main character so much. That is a deal breaker for me. I will not be reading the rest of this series. I feel really let down by this book. I can’t think of anyone I would recommend this to.

Typical surfer-boy bravado aside, for some reason, I can’t tear my eyes away from Lo’s lithe form. He moves as if he is one with the wave, a part of it instead of riding on top of it, in some kind of fluid symmetry. He surfs like how I like to surf, something that Sawyer calls Zen-surfing.

As if sensing my stare, at the very last minute on his final turn, Lo rips backward on his surfboard to make eye contact with me one last time —a look that I can feel even as far away as he is—and winks before somersaulting backward into the surf.

I feel that last glance of his all the way to my toenails. Not even the icy touch of the water can calm the deep flush that tunnels its way through me.

The laws of human attraction are new to me.
I’m breathless.
Just before I walk into the classroom, I glance over my shoulder. Lo’s eyes are deep and piercing. I feel the weight of them hovering, watching. Holding me motionless as time, too, stands still. I force myself to peel my gaze away from his compelling stare, making my feet obey weak commands to enter the classroom… the one in front of the other, like a drone. Something hot pulses across the back of my neck, racing across my body, and I can’t even think.
It’s not Ehmora who will be the death of me.
It’s this boy.

1 book down for Netgalley Novemeber!

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26 Responses to “Review: Waterfell by Amalie Howard”

  1. Melanie

    I really couldn’t find much to like about this book apart from the idea. Nerissa was a huge bitch to Lo for no reason and gosh I hated her guts.

    Fab review, Jennifer! <33

  2. Stacey Brutger

    I’m glad you posted your review. I was thinking about getting this book because a couple of people said it was supposed to be so good. Sounds like it’s not my type of thing. Thanks!

  3. Sarah Elizabeth

    Now you get what I mean by ‘not mermaids’ ☺ It is so difficult to explain that they’re not mermaids without giving away spoilers! The main character was a bit full of herself though!

  4. Ashley

    Yes!! Freaking Nerissa! Why did she have to be such a bitch? My god. I literally just don’t understand why she woke up and decided, “Okay Lo is an arrogant ass. We must remind him of this constantly.” But he wasn’t AT ALL O_O I’m still getting pissed off just thinking about it lol.

    Great review! You nailed it.

  5. Book Blather

    Ooooh, love those quotes. And hearing all about surfing – jealous! It’s a shame that you pegged this as “an angsty teen drama, nothing else”, I quite fancied the storyline. However, I may still be tempted as I do like me some angsty teen drama if it’s done right! (It depends how bad Nerissa is…) I guess I shall have to stick with Anna Bank’s series going forwards for mermaid stuff, though. Awesome review honey, sorry you were disappointed.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Some people have loved this book. I think you have to be okay with a bitchy protag to be okay with everything else. Some people will be okay with the plot, it just wasn’t for me.

  6. sherry fundin

    I love mermaids and am happy to posted an honest review. There are enough books out there, that I would rather move on to another. I am not much for teen angst, but maybe this book would be for someone else. Thanks Jennifer.

  7. Julie S

    Thanks for this review! I would have the same issues with the characters that you did, so it is good to know I can move on to something else.

  8. kimbacaffeinate

    No movement in the book, eep. To be honest mermaid books and water books are so iffy with me, I tend to avoid them. Ugh,and the drama..nope not for me *runs and hides* LOL Wonderful review Jennifer.

  9. Neyra

    ah, goodness! with such a beautiful cover and interesting premise I’m disappointed to hear you didn’t enjoy it! i detest mc’s with attitude where it’s not needed. Thanks for your honesty Jennifer! 🙂

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