Title: Cascade [River of time 2]
Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Time Travel, Historical, Romance, Fantasy
Rating: 5 Stars
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.
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
I have fallen in love with this series. In the matter of two days I’ve read the first three books, and I am seriously dismayed by the fact that I do not yet own the last two books in the series. It’s that good. Don’t get me wrong, there are problems held within this book. The editing wasn’t done as well as it could have… there are punctuation/capitalization errors, and quite a few historical “facts” that are simply not accurate. That being said, this is a YA novel, and I’m willing to give it some leeway—because after all, it is fictional. Despite these little tidbits of error that often induce teeth-grinding on my part, the novel is will written. The narrative is incredibly engaging, well paced, and does what the narrative of a good book should do: it disappears into the background. I felt sucked in, and it wasn’t until I saw the tell-tale glimpse of the last paragraph that I came up for air. I did not want my foray into Ms. Bergren’s world to end.
Like it’s predecessor, Cascade was filled with daring escapes, heart wrenching tragedy, heart warming romance, and jaw-dropping battles. There was so much conflict and thrilling adventure contained within its pages that it felt like I hardly had a chance to breathe… and I loved every minute of it. The characters of this series are so well-voiced that I can’t help but feel that I too am one of their comrades at arms. In so many books I read it is impossible to tell one character from another. Often, I can’t even keep track of which character belongs to which name… there was none of that here. Each character is an individual and full of personality and depth. The world building was rich and vibrant, and contained an ever-present edge of danger that made me feel like I couldn’t let my guard down. Even when it seemed like things were going well, I knew that the well-won peace for the characters would soon come to an end.
This is a fantastic series for young adults, and I’m personally going to induct the entire series onto my to-keep shelf. I would happily recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA fiction. There is a lot of blood, gore, and war in it’s pages, but romance-wise, the story is clean. I believe the more mature elements of the story were respectfully done, and I wouldn’t have a problem recommending it to any young teen. This is a strong second book, and I can’t wait to finish the series!