Book Review: Torrent


Title: Torrent [River of Time 3]

Author: Lisa T. Bergren

Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel, Historical, Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy

Rating: 5 Stars (4.5)




Gabriella and Evangelia Betarrini are just two normal American teenagers. Normal except for the fact that they time travel to fourteenth-century Italy, where they’ve lived in castles they’ve seen as crumbling ruins, become swept up in historic battles, and fallen in love with handsome knights willing to do anything to keep them alive.

            They’ve returned to the present to save their father, just short of his tragic death, and now all four return to the place that holds the girls’ hearts, medieval Italy. But remaining there means facing great risk as the battle for territory wages on and the coming Black Plague looms. Can they convince their parents to stay and leave behind everything they’ve worked so hard to accomplish? And will the girls sacrifice their futures in an uncertain past? Or in facing death head-on, will they discover life as it was always meant to be lived?


I think out of the first three books to this series, Torrent is my least favorite—but that still isn’t enough for me to dock it a star. Like the previous books in the series, the editing has some teeth-grinding moments. There are punctuation and capitalization errors, and not all of the historical facts are correct. Sometimes things went a little too easily for Gabi, and a few characters seemed to be thrown in for the hell of it. The time travel logic was full of holes, and made me cringe.

To be honest, I wasn’t a fan of Gabi’s dad. He didn’t have much impact on the story in the long run, and most of the time I couldn’t help but feel that I should be waiting for him to breakdown. He got sucked back through time with his family that is spontaneously several years older than the last time he saw them… but after his brief initial reaction… he just gets over it. I was expecting more conflict surrounding him that never came.

Other characters, such as Rodolfo, didn’t play as big a part in the story as I had expected. At first, it felt as if Rodolfo was going to create a bit of a love triangle between the main characters. There was a hint of it—just a little—but then he too stepped to the sidelines and let Gabi and Marcello have their way. It was a little too easy. I wish there had been more conflict there.

Those points aside, I genuinely enjoyed the book. Like the first two books in the series, the narrative was action-packed, full of daring adventures, battles, tragedy, and heart-warming moments of love.  I literally squealed in delight a few times. Despite all the negative things I could nitpick about this book, and this series, none of it matters in the long run. The book is so well put together, and the characters so vivid and well-written that it is hard to let the little negatives get to me. I loved the story despite it’s problems, and that’s a sure sign of a great book.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. Definitely. Would I read it again? In a heartbeat.  If you enjoy YA fiction, you’ll love this series. I’m honestly anxious to move on to the next two books. I can’t wait to see what happens!