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Torrent: A Novel (River of Time Series) Paperback – September 1, 2011
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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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!
Gabi and Lia save their father from death in the present and travel with him and their mother back to medieval Italy. When they return they find that the nearby castle is occupied by Marcello's enemy and rumors are that Fortuno is being held captive. Gabi and family must find Marcello and try to bring peace to realm.
Gabi is a tough heroine, she came off as a bit unrealistically tough at times even given the fact that she has sword fighting skills. At one point she is wielding a broadsword and another she climbs up a wall; both would require incredible strength. Still I enjoyed reading about her, she is easy to engage with and definitely a good character.
Marcello comes off as a bit too alpha male for me at times as well. Gabi and him definitely don't see eye to eye on her position in his castle and his life. There is a love conquers all theme to this book, but in reality I wonder if Gabi and Marcello would be able to resolve their differences in a peacetime scenario.
There were a couple small things that bothered me about the story. All of the characters were a bit too noble for a war situation; I mean Gabi is captured and surrounded by soldiers yet the idea of her "honor" being compromised is only mentioned in passing. Since this is YA I guess we can expect a lot of the violence seen in a war situation to be glossed over...but at times it was all a bit too roses and daffodils for me.
Also there is a lot more of Gabi begging God for help and then getting that help. Yes, she does have to take situations into her own hands at times. I hate it though when characters beg to God to fix their problems...it's even worse when that ends up being the answer to their problems. I prefer characters to grasp their own fates and not depend on God to get them out of situations. This isn't too overwhelming but it is definitely more prominent in this book than the last two books in the series.
Aside from the above, the book in incredibly well written and very easy to read. It is also fairly predictable. The writing is very beautiful though and I enjoyed the historical setting. Bergren does an excellent job of having the girls talk to each other in modern language and stick to more traditional language when talking to other characters in the period. I love the characters and love how the whole family is on this adventure together.
Overall a satisfying conclusion to this series. The book is beautifully written and the characters easy to engage with. There is a bit more of the characters begging God to solve their problems which I didn't enjoy. At times Gabi comes off as too tough and Marcello as too alpha male. But aside from that I really enjoyed the setting and the story. This whole series is recommended to fans of YA historical fantasy.
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But after book 1 I had to continue....on #4 now!