Cascade: The River of Time Series
Lisa T. Bergren
2011 David C Cook
Buy the book: Waterfall, Cascade, Torrent
Mom touched my underdress—a gown made six hundred years before—and her eyes widened as she rubbed the raw silk between thumb and forefinger. She turned and touched Lia’s gown. “Where did you get these clothes?”
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.
Sometimes great things just have to be kept secret for a little while. You know, we don’t want to be too trendy over here at Reading Teen, jumping on the bandwagon before its left the, um, barn? High school band room? What is a bandwagon anyway?
My point being, Reading Teen typically has the reviews for books right when you need them- before the book has a chance to get dusty upon the shelves of, or, contrarily, quickly disapparate from Barnes and Noble into the hands of readers. Cascade is indisputably worthy of being sold-out like flapjacks at the Volunteer Fire Department’s pancake breakfast. Its noble, tasty and just that good.
(disclaimer: I have never actually been to a pancake breakfast at a volunteer fire department, although I have great aspirations to go to one someday. Henceforth, if you have had a negative pancake experience at said venue, please do not let that damper your enthusiasm for this novel. I only imagine these pancakes are marvellous, and as such, let that reflect on Cascade).
Despite the fact that I am a slacker in writing this review (doing more important things like raising the next generation while changing the world) I loved this novel. I guess that is obvious by now. Why did I love it? Well, I am a sucker for good stories that help me escape my intensive, above-described life. I like the stories that have a decent plot, tangy romance, a delightful setting (Italy!) and a tidy conclusion. A bit of suspense is needed as well, but not enough that I pee my pants. Cascade has all. Except the peeing pants bit.
Cascade is the second book in a three part series, the River of Time, by Lisa T. Bergren. The first book, Waterfall, finds two teenagers trapped in some weird time warp, ending up in Medieval Italy. That story was pretty great in itself, you can read the reviews here. The third book, Torrent, is officially out in just a couple weeks.
Not surprisingly, Cascade begins with the two Ladies Betarrini (Gabi and Lia) jumping back in history, this time with their mom in tow. Even with romance in the air and sure death around every corner, this family grows tighter together, requiring a certain conclusion. Just like Waterfall, the story’s framework exists of the many battles and non-stop intrigue which fills these four-hundred pages. Yet, after the first couple chapters pulling the reader in, this book glides through those pages, seemingly taking no time to read. It is captivating.
Another thing I liked is that somehow the author managed to hide nuggets of profound thoughts in the midst of life or death scenarios scattering the story. Maybe we all would begin to think about what matters in the face of the death and the unknown. But for me, as it is not an everyday experience for me, I liked escape into these girls’ minds (even though fictitious) to imagine what I would think/feel in the types of situations Gabi and Lia find themselves in. I like where Bergren has been going with this- musing over what is sacrifice, what is worthy, and even over whether there is a God who cares. I am curious where she will go with these nuggest in Torrent as the main heroine, Gabi, continues to noticeably mature through her experiences.
Overall, Cascade is a great read, especially if you like to be swept out of your life into another. It has everything integral to make it exciting, yet at the same time it is still soothingly enjoyable; a relaxing escape into a thrilling world. I hope it will be your pleasure, as it was mine. Ciao!
Considering the fact that war rages throughout the book, and I assume rape is being implied, the violence rates as being moderate. Still, the implication of rape is less notable in Cascade than it was in Waterfall. Even so, the war scenes are sometimes graphic. And besides just battles and killing, a character’s ears are chopped off and someone is almost starved in deplorable conditions.
But besides that, there is no profanity, and the book contains only mild sexual content (kisses and hugs). Overall, I would declare this a pretty clean read. Kudos to Bergren!