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Waterfell by Amalie Howard eARC {1.5 Stars}

Waterfell by Amalie Howard is the start of the Aquarathi series and I have to admit that I’m once again disappointed in a mermaid book. Though mermaid isn’t exactly what the Aquarathi end up being, the point still stands ;-). As an evolutionary biologist I was close to throwing my Kindle across the room with the misrepresentation of science in Waterfell. Further (and probably more interesting to you), the characters irritated me, the insta-love made me cringe, and that ending was just… ugh. I was going to go with 2 stars and then realized that “okay” does not describe my feelings for Waterfell unfortunately.

Note: I received an eARC of Waterfell through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Some things might have changed in the final version.

Waterfell by Amalie Howard eARC {1.5 Stars}

Waterfell by Amalie Howard (The Aquarathi #1)
Published by Harlequin Teen on Oct. 29, 2013
Genres: Paranormal Romance, YA
Page Length: 360 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog


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?

1.5 Stars


  • I didn’t like Riss to begin with, then she grew on me in the middle of Waterfell, and then it all went to hell. But I liked her for a bit there.
  • Jenna is the human best friend and she is the only character I could stand! Well, her boyfriend Sawyer was also lovable in a goofy way, but those two are it.
  • Waterfell isn’t actually about mermaids, it’s about critters way cooler than that, and it had so much potential!


  •  Info dumps for the first half everywhere! Riss just does a little aside for the reader to explain everything about her race in the middle of scenes. Why Riss, why??
  • The romance is cheesy and so cliche. Riss tries to hate the annoying boy that keeps getting under her skin, until she realizes she doesn’t actually hate him! Who would have guessed?
  • There are some pretty annoying inconsistencies in Waterfell. Sawyer is described and both outgoing and not talking to many people. Various things about the origins of the Aquarathi definitely didn’t fit together. These little things just kept cropping up.
  • I am so tired of love saving the day. SO TIRED!
  • The attempt at a plot twist was so obvious (because it’s so cliche), that I’m pretty sure only Riss was surprised.
  • Waterfell has cutesy lessons for you to learn about friendship and forgiveness and it will bash them over your head with a mallet! A Lesson Mallet!
  • I am generally okay letting some scientific slip-ups go because science fiction has fiction in it. However! Waterfell attempts to back up the Aquarathi and the plot with science and IT IS SO WRONG! Lamarckian evolution, seriously??? (Google it, it’s interesting, but wrong.) That is not how DNA works, that is not how recombination works, that is not how mutation works, that is not how adaptation works. The thing that pained me the most is that Waterfell could have actually gotten things mostly right (though the plot would need to be smooshed around a bit), but it just didn’t. I was going to let it go the first time, but again with the mallet! D:


Whew, I’m calm, I promise. Waterfell really annoyed me (obviously >.>) because it hit some buttons that probably won’t bother most people, but also because it was so painfully cliche and trope filled. I’m actually really proud of myself that I pushed through to the end. I kept hoping for certain someones to die or something, but I was disappointed. (Well, there is some dying, or is there?? No spoilers for you!) So unless you are looking for some complete fluff, there are probably better books to read. Also please know if you do read Waterfell, that is not how evolution works.

1.5 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

– Anya


 Waterfell by Amalie Howard

© 2013, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. OH NO. I have this. I see a DNF in my future. X_X
    Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted…Cover Snark (78): The One with Realistic GirlsMy Profile

  2. Oh no, bad science is the worst! It sounds like it’s also internally inconsistent which is another pet peeve of mine, so I’ll definitely be giving this one a pass. Thanks for the review :)

  3. I’m surprised I even finished this book too – I had the same exact issues with it as you do! And I loved your science rant – I wasn’t a science girl in school, so I’m always ready to be educated *properly* ;)

    • I seriously felt like I deserved ice cream for finishing this review book! I see the tour around and don’t see many reviews for it >.>

      Hehe, science rants are my speciality :D

  4. I was reading this last week then I couldn’t stand the book anymore so I put it off and started House of Hades instead >< Totally agree with all your points, Jenna and Sawyer are the only bearable ones. And the infodump – oh gosh – you remember when Riss is telling Jenna the truth? She's just keep going and going and dumping informations everywhere it doesn't seem…natural and realistic at all, the way she's telling Jenna. And I also didn't like how selfish the MC is…

    One thing I find weird is how people don't get suspicious about Riss and her "family" considering about their unusual names. I mean, Echlios, Speio, Soren…!
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    • Don’t pick it back up! Don’t do it D:

      Hehe, yeah, I imagined her getting up in front of a chalkboard and tutting when Jenna didn’t take notes ;-)

  5. Jenn @ A Glo-Worm Reads says:

    Umm.. so they change evolution? No thanks, that would be extremely irritating for me.

    Sounds like a book that had so much potential but nothing came of it :( Which is a shame. Thanks for this review, I will probably skip this book.

  6. Info dumps take me so far out of a story that sometimes I just can’t get back into it. Ugh! Sorry it didn’t work for you!
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