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.
Design – David Carlson/Gearbox Studios Rating – 2/5
Lens flare all the things! What are these strange and distracting light things on everything? I hate them. The photo on the bottom is nice enough and fitting for the story. The picture of the girl is ok, but her expression is really strange. Why does she have her eyes closed? I’m not a fan of the loop on the “C” and the font for “The River of Times Series” is incredibly difficult to read. This cover fits well with the 1st book, but Waterfall‘s cover had a much better color scheme and the light rays felt more like a part of the cover.
Cascade is pretty good as far as sequels go, but not quite as great as Waterfall. All the fighting and political alliances can be hard to keep up with. Marcello and Gabi are adorable and Luca is great, but I think Gabi works best solo, rather than with Lia and their mother. Gabi and Lia find themselves wielding a lot of power as Florence and Siena continue to clash over the control of land and castles. Old villains are still in the mix, and new issues challenge Marcello’s rule and his relationship with Gabi.
- Gabi + Lia – I love Gabi because she’s strong, stubborn, and can hold her own with a sword. Lia is just as stubborn and she’s great with a bow and arrow. While Lia can be a downer at times because she’s the realist in the family, she’s a lot more free-spirited after spending time with Luca. Gabi and Lia stick together, they help the guys plan, they help them fight, and they never fail to rescue whoever is in peril. That’s a lot, especially since everyone in Florence is actively trying to kill them.
- Marcello + Luca – These two are so great. They would kill for each other, or for Gabi and Lia, and they never back down from a fight. Marcello is still doing all of the hard work defending his family’s land, and he’s so sweet to Gabi. She gets upset when he gets protective, but he does always have good reason to be worried. Luca is such a flirt, always cracking jokes when faced with mortal danger. He is so entertaining. I love how Lia tries to stay focused on all the political craziness, but can’t help being charmed by Luca.
- plague – Major bummer about time travel: the plague is coming and we can’t cure it. I really like that the plague came into play to complicate things. That sounds mean, but it’s actually kind of awesome. The realization that the plague is coming makes it difficult for Gabi and Lia to be in love. If they stay, they might die. If they leave, they’ll always wonder if Marcello and Luca survived the plague. I love how they used it to their advantage against the Florentines. ‘Good plan attacking us guys, we have plague among us.’
- action – Nothing is simple in Cascade. Sometimes escaping means heading into enemy territory, sometimes you have to leave people you love behind, and often for Gabi and Lia there’s an enemy army out for your heads. Most of the book is the girls traveling with the men in order to fight for Siena. Gabi and Lia refuse to be left behind, especially since they are the primary targets of the Florentine army. Between the two of them, Marcello and Luca, and the rest of the warriors, they have many situations under control – but they also have tons of enemies that come at them from all sides and constantly. I love that the girls aren’t worried about leaping into battle at any moment, and that they’re both so good at it.
- Gabi + Lia’s mom – Although I don’t have anything against Gabi’s mom as a character, I find her inclusion in her daughters’ time travel to be unnecessary. I didn’t really care for Lia in the first book, but she grew on me in this book. However, the addition of their mom (and another relative later on in the story) to Marcello’s time essentially erases all of Gabi’s struggle to decide which time to stay in.If your family is the reason you want to leave and then your family is there with you, why would you still want to leave? Gabi has come up with zero reasons besides her family not to stay with Marcello, and now even Lia, the voice of reason, is running out of reasons to return to the present. Their mom spends most of the book being absent from the battle at hand, off in another castle being worried and worried about – although she does get a chance to show off the family stubbornness and ease with weapons.
- Fortino – After all of Gabi’s hard work helping to cure Fortino in Waterfall, he is relegated to Lady Rossi’s new boy-toy. Everyone goes off to battle while he chills at the castle being used. Wasn’t he hailed as a strategic mastermind in the first book? Maybe I’m remembering that wrong, but he sure is gullible for such a genius.
- torture – Paratore is back and continues to villain it up. If I were Gabi, I would have cut out his tongue. Anyway, one of the girls is tortured by being put in a cage suspended over a village gate and starved. It’s kind of strange, especially since it mentions how she has to pee out the bottom of the cage. I could have done without that bit and been perfectly fine with not even questioning those details.
“Word must not get out. The Gianninis have been sworn to silence. But it’s all a game, really. A slim chance that we can keep this secret for long. And once it’s out…battle is bound to be upon us, peace treaty or not.” – Marcello pg. 129
“Well, that’s not good,” I panted, hearing our name in the air behind us as if it had grown wings and was flying around the camp, shrieking its repetition to everyone it passed. We were the symbol of defeat. The reason they were all here. And now the sole focus of a thousand men. – Gabi pg. 217
Acquired: bought (ebook)