Monday, September 5, 2011

Book Review: Torrent by Lisa T. Bergren

Torrent by Lisa T. Bergren
Book 3 of The River of Time series 
Release Date: September 1, 2011
Publisher: David C. Cook
Pages: 388
Received: ARC from author/publisher
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars, Special Shelf
Goodreads Page

This review contains NO spoilers for the series!

Click to see my reviews for:
Waterfall (#1)
Cascade (#2)


From Goodreads (spoilers for the previous books):

Gabi and Lia Betarrini have learned to control their time travel, and they return from medieval Italy to save their father from his tragic death in modern times.   But love calls across the centuries, and the girls are determined to return forever—even though they know the Black Plague is advancing across Europe, claiming the lives of one-third of the population. In the suspenseful conclusion of the River of Time series, every decision is about life … and death.  


The perfect end

Series can be tricky things. The first part needs to hook you, the second part needs to sustain you, and the third part needs to knock your socks off AND satisfy you.  

Torrent is a win all around. Lisa T. Bergren so totally knocked my socks off and left me beyond satisfied (except for the fact that I want more, but I'm a glutton like that). Torrent was everything a concluding book should be and more.

Picked up right where Cascade left off

Torrent starts with a bang and doesn't let up until the very end (those were the tensest final 20 pages of my life!) There are some sweet moments where the characters get to rest, but these rests are very brief. All of the pulse-pounding action that I loved so much in the first two books is here in Torrent times ten. This is the end and the stakes are HIGH! No holds were barred and it felt like anything could happen.

If you read Cascade already, then you know something BIG happened right at the end. I loved this plot twist. It really enhanced my enjoyment of the story and led to a lot of awwww moments for me. I'm so happy Lisa T. Bergren did this for Gabi and her family because it couldn't have been more perfect. It was like putting in the final piece of a puzzle to make everything fit exactly how it should. 

Expanded (a lot!) on the enigmatic Lord Greco

I like this guy! Ok, so I'm not giving him my heart (Luca has it, then Marcello), but there's not much I wouldn't do to get more Greco. Or should I call him Rodolfo, because, yeah, we're totally on a first name basis now. 

Though I'm still not exactly sure if I want to make out with him like crazy, or slap him silly. 

One thing is for sure, I love the role he played in this book. Gabi's experiences with him helped sort out my own feelings for Marcello, and I've gotta say, I finally fell for Marcello. Hard. I had always liked and respected him, but wowza, he's darn near perfect now.

What does this have to do with Greco? You'll see. Let's just say that Lisa T. Bergren knows how to write a love triangle in such a way that I actually like it (when usually I HATE them). Best part about it is that it rings true and Gabi never felt like a floozy. 

Made me cry, and RAGE, and fist pump!

Yes, I actually did all three of those things. Including the fist pump. I know, so lame, right? Who actually does that?! But, um, yeah, I totally did it (and then I did this little ducking and furtively looking around me to see if anyone saw kind of move). I also exclaimed--out loud--"That's SO COOL!" on at least two occasions. 

These were completely involuntary actions. It was like the sheer level of awesome packed into Torrent possessed my body and I lost all ability to maintain the appearance of "collected cool" (like I rock that look normally? Yeah, whatever).

Arrgh, and the rage! Lisa T. Bergren can seriously write bad guys. She puts poor Gabi and her loved ones into these awful situations with these characters who I hate so freaking much that I wish someone would cut off their ears! 

Which only makes the books that much more filled with win when that sort of comeuppance actually happens! It's surprising how rare it is to have both bad guys worthy of despising on such a level where you want to curse their entire lineage AND have them get theirs. Lisa delivers on both counts. Score!

Ooooh, but I also said I cried. Prepare yourselves, because as much as I love how awesome Lisa T. Bergren is with the vengeance, and as much as the books are riddled with moments that make me want to hug puppies they're filled with so much Awwww--these aren't perfect fluff stories. 

BAD stuff happens. And to good people, too. Your heart is going to swell with happiness, but it's also going to feel like it got ripped out of your chest and stomped on. But as much as I HATE these bad things happening to characters I love, it does make the story so much richer than it would have been without these tragedies.

Of endings...and beginnings?

The River of Time series is everything I ever wanted in a YA book, and so much more. It's a rare thing to read a series that is so consistently good, but The River of Time series is one solid win after another. If anything, each book only improves as the stakes grow ever higher, more characters are introduced, and Gabi grows from a likable teenager into a strong young woman worthy of massive amounts of respect. 

Now here is my plea to you: BUY IT! Please. I'll be honest, I'm being totally selfish here. I want more books, plain and simple. I want Lia and Luca's story. I want Greco's story. I want a prequel about Marcello's secret brotherhood of kick-butt warriors (how cool would that be, right?). I want more adventures with Gabi and her family. I want to (spoiler for Torrent) see Gabi flex her muscles as the lady of the castello because I think she has grown into a woman who would totally own as a Lady in Charge. Bottom line, I want more! 

And YOU can help me! Yes, YOU! How? Buy The River of Time. Tell your friends. Tell your librarians. Ask your local booksellers to stock the series. Nominate the series for your next book club. Spread the word however you can. Because that's how we'll get more books, and I NEED more! Curious about the potential of more? Click here to read an excerpt for the potential fourth book!

I'll even bribe you (click this, it's a link to a giveaway. Yeah, I'm serious about the bribing. Updated prizes!

Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 

Do you have any questions about Torrent that I haven't addressed? 
Feel free to ask in the comments!

Want more River of Time fodder?
Check out the book trailers!
Read the beginnings of each book!


  1. Oh, I want to cry. God, I can't wait to read this. And I'm well underway Project Get People Down With This Series So That We May Read More of Lisa's Awesomeness. Pictures will be heading your way soon ;)

  2. Incredible review Small! I was nodding my head in agreement. Although I don't want to slap Lord Greco just pash him. LOL :)

  3. Amazing review- as always! I'm even more *super excited* than I was to read Torrent now. My mum's now halfway through Cascade now and I've talked about it at my school book club now :) This series really needs to be published in the UK too!

  4. Awesome review Small! I would buy the series based on that alone, but I already did!! Maybe I can find some people to buy it for. I'm with you, only though I've read book one, I totally love it! I cannot wait to delve into the next two and if there could be more, well that would be awesome!!


  5. Oeers! I'm so glad it lived up to how much you loved the previous books!! :D

    Go you! I'm still meaning to get these, :)

  6. Oh my goodness, Small! Thanks for another incredible review that actually makes me cry, it means so much. I adore it when readers get these characters like you're in my head and heart with me!!! It makes me feel like we're sisters or something.

    Anyway, thanks for the kudos and for the plugs. I owe you a cup of coffee or glass of wine when we finally meet in real-life. xoxo

  7. Ok, ok, you got me. I will buy the first book. I'm that curious. ;)

  8. AH, man, I love your reviews so much. You make this book sound awesome. I bought Waterfall, but I haven't read it yet. Perhaps I should get on that so I can read the rest :).

  9. Asher, You.Will.Love.It! Go you for being on top of spreading the word! Now go enter my giveaway so you can be rewarded for your efforts :) Updated prizes!

    Nic, Thanks Nic! Haha, but he was very improper :P Maybe you can help console him.

    Stephanie, Thank you! You're awesome with all that spreading the word! Go enter the giveaway (it's updated!)

    Heather, You rock! I think the books only get better and better, so I can't wait to see what you think of Cascade and Torrent.

    Alex, TOTALLY lived up! I couldn't have asked for a better book. GO READ THEM :) Or enter the giveaway and try to win them! (updated prizes)

    Lisa, I'm totally giving you my kindred spirit card (Logan E Turner's a card holder, too!) And I'll definitely take you up on your coffee/wine offer, just so long as you let me treat you to one right back! THANK YOU so much for this series :)

    Nina, Yay! I hope you love it as much as I do! Then come back and enter my giveaway (with updated prizes) :)

    Christina, Thank you! You should so get on that! Plus, if you write a review you can enter the giveaway again (updated prizes!)

  10. So glad you loved this! I'm about 1/3 of the way through it. Maybe 1/2. It's great so far, but there's obviously a lot left. The bad stuff you hinted at makes me nervous.
    And I love Lord Greco! Maybe I'll learn to love Marcello.

  11. Yay, I'm so glad you loved Torrent so much! I still have to read it, but now I CANNOT wait!!! Plus, you have a really awesome giveaway for the ROT series going on :D Glowing review Smalls!

  12. I skipped the entire post because I haven't read the series, but I just wanted to say HI! Also, that I want to read this series. Checking out the other link up top!

  13. Gabi was a total floozy, but it's possible I only think that because I'm insanely jealous! Ha.

    I hadn't seen the trailers before, thanks for the links. Loved them. And Yes! the Excerpt for the fourth book! I WANT IT NOW!

  14. Man, I hope my copy comes soon so I can get around to reading this one! Right now I'm kind of liking Lord Greco over Luca but we'll see what happens :)

  15. Wow, I'm so impressed that this series never seemed to have had any lull in plot. To hear that it was consistently good, and had a satisfying conclusion, it so exciting! I'm enjoying Waterfall very much... it is so hard to stay within the allotted weekly chapters!

  16. Wow, I love your excitement over books, and certain series. It makes me want to jump in there and cheer with you even though I haven't read the books. Which by the way I need to get them and read.

  17. FIST PUMP??? It made you FIST PUMP. That is made of awesome right there, and I am dying DYING to read these now, but no time until holiday time off - WAH!!! Seriously one of the best reviews I've seen out there - I'll just be the late one to the party :)

  18. HAHA- I love the fist pump action and its ok if you want to slap Greco Ill make out with him for sure.....LOL...

    This was my fav of the three and the end....FANTASTIC!!!!

  19. Alison, Did you see the excerpt from the potential Greco book?! Eeep, and the picture of Greco?! He looks GOOD! :)

    T. B., Thanks Tessa! I think you'll like Torrent when you get to it. Good luck in the giveaway!

    BookGeek, Aw, I tried not to include spoilers, but if you want to know absolutely nothing, then skipping is probably a good idea :)

    Missie, Haha, well, she was a lot less floozy than those back-and-forth indecisive string the poor guy along girls in YA! I mean, if she went with (new guy) she could STOP A WAR! So she was totally justified in at least considering it :P

    A Canadian Girl, Oh I think you'll like Greco even more in Torrent!

    Aylee, I'm super impressed too! Everything was so consistently good while avoiding all of the typical cliches. If you like Waterfall, then I'd say it's a safe bet you'll like the rest of the series.

    Ashley, You totally need to read them so you can flail like a cheerleader with me! :P

    Bibliophile Brouhaha, haha yeah, it was a totally embarrassing but very heart-felt fist pump :P Better late than never!

    Tina, haha ok, you get Greco and I'll keep Luca busy :)

  20. Oh my!!! I loved the first two books, and I am looking forward to reading the second one (I have to wait two days until I can read the third one. How will I survive??? :P ) I loved the action, everything in it! How strong, handsome, loving and caring Marcello is!! Oh my!! My prince's name is Marcello. I love him!! :D Cannot wait to get my hands on the rest of the books. :D


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