Sunday, March 25, 2012

Book Review: Bourne by Lisa T. Bergren

Bourne by Lisa T. Bergren
#3.1 in the River of Time series
Release Date: February 27, 2012
Publisher: Bergren Creative Group, Inc.
Pages: about 160
Received: Review copy from author
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars, Special Shelf

This is a review for book #3.1 in the River of Time series and THERE ARE SPOILERS in this review for earlier books!

Don't want spoilers? Check out my reviews for the first three books:



From Author's Website: (highlight to read)

In this e-novella, River of Time #3.1, the dramatic tale about the Betarrinis and Forellis continues, picking up directly after where Torrent left off… The battle is done at the front, but the battle is only beginning back at Castello Forelli. Marcello fights for his life; Lord Greco fights to find his place; and Lia fights for love.


Whenever I read an "extra" like a novella or short story, I always have a few nagging questions and, ok, I'll admit it, fears. The worst thing an author can do to a beloved story is stretch it beyond its limits, and oftentimes that's exactly what happens with little extras like this.

But...but it's the River of Time! Let's be honest here, I would probably gobble up anything even remotely related to this series.

But I'm also super picky and because I love these characters so much, I'm really protective over them. I can't bear to see them fall victim to series stretching. My heart would break to see them in filler stories or, worse, forced rehashes of the same old plotline.

So it was with an emotional mess of unbridled elation and gut-punch dread that I entered Bourne.

And thankfully, I had nothing to fear!

Is there a point to the story?

Yes! The fact that this is a novella and not a full-length novel plays zero part in the story's construction. This is not an "add on for fans"--the plot is original and makes sense as the logical fallout of the events in Torrent. I also finally got to learn more about the mysterious brotherhood! The best way to think of Bourne is to just forget that it is a novella and treat it like part one of the next full book in the series.

The story picks up almost immediately after the end of Torrent and it is essential that you read Waterfall, Cascade, and Torrent before reading Bourne (unless you want massive spoilers for the first three books). The same breakneck pacing mixed with tender character moments and thoughtful soul searching that characterized the first three books is present again in Bourne.

The only time I felt the limitations of the novella length was at the end. Yes, there is resolution, but the greater story arc that has been set in motion promises MUCH more to come. Seeds have been planted and threads have been left dangling, and of course I am dying to find out what happens next! I wouldn't say the end is a cliffhanger exactly, but Lisa is certainly a diabolical tease.

Do I get to see the characters I know and love?

Yes! All of my favorite characters make an appearance (except the ones who have DIED! Oh Fortino!), although for many it is a tantalizingly small appearance. Marcello, Gabi, and Greco all play a decent role but the meat of this story is Lia and Luca (yay!). Though, even there, the short nature of the book makes it so that none of the characters get as much page time as I wanted.

But that's not a criticism of Lisa. You see, this series is like a pastry shop. I love it so much that I want to scarf down everything all at once without waiting. But that really isn't possible (my mouth is, regrettably, just as small as the rest of me). The same goes for these characters. I want to absorb all of their stories, secrets, hopes, fears, desires, everything all at once. Like book osmosis. And that's not possible, so I need to learn how to be patient and savor what I do have.

And, oh my, what a treat I have in Bourne! I have always been a huge Lia and Luca fan, and I am VERY happy with the events of Bourne. It wasn't just that things finally happened (but, total YAY for things finally happening!), it was HOW they happened. Luca's personality was so perfectly displayed in the most adorable, swoony, heart-melting, giggle-inducing scenes of PURE WIN. The witty banter between Lia and Luca was everything I had been hoping for and more. I couldn't have daydreamed it better.

Does the author mess with a good thing?

Not much is different from the first three books, and that is a very good thing. There isn't any new girl causing love drama, Marcello and Gabi don't have a "misunderstanding" to carry the plot, and the characters don't suffer mysterious personality transplants.

What IS different is the inclusion of Lia's perspective! Gabi still narrates plenty (and it was such a comfort to be back in her head again), but the introduction of Lia's POV was thoroughly welcome.

I'll blushingly admit that Lia left me a little star struck in the first three books. She was just so darn cool with her arrows and calm reserve. I loved this opportunity to get into her head and see the "woman behind the mask."

Her voice is similar to Gabi's, but her caution and control seen in the previous books came through in her narrative as well. While I can't help but get swept up in Gabi's romantic view of the 14th century, Lia has always been the character my practical side can relate to. I hope more books are told from her POV in the future.

Bottom line

LOVE! More please!

Oh, and can someone magic me up a print copy please? That man on the cover would look so nice on my shelf.

Oh, and edited to add: The length is about 160 pages.

Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 

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

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Buy it from Amazon

Looking for another book like this? 
You might like: 
Click on the covers to go to Goodreads.


  1. *squeaks with joy* Man, Bourne needs to be read by moi!!! I am a HUGE fan of Lia and Luca and this... this... sounds... *perfect*. Great review! Thank you for your thoughts Small <3 I wish I had a credit card so I could buy a copy, maybe I'll need to beg my parents? Yeah, I think its time...

    1. Yes it's time! And it's only $2.99! :D As a huge Lia and Luca fan myself, I REALLY think you're going to like it :D

  2. You just made me one very happy fan of this series, Smallsie!

    I was on the fence a little because I hate when a novella reads like they are just stretching the taffy or the characters don't make no sense anymore.

    Also, I admit to a small crush on Greco, and a BIG amount of curiosity about the brotherhood! So I'll probably be gobbling this up soon!

    1. I know exactly what you mean about your fence sitting. You have nothing to fear! It really does read like the next book in the series and having Lia's perspective helps keep things fresh because it sort of passes the torch.

      Ah, who doesn't have a small (or big :P) crush of Greco? :) He's still so lost and in need of hugging. I can't wait until I can vicariously oblige!

      The info about the Brotherhood is great (I love origins stories), but it's also a HUGE tease!

    2. Are there any hints of whom will be hugging Greco eventually?

    3. They had better NOT be hints!

      (and I'm sure that makes no sense, but when you read Bourne, you'll understand. I am very much in agreement with Luca on this.)

      But the first chapter teaser of Tributary has a hint :)

  3. Yay, another River of Time fan. *big hugs* Can't wait for the next in June. :)

    1. Aw *HUGS* back! I love finding fans of this series! June can't get here fast enough :D

  4. I know we've said this before, but great minds really do think alike. I just posted about this one yesterday and OH, SMALL, I'm so happy. *grabs and hugs* CAN YOU BELIEVE HOW AMAZING THIS WAS? And finally some Lia and Luca action! Oh, I'm just deliriously happy that Lisa didn't stop writing for this series. Does anyone know what the next one is called?


    1. It was SO amazing!!! *happy dances* I've been waiting so long for them to get together and I really wasn't expecting it to happen until their maybe trilogy, so it was such a great surprise! I don't know what the next one is called.

  5. Ummm that man on the cover would look really nice standing right next to breakfast in my kitchen...sleeping in my know. ;) Basically, I want to marry the dude, but that's not really the point, now is it? ;P

    Point is, I'm ECSTATIC to read this book. With everything in me. More Gabi, you say? Hell yes! Lia's perspective? I'm down! GRECO? Oh, you know I'm already there. Small, thank you for this wonderful review. After I'm done reading and obsessing about the rest of the Hunger Games trilogy (FINALLY I'm going to finish them!), I'll get around to this!! :D

    1. Pfft, imagining that man walking around my house, cooking me breakfast, etc is completely the point! :P

      But so is the awesomeness of Bourne, of course. :) It will be the perfect book to cheer you up and distract you after you finish Mockingjay. (I can't wait to hear your thoughts on those books, btw).

  6. :) I love this series too! I often am too a little afraid of reading novellas or short stories based on my favorite books. i'm glad this story is as great as the books, I love all the characters too, especially Greco!. I'm excited to read Lia's POV. The pastry shop analogy was perfect!

    1. I'm usually scared too, but I don't think you have anything to fear with Bourne. :) It's like if she wrote the fourth book and then only published the first part of it now. Poor Greco needs some loving :)

  7. I'm reading Torrent now and though I'm not loving it like you, I'm still tearing through it. So addicting! Glad that this one didn't feel like an add-on and features Luca and Lia!

    1. Ha, it would be hard to love it like me :P I'm happy you're addicted though! The Lia and Luca parts are so perfect.

  8. I think these short novellas say a lot about a series overall. I get that it requires a different structure/style and not everyone adapts easily to it, but I have noticed that the ones that truly add value to a series (and aren't just freebie fillers, like you mentioned, and primarily marketing material) tend to be the ones whose series are really great, too. As such, I REALLY have to start this series soon! I have heard such good things about it, and seeing you give the short story 5 stars just whets my appetite even more.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. I agree. I was so worried at first, but luckily I had nothing to fear.

      But, oh my gosh, you haven't read this series yet?! Please drop everything and read it now. Or, you know, soon. :)

  9. I haven't read this one yet but ahh, more of Luca, yes please! And I can't wait to learn more about the mysterious brotherhood!

    1. I think you're going to like it! I love the idea of the brotherhood and it looks like the next story arc is going to deal with them. I'm so excited to learn more!

  10. I love the idea of a Lia and Luca heavy book. Luca is my fav character. Well, except for maybe Lord Greco. I want more from him. I should check this out.

  11. Small, you always make me laugh and cry with your reviews. Thank you so much for your continued passion for this series. Love, Lisa


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