by Ciye Cho
Published July 1, 2012
This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Seventeen-year-old Florence Waverley is out of her depth. Literally. Kidnapped and taken below the waves to the mer world of Niemela, she is the ultimate gift for merman Prince Kiren: a human familiar tied to his side. But nothing is what it seems amid the beauty and danger of a dark ocean.
Every Niemelan has a role to play, from the mermaids who weave towers out of kelp to the warriors who fight sea monsters. But in trying to survive, Florence will end up in the middle of a war between the mer and the Darkness. A conflict that will push her between two brothers: Kiren, the charmer inexplicably drawn to both her and the monsters; and Rolan, the loner who has been pushing her away since the day they met. But in order to take a stand--and find out where she belongs--Florence will have to risk it all: her life, her heart... and her very soul.
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I'll admit, I'm not a huge mermaid/merman fan. However, I have read Mr. Cho's debut novel and was blown away by the imagination in portrayed. That in itself was enough to convince me to read "Florence." The fact that the cover is gorgeous didn't hurt, either! (FYI: Mr. Cho does his own artwork.)
Florence is the fish-out-of-water (IN the water) in this story. It's interesting how insistent she is that she wants to return home, where she's as out of place as she is in the underwater world.
Niemela is beautifully described, and the characters are so full of life. There's one who wears sea snakes! That should tell you something about her personality.
The princes, Kiren and Rolan, both have rich - but very different - personalities. Both are driven, and want what's best for the Niemelans, but they don't agree on what's best.
The writing in this book is very different from Mr. Cho's previous title, showing what a great author he is.