Before I get into my raving review about this book, you guys have to check out this beautiful trailer. So courtesy of Ciye Cho, author of Florence. Florence is set to release next Sunday on July 1st. Check out the trailer and then check out my ARC review. Enjoy!
Check out the sample chapters here! Preface to Chapter 13!
Author: Ciye Cho
Format: ePub (eARC)
Release Date: July 1, 2012
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads
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
I was given the opportunity to review this book by the author himself. I love the idea of a YA paranormal mermaid story because it is very new to me. And now after reading this, I want to find more like it. Everything about this book is just stunning, from the cover to the imagery inside. I am in love. This was an absolute joy.
Our main character Florence is a shy girl who keeps to herself. Everyone seems to forget about her or overlook her from her peers ro her nonexistent mother (who obviously needs a reality check). One day while on a field trip to the beach to study the ocean life, Florence runs into something that is very much impossible. A merman. And that merman has kidnapped her and carried her to a different world deep in the ocean named Niemela. Florence soon realizes that she isn't having a nightmare. She is in a new and colorful world full of merpeople who all believe that she has no right being amongst them. Florence is slowly learning about the world except for who she should trust and that is the most devastating thing of all.
What a perfect summer read this was. I ate this book up very quickly. It is quite the page-turner. The world Cho created was just beautiful. So bright, colorful and larger than life. I couldn't help but think about Finding Nemo. This isn't a children's story really, but all those colors and amazing creatures were amazing. My brain had lots of fun imagining this world. Definitely something that will stick with me. Incredible worldbuilding.
I love all the various characters in the book. Florence is a great lead. I love that after learning that she isn't dreaming and can't escape, she really tries learning about the world and the situation she is in. I love the mermaid Yolee, well Princess Yolee. If not for her, I am not sure what would have happened to Florence. She takes Florence under her wing even though Florence is older (and with permission from the king). I love how they click and how much they learn from each other. They were alike in many ways. They both want to belong somewhere and they look out for each other. The whole problem with Florence in Niemela is that she doesn't seem to fit in their just like she didn't fit on land. And without Yolee, I think they both would have been quite lost.
Yolee's brothers, however, were the main thing about this book. You have Kiren, who is the younger prince and is set to be king. Florence was kidnapped for his coronation as a human familiar (which is unheard of). And him and Florence immediately hit it off. Then you have the older brother Rolan who pushes Florence away and doesn't seem to want Florence in Niemela. But you soon realize that both brothers aren't what they seem. But the romance isn't the main story. This is a Young Adult book and it is more about discovery more than anything. Florence is confused about her feelings about the brothers, but it isn't a love triangle (thank God) and again, there is more than what meets the eye.
I absolutely adored this story. I love the idea of the Darkness. Niemela's greatest enemies come from the Darkness. A place below Niemela that is home to the biggest and dangerous creatures in the ocean. And they seem to be making an appearance a little too often. I love the monsters Cho used. This book is full of adventure and amazing monsters. I was really on the edge of my seat throughout this book. It all starts with Kiren and him wanting a human familiar. I love how the plot develops as to why he wants to actually bring a human into his world and it adds a whole other layer to this incredible story. Now there are secrets and lies about but I can't say because it is a spoiler. Just know they pile up high in the book and really add to the mystery of this book. Truly didn't see any of that coming. Now the ending does leave you asking a few questions, but that only makes me anxious for more. There is a lot more to this story and I want to know what it is now. Cho, you are killing me!
Cho goes into a lot of detail about the world of Niemela and I liked it a lot. It made it easy to imagine and like I said, very beautiful. This will look very nice in my favorites list for sure. It is a fantasy I was very glad to be lost in. I am so enchanted and in love. And again, merpeople is a first for me. So I hope to find other works like this and hope they will be just as spellbinding as this book. I love how this ended and I love that there will be more. Just thinking about it has me jittery. Highly recommended. Don't miss this book! Thank you so much Ciye Cho!
*This book belongs to the following challenges*
BCC's 100 Years In A Year Reading Challenge 2012BCC's Speculative Romance Challenge 2012
BCC's Horror & Urban Fantasy Reading Challenege 2012
BCC's Horror & Urban Fantasy Reading Challenege 2012