Series: Florence Waverley (Book 1)
Author: Ciye Cho
Published: July 1, 2012
Pages: 336 pages
Source: From author in exchange of 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.
This is the first mermaid book I read (gasp, I know!) and I’m thrilled to say it was a good way to start. Florence is a bright, exciting, and different (at least to me) read. I think it has all the right elements that makes a great YA fantasy book.
Our main character, Florence, is a cool heroine that surprises constantly. She’s not a normal human being as we are led to believe in the beginning of the book. She’s … something else (not sure what right now). But what I am sure is that she’s one brave and smart girl, one that despite being thrown into a completely different world, stands strong and tries to make the best of it. I liked her a lot and it was easy to relate to her as we experience the underwater world together.
The other characters are interesting and unusual (of course they are, they are mermaids!). They are colorful in every sense of the word and so beautiful inside and out once you get to truly know them. Prince Kieran and Prince Rolan stand out from the crowd since they are two of the most important characters in this story. I thought I was going to love Prince Kieran, but then in came Prince Rolan and he wiped Kieran off the list. It’s impossible not to love Rolan once he shows his true colors. He is the kind of cold and mysterious guy that wants to push you away, but you can’t help but feel for him. I’m rooting for him all the way!
The mermaid city, Niemel, is also an astounding and breathtaking place. I liked how it has an admirable working system that promises all its citizens a harmonious life. Each being has their place and knows what to do for their city, wether is to protect it or keep it in check. I wish it were a real place and I could go visit sometime (with the niemelans’ permission, of course).
As for the plot, I thought it was highly entertaining and I loved the twists right in the middle and the end. The author did an excellent job at keeping me on my toes the whole time, and now I’m very curious to what will happen next in the sequel. Lots of things are still to be uncovered and I’m crossing my fingers for another great adventure.