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August 6, 2012

REVIEW: Florence by Ciye Cho

Title: Florence
Author: Ciye Cho - Website | Twitter | Facebook
Published: July 1, 2012
Format: Kindle ebook* 336 pages
Rating: 4/5
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.

My thoughts, feelings, and reactions.
Florence by Ciye Cho was a really good book! Although I have only read one mermaid book before this, I believe Florence is unlike any other book I’ve read. The whole concept and world was unique and fresh. It had a great storyline, interesting characters and it had a ton of suspense and action that really drew me in. 

A few pages into the book, the excitement starts to happen with Florence’s kidnapping! From there on, I was pulled into the world of Niemela. Ciye Cho really brought Niemela to life. It’s beautiful, colorful, vibrant and so alluring. It wasn’t difficult to fall in love with such a world full of wonderment. And the mermaids/merman are completely different from any I’ve ever heard about. These creatures are just as colorful as the world they live in and they are truly loyal and fierce to their kingdom. Everything is about order and life paths. There is even a hierarchy within the Niemelans and peace with all animals living there. It’s definitely a unique world. 

Protagonist, Florence Waverley, really had me on the fence about her through parts of the book. In beginning, I had trouble connecting with her because I couldn’t come to terms with the way she isolated herself. At first, she was very withdrawn, dull and just had no spark of life at all and this troubled me. Even through this, I still wanted to know who she was. As the story progressed with the way she adapted life in Niemela, slowly Florence showed personality. I saw a whole new side of her; someone who was brave and stood up for what she felt was right. Countless times she put her life at risk for Niemela and its inhabitants and this really impressed me. Florence showed her strength in her own way. 

I really loved the other characters in the book. My personal favorite was Yolee. She was loud and outgoing. She had such a fun, bright and bubbly personality that had me warming to her immediately. Her youth and full of energy spirit was infectious all around. Kiren seemed like a really nice guy. He was inviting, wondrous and certainly otherworldly. But deep down, I knew something was off and from the start I already felt that he was hiding something and up to no good. Kiren’s brother, Rolan was the most intriguing of them all. Although he was cold, evasive and standoffish when he first appeared, I wanted to know more about him. He really grew on me throughout the book with the way he interacted with Florence. So much of him was kept in the dark and left for the imagination. I really hope to see more of these characters again!

Another wonderful aspect of this book was the mystery surrounding the story, the subtle romance and all the danger and threats Florence faced. Overall, the journey of Florence finding a place where she can flourish and fit in was truly outstanding. 

Mermaid lovers will definitely enjoy this book!

*Thanks to Ciye Cho for sending a copy of this book for review (:

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