July 19, 2012
Florence by Ciye Cho
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
Release Date: July 1st 2012
Pages: 336 (ebook format)
LONG STORY SHORT:
If you should read the book depends on the question of what kinds of books you like to read and how much endurance you have. The world building and the descriptions in Florence were very well done and that certainly is important for a novel that is set almost exclusively under water. Then again, it also pretty much filled the first hundred pages and that was a big flaw to me. The ending of the book was suspenseful, but overall I was not too content with the story.
I received Florence for review from the author and put it on top of my TBR - pile because I'd never read a mermaid book and was really excited about this one. Also, I'd read an excerpt and found the writing style very enjoyable.
The writing really did not disappoint - I loved the detailed descriptions of Niemela and the thoughtful construction of the world and all the animals and how great I could picture the merfolk. No really, if it was just for the world building and also the setting descriptions I would've given the book a whole carton of smarties.
Unfortunately, though, there were quite a few aspects of this novel that I wasn't so excited about. One surprisingly - is the detailed descriptions. It was just too much. I felt like the first one hundred pages of two hundred were nothing but a big picture of Niemela - and while it was beautifully done - it bored me after some time because I had no idea if there was still a story to come or not.
When the story did come it was too late for me. By the time things got suspenseful I was at that point when you just want to be done with the book. Also, due to the amount of words that were spend on setting descriptions in the first part of the book I felt like the reader didn't get to know the main character, Florence, as good. She seemed very "pale" and a bit flat to me.
As I said, the speed picked up in the last fifty pages or so and the plot really went into an interesting direction. Eventually, there was a nice message and a cute little love story that rounded the book and made it a nice, but not breathtaking read for me.
All in all, I'd recommend this book for anyone who doesn't mind a low paced start when there's a well done ending. It's not a must-read but if you're looking for a mermaid book this is a nice one.
RATING: 2 out of 3 Smarties