Series: Florence Waverely, #1
Author: Ciye Cho
Pages: 336 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Ciye Cho
Release Date: July 1, 2012
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.
Florence is completely and utterly ordinary. She not only stays under the social radar, but off of it entirely. Then on a school trip to the beach she's kidnapped by a merman who finds her captivating. She's then thrust into the world of the merfolk, where she must find her place, as each citizen has a role to maintain the community. However, she gets mixed up in a battle between the Niemelans and the encroaching Darkness.
The first half of the book is extremely slow, but there's a lot of great world building happening. The author has created a wonderfully colorful world under the ocean. I really enjoyed how each of the merfolk are each a different color and not human looking at all. It was a nice change to have a human brought into the secretive mer world, rather than human-looking merfolk coming to the surface. The descriptions also make it easy to picture Niemela. It's full of sea creatures, beautiful merfolk, and architecture built from kelp, coral, and jellyfish.
Mermaid books have been pretty disappointing to me so far, but I think Florence has been my favorite so far. Not only because the mermaids are not human-like at all, but because the story was just different. I really enjoyed being in the mermaid world rather than in the human world, and I think that made all the difference. The ending is quite open, so I certainly hope there's a sequel!
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