Review: Florence by Ciye Cho
Author: Ciye Cho
Series: First book in an as-yet untitled series
Publisher: Studio Amazepop
Publication Date: July 1, 2012
Format/Source: eARC/Received from author for 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. (From Goodreads)
A Great Welcome into the World of Mermaid Books…
I loved The Little Mermaid as a kid. I mean, LOVED it. It remains my favorite Disney movie to this day. I could go into a story about me and my neighbor as children but I’ll refrain. So the point is, I really love mermaids. And for some reason, I had never read a mermaid book until reading Florence. I have plenty on my TBR list, but I just never got around to reading any. So I was really excited when Ciye Cho emailed me and asked me to read and review Florence. I jumped at the chance, and I’m so glad I did, because this was a wonderful book to read as an introduction to the mermaid genre.
Action, Complexity, and Intrigue, Oh My!…
Right from the preface, Cho had me excited and interested in the story and the main character, Florence. I love it when authors start off with a really suspenseful or active scene so that I can just completely become hooked right off the bat.
Plus, another one of my favorite aspects in books – complex characters – was in abundance in Florence. I loved how some of the characters seemed one way at first, and then as the story went on you realized more about them and they did a complete 180! And Cho really went into detail about the backstories of these characters so that you understood why they were that way, rather than just having a character be bad simply to have an antagonist, or having a character who was brooding for no reason.
I also really liked a lot of the characters. I liked Florence for the most part, although I did cringe a bit when she became a typical girl and wondered why a guy could possibly like her. But it kind of worked in this situation because Florence was a human and her love interest was a merman, and the mermaids look very different than humans. And I loved Yolee! She was so cute and funny, and I could completely see her dragging Florence around, showing her all of Niemela!
Worldbuilding and Writing Skills…
I think Florence was really well-written, especially the descriptions of the underwater world of Niemela. One of my favorite descriptions was of a whale with a basket underneath it, with mermaids inside the basket: “The whale and its basket reminded me of a blimp. It traveled at a gentle pace, and I wondered if its commuters were ever late for work. (Sorry boss, the 9:30 whale just would not stop grazing!)” This made me laugh, and I love the idea of the whale being like a blimp that mermaids commute in!
Here are a couple more of my favorite quotes:
- Florence is set in Australia. I am currently loving Australia after watching and obsessing over the show Dance Academy. The author lives in Australia, so I guess it makes sense that the novel is set there, but still, 50,000 bonus points.
- I finally found a book trailer that I like! I normally really do not like book trailers at all. They either ruin the book for me (since I’m such a weirdo about spoilers), or they’re just very cheesy and weird. But Cho’s trailer for Florence is really pretty great! (Go here to check out the trailer: http://florence-books.com/.) 1 million bonus points!