Friday, April 3, 2015

Review: Florence (Florence Waverley #1) 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.

To be honest, the main draw for me when I read the blurb for this book was the love triangle.

In Florence, Florence is a teenager who feels like an outsider in her town. During a class fieldtrip, she is kidnapped by a merman and taken to Niemela. There, she meets the Niemelan royal family and learns about the underwater world. Niemela itself is peaceful, but outside it lurks dangers that Florence can barely fathom.

I don't usually read mermaid books. For some reason, it feels like authors generally struggle with creating a unique take on mermaid legends or making the best use of existing legends. Thankfully, there were some elements and plot twists here that I haven't read about in other mermaid books. Again, I haven't read a lot of mermaid books, so I'm not an expert on this. Perhaps these twists have been done before. Even so, the story and the world of Neimela do feel original as a whole.

The book started off kind of slow for me, and there were moments when I felt descriptions were winding and unnecessary. As the book progressed and I got more and more used to the writing style, though, I started to get into it. By the last 1/6th of the book, I was emotionally invested in Rolan and Florence's relationship, and I was quite curious to see what would happen to Neimela and the Darkness.

As for the love triangle, well, like most love triangles I've read, I immediately saw which pairing was endgame, although you could probably guess that from the blurb too. That's probably why I was meh about the story for most of the book. Well, that and Florence.

Florence had a Bella Swan-ish vibe that didn't endear her to me. I mean, I didn't dislike her as much as I disliked Bella Swan and other similar characters that came after her, but that something in her lessened the effect the book had on me. She doesn't have that quality as much as the others, though, so I was able to tolerate her until it came to the point that I really did actually start to enjoy the story.
While I wasn't a fan of Florence, I think you'll like her if you liked Bella Swan, Cassia from Matched, and quite possibly Nora from Hush, Hush.

Thanks to the author for providing me with an e-copy, in exchange for an honest review.


  1. It's a new take on the mermaid world.
  2. The plot twist at the end was quite interesting.
  3. The biggest hurdle in Rolan and Florance's romance (that isn't Kiren) was a nice touch. 


  1. I wasn't a big fan of Florence. 

Yolee pointed out the others: Haralo, Juren, Piriko... it sounded like she was reading from an Ikea catalogue.

  1. You like mermaid stories.
  2. You don't believe that merpeople necessarily look like humans. 
  3. You like Bella Swan and other similar heroines.



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