Friday, February 13, 2015

Book Review: Florence by Ciye Cho

Title: Florence
Author: Ciye Cho
Series: The Florence Waverly Series
Publisher: Self
Date of Publication: July 2012

Book Synopsis:

"Seventeen-year-old Florence Waverley is out of her depth. Literally. Kidnapped and brought down to Niemela--the hidden world of mermaids and mermen--Florence is the ultimate gift for Prince Kiren: a human familiar tied to his side. But nothing is what it seems amid the beauty and danger of the 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:

I received a copy of Florence in exchange for my honest opinion of it.  The views are entirely my own.

I have never been a huge mermaid fan, although, I have never really read that many mermaid stories either.  So I was willing to get out of my comfort zone and try something that I don't normally gravitate to, in the case of this interesting new read.
The cover first caught my eye before I even read down to the blurb.  It is absolutely beautiful!  I love the colors: green, golden orange, aquamarine.  Honestly, I am a huge fan of the colors of the sea but not of the actual sea.  I know!  It doesn't make any sense, right?  But I can't swim.  Yep, I am a thirty-something woman who can't swim.  So I have never really been a beach person.
I always wanted to see the adventure and beauty of the beach and ocean, but the fear always seemed to lurk behind me, keeping me far away.
Glancing at the cover of Florence,  I see the beauty now.  The colors compliment each other so well and the rendering of Florence is the visual equivalent of the beauty that  the ocean has beneath the waves.
So yeah the cover actually made me have to read this story.  But the blurb did get me a little excited too.
The world building is magical, to say the least.  The author has a true talent for painting a beautiful life like picture in our minds, whether it is a beach in Australia or a fantasy world under the ocean.  The descriptions of land of Niemela are so realistic, I still think that there might be a real Mer world near Australia.
You can tell that the author, Cho, has an immense love for art, visual and literary.  It shows in this wonderful story.
Of course, the world building isn't the only thing that is great about this book.
Our main character, Florence, is adorable.  The first few pages I fell in love with her so strongly because I seen myself in her.  I remember being in high school and feeling like I was on the outside looking in.  Right then, I knew that I was going to be an advocate for Florence through this story book adventure.
The characters are pretty complex and we see growth for each of the characters throughout the book.  But the best growth we see is what Florence finds when she looks within herself.

And then of course the plot is also done very tastefully too.  At first, we are led to believe this is  love triangle between the two brothers and Florence; but it is much more than that.  In fact, I believe it is more than just a love story.  Its more about  finding yourself and loving the person you find there.

I really enjoyed Florence.  It had just the right amount of romance but with a huge pack of action too.  The characters have this surreal beauty to them that portrays danger and yet  a calmness too.    I was whisked away with the plot lines as Florence tries to find a place among a world of mer people, all the while trying to find a place within herself too.

I am glad that I was asked to review this story because I now have found another series that I am in love with.  And Florence has opened my eyes to an exciting new world of mermaid folklore in new ways.

I challenge anyone who thinks Mermaid stories are not their cup of tea to definitely read this book.  It is a surprisingly light and fun read that will transport you to another world under the ocean.  But it will also change your views on the Mer folklore out there.

Get your own copy at:

Amazon| Barnes & Noble |

Connect with Ciye Cho:

Website | Twitter| Goodreads |

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