Blurb (from Goodreads):
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.
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
(Source: I was given a digital copy of this book for free, by the author, on a read-to-review basis.)
17-year-old Florence has lived on Hamilton Island for 4 years since her mother abandoned her, but to her classmates who have lived there all their lives she will be forever ‘the new girl’.
Kidnapped by a merman on a school excursion, Florence is taken beneath water, given a polyp attached to her neck to allow her to breath water rather than air, and presented to Prince Kiren as his new familiar.
The king is livid – no human being belongs in Niemela, and he orders that Florence be detained in the dungeons indefinitely. Fortunately for Florence, the princess Yolee bargains with the king to keep Florence as a pet, and she is saved from the dungeons.
At her first chance of escape, Florence runs (if that’s possible underwater), and finds herself rescued from an underwater volcano by another merman, and then wakes to find herself in a small dome talking to another mermaid who identifies herself as Serillico, and dresses in live water snakes!
Fortunately Yolee comes to Florences rescue once more, although Florence doesn’t think it much of a rescue seeing as Yolee tells her that she won’t have such a bad life in Niemela, and offers to show her around. To all intents and purposes it seems like Florence will not be going home!
Yolee shows her the oceanarium where animals live in harmony with one another and don’t eat each other! Then there is an emergency as a Borgamont (a large starfish) comes out of the darkness and begins to attack the mermen because it can smell something different (Florence). Thankfully the mermen manage to beat the Borgamont, and Yolee then begins to tell Florence about the volcano’s that she encountered earlier, and how dangerous they are.
Things are so different for Florence in Niemela, and she is confused as to whether Niemela might be where she belongs. When Prince Kiren tells her that once he is king he will take her back to the surface, she doesn’t understand his aims. Especially when he tells her that he would prefer she stay with him in Niemela forever… But what are Kiren’s feelings for her? And can a human ever find a purpose in Niemela?
This is an interesting tale. Poor Florence is a bit of a loner in her human world, abandoned by a mother that didn’t want her, and sent to live on a small island with ’uncle’ Jeremiah, where everyone views her as an outsider.
The trip to Niemela is a shock for Florence, and adjusting to life in Niemela is difficult. She finds it difficult to understand the people there, and once again feels that she doesn’t belong, that is until the two princes seem to show an interest in her.
I found that most of this story is devoted to explorations of Niemela, with beautiful descriptions of magical underwater caverns, corals, and sea life. I loved that the mermaids and mermen were all such different colours, and how beautiful they were, and it was obvious that the author knew quite a bit about sea-life too.
I found the ideas of the merfolk quite fairy-tale-ish, the whole business of everyone living in harmony, with even the animals not eating one another was very difficult to swallow, purely because it is so unrealistic, and ultimately unnatural! I personally could never have lived in Niemela, the whole thing about people only being given clothes and personal space if they needed it? Terrible! I could never live that way! I think everyone needs a little privacy at some point!
I was quite wary of the mer-people and their intentions. As the king wanted to immediately sentence Florence to death just for being there immediately made me wary, and even when the princes were being nice to her I questioned their intentions. I was quite surprised by the way the story ended though!
Overall; a tale about a human girl in a beautiful mermaid world.
7 out of 10.
Interview with the Author,
When did you start writing?
I started writing Florence a little over a year ago. What was your inspiration Florence? I've always wanted to present my own spin on mer mythology, and I wanted to show something different. Something vivid, colorful, and mysterious. What three words would you use to best describe Florence (the book)? Vivid Merfolk Wonderama
What are your favourite things about Florence (the character)? I like that she's an outsider who is forced to break out of her shell. I also like that she ends up with an ability to communicate to animals. I need that! Can you tell us if you are working on anything else? The sequel to Florence. Other than your own, what are your favourite books? My all-time faves are The Little Prince, Alice in Wonderland, and the Wizard of Oz. What is your favourite place to read/write? My bedroom. Random Questions – What’s your favourite treat? Peanut butter and banana sandwiches. They're awesome. If you won the lottery what would you most look forward to spending the money on? I'd start a sanctuary for sea animals. Think Shambala... but in the ocean. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? The USA. I've been obsessed with American culture ever since I was a little kid!
Thanks so much To Ciye Cho for stopping by the blog,
and for making this giveaway possible!
a Rafflecopter giveaway --