Sunday, 19 April 2015

Florence by Ciye Cho (Young Adult, 9/10E, short 'n' sweet review - in style not length!)

 June 2012, Studio Amazepop, 336 pages, Ebook, Review copy

Content: teen romance, great peril, too many sn*kes, 
Summary from Ciye's website
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.

Nayu's thoughts
Initially I had the original ebook which everyone can buy, but I got to a certain point and had to stop because I knew if there was a lot of sn*ke action I couldn't read the book. When I received Ciye's reply I didn't expect him to go through novel and delete out specific scenes for me, creating a censored version for me. So thank you, Ciye, for helping me be able to read what is a page-turning tale. I really appreciate it.

The grade is pretty much because naturally there were still some sn*ke occurrences, which I managed to skim past, and I had to suspend belief and pretend a lampray is a big fish shaped fish, rather than what it actually is, but that got me through a fair few scenes. As for the rest of the story, wow!

Mermaid stories are fun because who doesn't love mermaids. Although this once focuses mostly on mermen who feature a lot in Florence's life, my heart was stolen by a little mermaid princess who became Florence's friend, Yolee. Florence has to deal with a lot and although a bit overwhelmed by what's going on in life under the sea with no singing lobsters (Disney's Little Mermaid reference), she has lots of courage and by acting on her inner strength she helps create a little chaos, intrigue, and help keep evil at bay (after it comes close to do some danger. I was fascinated by every aspect of life, including the edible clothes, and even when situations were tense there was always something to marvel at, including the small but not insignificant polyp (think that's how it is spelled).

Princess Yolee has such a bubbly personality it was hard when she got rebuked by her family, sometimes for no sensible reason. She wants to know all there is about Florence, she does her utmost to make Florence's life comfy, which is a bit hard when some snake wearing mermaid whose name I don't want to spell from memory has a vendetta against Florence and makes her life hard. Mermaid politics come into power between the two princes, one of whom by the end you will see is a lunatic & the other needs to develop a bit more of the positive attitude which Yolee has in buckets. I think a reason I love Yolee so much is that she is a fun mermaid – I'd have expected Florence to turn into one. She doesn't, but that doesn't mean that she's completely ordinary or useless – she has powers of her own which only begin to surface by the end of the story. I'm awaiting book 2 being censored!

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