by Ciye Cho
Plot Summary: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.
Yay mermaid story! Big Disney's The Little Mermaid fan over here, so I was just looking forward to seeing what the mer-people's lives were like!
The set-up for this story is a little slow. Establishing scenes for Florence to show how out of step she is with the human world is mandatory, but hard to drum up any interest for. Thankfully her kidnapping and journey to the depths of the sea comes quickly. But the story still needs to develop and detail the new world of Niemela and the mer-people and it is a lot of information so that it is only in the last third of the book does the action really pick up and grab your attention.
The almost romance that seemed to be developing did not interest me much, but it did take a turn so that I became much more invested in it and in the characters. I almost wish it had come sooner, though I think the pacing was right for this story. The world-building of Niemela was intriguing and well-done, very vivid, and made me want to visit it (though I don't know if I would like eating so much kelp!) And again the last third of the novel is filled with nail-biting suspense as merman politics, scheming evil sea creatures and a budding romance all interplay and characters true selves are revealed. This is a great story with well-rounded characters and a fantastic, exciting denouement.
P.S. Loved how many times they said "part of your world"!
review copy kindly provided by the author