By Ciye Cho
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.
I loved this book. I’ve never really read any books about mermaids, but I was intrigued from the start. I love the sea and used to have saltwater fish tanks, so I felt right at home reading about this world and all the corals and fish present. The descriptions were amazing and breathtaking. I always thought it would be difficult for a human to experience a world of mermaids and merman, but the author puts Florence in this world with no discrepancies. Everything makes perfect sense and Cho weaves the setting beautifully.
I loved Florence’s character. I connected with her right away on the first page. "In fact, there's only one thing I hate about sitting alone at the back of the bus: the stare I sometimes get. Someone will always size me up-- Who is she? Is she supposed to sitting there? Does she belong here?-- and the last thing I want is for anyone to even think these questions. Not when I myself haven't figured them out."
She’s a wallflower, through and through, with no place in the world. Yet she longs to be a part of something without realizing it. As Florence struggles to find her place in Niemala, she grows as a person and makes lasting connections.
This is a beautifully written YA fantasy that took my breath away. The descriptions alone of the world and the culture of the merfolk were stunning.