Today I am welcoming Ciye Cho, author of Florence to my blog! His book is a colorful mermaid tale about a girl named Florence who is kidnapped and taken to Niemela, an underwater mer kingdom. We will start of with the interview, then have the book review!
Welcome to On The Shelf, Ciye and thanks for the interview!
“Florence” was inspired by my obsession with merfolk. Beyond that, marine biology is one of my favorite subjects, and I live quite near the sea–so a lot of things seem to fuel my daydreams about merpeople.
What made you think of making the merpeople so colorful?
I wanted Niemela to be a world of color and wonder. I wanted everything (from the mermaids to the whale blimps) to be super vivid, just like a coral reef. *I love how colorful they are and I like how different it is from the traditional merfolk that just lok half human and half fish.
Florence tells Yolee that her favorite writers are Austen, Gaiman, Verne and Dahl, are these also your favorites?
Gaiman and Dahl are two of my all-time faves!
The Dumbo octopus in the sotry was an interesting sea creature and I had never heard of it before. Did you have to do much research on sea life for this book?
I’m a big fan of nature documentaries, so I watched a lot of David Attenborough’s ocean videos. I also like to read about marine life, so I already had knowledge that I could draw upon.
When I was a teenager, my family and I went to Hamilton Island, and I still remember snorkeling along the coral reefs. The things I saw there have never really left me–the colors, sights, and wonders… all these things helped me create Niemela. *I bet seeing that was incredibly amazing!
The ending was left open, do you plan on writing a sequel?
I’ve actually finished the sequel. It’s going to be released quite soon, and it’s going to showcase Florence Waverley’s search for a life path in Niemela. The sequel has lots of action, conflict, and romance. Nothing is what it seems in Niemela, and Florence’s life is about to be turned upside down all over again. *Can’t wait to read this one, too!
Specific place you like to write?
In my bedroom.
What is your favorite drink to sip on as you write?
I usually drink either water or milk.
Any advice for budding writers? (Myself as well)
Never stop writing. And try different things.
Some random fun fact about you?
I eat 3-4 peanut butter sandwiches every single day. *Wow, I wish I could eat peanut butter sandwiches like that! I love the honey peanut butter
Thanks so much again for stopping by and letting me review Florence!
Thanks for having me!
Alright now onto the review of this incredibly fun mermaid tale!
BN ID: 2940044691117
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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.
This was probably one of the most colorful stories I have ever read. I loved the descriptions of the underwater kingdom. Everything was so bright and lively, and it sounded so beautiful.
I really liked the characters and how colorful they were as well. Florence was a quiet character at first. She didn’t want to bring attention to herself, but that changes when she is brought to Niemela, where her very presence is attention grabbing. She is special somehow and is very strong-willed. A favorite character was definitely Yolee. She was so spunky and adorable, I couldn’t help but to like her.
Some things are not what they seem and you have to be careful who you trust. The story itself was pretty good, but one complaint I have is I never found out why Florence was so special. She could do things that surpised the Niemelans, but we never figure out why she has those abilities. For me, this is a huge hole I wanted filled. When a character is supposed to stand out from the rest, I like to know why, not just say ok, this is how it is.
The book was well-written, though here and there in the last 30 pages, I found a “be” or “is” that was missing. There were a few new words I learned, including one of my new favorites, ersatz, which was my Wordy Wednesday choice a couple of weeks ago.
All in all, I found this book very enjoyable with a beautiful underwater world. I look forward to reading the sequel and maybe finding out why Florence is so special. I definitely recommend this fun read to any mermaid fan!
Colorful, fast read, interesting sea creatures, would like to know more about Florence.