Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Review: Greta and the Goblin King

Title: Greta and the Goblin King
Author: Chloe Jacobs
Publication date: December 11, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Source: library

Rating: 5 stars

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While trying to save her brother from a witch’s fire four years ago, Greta was thrown in herself, falling through a portal to Mylena, a dangerous world where humans are the enemy and every ogre, ghoul, and goblin has a dark side that comes out with the eclipse. 

To survive, Greta has hidden her humanity and taken the job of bounty hunter—and she’s good at what she does. So good, she’s caught the attention of Mylena’s young goblin king, the darkly enticing Isaac, who invades her dreams and undermines her will to escape. 

But Greta’s not the only one looking to get out of Mylena. An ancient evil knows she’s the key to opening the portal, and with the next eclipse mere days away, every bloodthirsty creature in the realm is after her—including Isaac. If Greta fails, she and the lost boys of Mylena will die. If she succeeds, no world will be safe from what follows her back..

My first thought when I was reading this book was: "This is.... a debut novel?!"

Because it was flipping fantastic.

 You know how sometimes you read a book and you just love it so much and you want everyone to read it and fall in love with it? That's how I felt about Greta and the Goblin King.

The characters:
Greta is officially my new favorite heroine. She is a badass and I loved her for it.

"She needed to remember this moment. Not the fear or the loneliness- although those feelings were strong enough to tear her apart inside- but the anger. That was something she could use, it would give her strength."

Four years in the harsh world of Mylena has turned Greta into a tough-as-nails bounty hunter who can go head to head with just about any goblin/fairy/gnome. Greta reminded me a lot of Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy series in that she too was a wonderful mixture of strength and sarcasm. But, like Rose, Greta also had heart. She cared even when she didn't want to, when she knew better, and it was obvious that she was the type of person who would do anything and everything for the people she cared about.

Speaking of the people Greta cares about..... Isaac. The young goblin king.
Le swoooon.
In my mind, goblin is not synonymous with hot, but Chloe Jacobs has convinced me otherwise! Isaac and Greta have a fairly rocky history of lies and deception but their chemistry is off the charts. I loved that they kept pushing each others' buttons, challenging one another, and their occasional back-and-forth snark certainly doesn't hurt. ;)
There's hint at a possible love triangle in the next book, which brings me to my next point....

The human boys. These are kids and teenagers stranded in a foreign and dangerous land and, against all odds, they have managed to survive. Led by Wyatt (the potential other love interest), these boys have become a family. I loved them. From adorable little Jacob to tough, angry Ray to responsible golden boy Wyatt, I loved each and every one of them.

I'm not worried about there being a love triangle--in fact, I'm kind of looking forward to it (shocking words, I know!) because all three characters are so well-developed and none of them are present just for the sake of creating romantic conflict. I think this story has the potential for a really well-written love triangle, albeit possibly heart-wrenching because I love both boys very much.

The plot/setting:
This is YA fantasy done right. The world-building was great, the pacing was impeccable, and the adventure was riveting. The action starts pretty much from the very first page and keeps my attention for the rest of the book. Background information about the world of Mylena and how Greta got there was given as the book progressed in a way that didn't disrupt the flow of the story which was something I really appreciated.

Oh, and did anyone else realize see the influences of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale in this story?? I wouldn't necessarily classify this book as a direct fairy tale retelling, but Chloe Jacobs definitely took some of the basic elements of the Hansel and Gretel tale and spun it into a completely unique and captivating story. When I realized the connection, it was like:

All in all:
Sigh. Guys. I really loved this book! I gobbled it up and I can't stop going back and re-reading bits of it over and over. I really need that second book. If you like fantasy, adventure, general epicness, and a seriously awesome heroine, then you really need to go pick this book up. 

Oh, and the romance was great too... you know.... if you're into that kind of thing.  ;)

Cover Reveal: Frigid

Title: Frigid
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout (as J. Lynn)
For twenty-one-year-old Sydney, being in love with Kyler isn't anything new. They'd been best friends ever since he pushed her down on the playground and she made him eat a mud pie. Somewhere over the years, she fell for him and fell hard. The big problem with that? Kyler puts the 'man' in man-whore. He's never stayed with a girl longer than a few nights, and with it being their last year in college, Syd doesn't want to risk their friendship by declaring her love.

Kyler has always put Syd on a pedestal that was too high for him to reach. To him, she's perfect and she's everything. But the feelings he has for her, he's always hidden away or focused on any other female. After all, Kyler will always be the poor boy from the wrong side of tracks, and Syd will always be the one girl he can never have.

But when they're stranded together at a posh ski resort due to a massive Nor'easter, there's nothing stopping their red-hot feelings for each other from coming to the surface. Can their friendship survive the attraction? Better yet, can they survive at all? Because as the snow falls, someone is stalking them, and this ski trip may be a life-changer in more ways than one.

Frigid will be available in digital formats on July 30th 2013
Print release of Frigid will be November 5th 2012
Add it on goodreads!

My thoughts:
I'm so excited for this!! JLA writes some of the swooniest characters and scenes.

About the author:

J. Lynn, also known as Jennifer L. Armentrout, is a # 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author. She lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russel Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Review: Scarlet

Title: Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publication date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Source: bought

Rating: 5 stars

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Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

It’s no secret that Scarlet has been one of my most anticipated reads of 2013. I bought this book the week it came out but forced myself to wait because I didn't want to plow through and then face the agonizing one-year wait before the next one.

Ye-ah that self-imposed wait did not last very long.

And now that I’ve finished Scarlet, you have NO idea how hard it is to write a coherent review when all I want to do is flail my arms and fangirl about the book. Because it. Was. SO GOOD.

Sorry, couldn't resist some flailing...

In this retelling, Scarlet (our Little Red) has traded in her cape for a functional hoodie and her basket of goodies for a handgun. One that she is not afraid to use, I might add. This girl is a badass. Not to mention tough and stubbornly determined to find her grandmother, no matter who stood in her way. I found Scarlet to be a tougher and more fiery character than Cinder, and I ended up loving her just as much.

 And speaking of characters that I loved....
Wolf. What can I say about Wolf except

He's definitely not what I expected of a Big Bad Wolf incarnation. He was... shy. And quiet. And very adorable. Well. When he's not being an deadly fighter, that is. I can't even find the words to describe him because all I want to do when I think about Wolf is
I'm sorry. I just have a thing for fictional characters...

(I'd highly recommend reading The Queen's Army before Scarlet because it's going to provide a lot more back story to Wolf's character.)

Cinder's adventure is continued in this book and picks up soon after her arrest at the Ball. She manages to escape from prison with the unlikely help from a fellow prisoner, one Captain Carswell Thorne, flirtatious American pilot. Thorne provided some much appreciated comic relief throughout the story, and OH MY GOODNESS, you guys, I am 95% sure he's going to be the love interest featured in the next book! *Squeeeeeee*  >___<

As interested as I was by Scarlet's story, I was still riveted by Cinder's journey. Slowly, she is learning more about her newfound Lunar abilities as well as her past as Princess Selene. Watching Cinder explore her Lunar gift was awesome. I think it'll only be a matter of time before Queen Levana should head for the hills! (Fingers crossed).

Kai's story is continued in Scarlet as well. There weren't enough scenes to fully satisfy my Kai cravings (and don't even get me started on how much it's killing me that he and Cinder are not together!!) but there were just enough moments to keep me appeased. In the glimpses throughout the book, you see him dealing with Levana in the aftermath of Cinder's escape and his own conflicting emotions towards New Beijing's best mechanic.... Basically the result is me in utter agony. Especially after the way this book ended! I swear, Marissa Meyer is trying to kill me with all this anxiety. Evil, evil author.....(just kidding).

If I thought Cinder was amazing (and it totally was) then Scarlet basically took all the awesomesauce that went into writing Cinder and upped the ante, taking readers from the sweet innocence of the Cinderella retelling to a darker and grittier story. The alternating POVs in this story were handled incredibly well, and the way in which Cinder and Scarlet's arcs converged was flawless. Like a puzzle whose pieces are falling together, I'm starting to see how all these different fairytales are interconnected and it is kind of blowing my mind!

All in all:

For the love of all that is good and holy, I need that next book. I can't even bring myself to start another book because my head is still wrapped up in the world of the Lunar Chronicles, yearning to know what happens next. MARISSA MEYER, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Top Ten Books I HAD to Buy but Still Haven't Read

1. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Ahahahaha..... this book has literally been on my shelf for months.
On the bright side, I won't have to wait a whole year for the next book, right? Which... ironically is also sitting on my shelf, untouched.

2. Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
Lol, haven't read The Son of Neptune either! I blame tumblr for this because it's already spoiled the ending of MoA for me.

3. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Sometimes I feel like I'm the only blogger who hasn't started this series.... I'm not, right? 

4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Shame on me for not reading this, I know! I'm not even going to try and explain. I will just go put on the cone of shame...

5. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
I got this on sale a while back, but I haven't really been in the mood for any New Adult lately. 

6. Slammed by Colleen Hoover
OKAY WAIT, I've technically started this! That.... has to count for something right? It's a good book (from what I've read), but my friend spoiled some of the major plot points for me so now I'm just not very motivated to read it. I will though, I promise!

7. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
 And while I'm on the topic of this series, I might as well add that I have Days of Blood and Starlight just waiting on my shelf as well.

8. Easy by Tammara Webber
Like I said, I'm just not in a new adult mood. I can very fickle like that.

I've been hearing a lot about the infamous and blush-worthy chapter 62 (it is 62, right?) and I'm actually excited to see how Warner wins everyone over in this book.... but Juliette's character also really annoys me.... so there's that.

10. Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder
I rushed to buy this because I loved Touch of Power, but it's been gathering dust on my shelf for a couple months.... 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Review: Seeds of Wither

Title: The Seeds of Wither (The Chemical Garden #1.5)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publication date: November 15, 2011
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Rating: 5 stars

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Discover the world author Lauren DeStefano created in Wither, a riveting dystopian thriller. In the not-so-distant future, fallout from genetic engineering causes all females to die at age twenty, and all males to die at twenty-five. Kidnapped from her home and torn from her twin brother Rowan, sixteen-year-old Rhine is forced into a polygamous marriage and taken to live in her husband’s mansion. She has everything she wants—except for freedom. But her plans to escape and return home are complicated by a devious father-in-law, as well as Rhine’s growing attraction to Gabriel, a servant who works on the estate. Read the first 100 pages of Wither and be captivated by Rhine’s journey.

This eBook sampler includes an exclusive, never-before-published short story by Lauren DeStefano. “The First Bride” reveals the events leading up to Wither, from the point of view of the bride that came before Rhine.

Don't get this for the samples of Wither or Fever. The real gem of this ebook is the short story told from Rose's point of view.

The First Bride is one of those short stories that I wish the author would write an entire book about. Rose was a character that I really liked in Wither, despite her short appearance, and after getting a peek into her head, hearing her narration, I've decided she just might be my favorite character in the series. She was a strong character who has been through multiple emotional trials. In the face of death, she chose dying with dignity even though that wasn't what others wanted for her.
I found the evolution of her relationship with Linden really interesting.

"While I had made up my mind that we would be enemies, it was hard to be hateful once I first saw him. Wiry and round-eyed, he was as frightened of me as I had prepared to be of him."

Personally, I love Linden and Rose together. They're such a good pairing. In Wither, I read about their love story but now I actually got to see it unfold.
Rose's protectiveness of Linden.
Her worry for what would happen to him after she dies.
And Linden's determination to keep her alive.

This short story left me hungering for chapters devoted to learning more about Rose and her relationship with Linden. More than anything though, it struck a chord in me with the big What If? What if things in this dystopian world had been different and these two could have had less tragic ending? This story, short as it was, made me yearn for change and ache for its characters.

"Here on Earth, living is the highest honor we humans can imagine. Death is the enemy, even if it's the only voice of reason."

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dark Genesis Blog Tour: Q&A + Giveaway

As part of the blog tour for Dark Genesis, I got the lucky opportunity to interview the author and bring you guys a super awesome giveaway!

Hi David, and thanks for making time for this interview! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My pleasure, Joie!  I grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis, and graduated from college with a B.A. in English and creative writing from St. Cloud State University.  I moved to the Milwaukee area about seven years ago, and that’s where I am currently, where I’m surrounded by books for my day job!

Where did you get the idea for your book, Dark Genesis?
I grew up reading hundreds of YA books, and there’s such a variety of forms of magic in novels and in movies, that I thought it would be cool to have a world where witches are separated into covens by the magic they use (astral projection, runes, pyrokinesis, etc). And years ago, my boyfriend and I talked about creating a comic book where a group of people travel to a world populated by monsters, so I sort of merged the two ideas into this one cool story.

(J: So. Dang. Cool.)

Did you learn anything from writing your book? If so, what is it?
To just have fun with my writing and not get too bogged down with particulars.  I did a massive rewrite after the first draft just because I got stuck on the idea of an arbitrary number of villains I came up with before I started writing.  I cut a lot out of the story and reworked it to focus more on the characters and the important aspects of the story that I wanted to tell.

If Dark Genesis were made into a movie, what would your dream cast be?
Naya Rivera (Santana on Glee) for Alyssa, Ian Somerhalder (Vampire Diaries) for Parker, Emma Roberts (Scream 4) as Vessa, Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number Four) for Eric, and Angelina Jolie as The Ice Queen.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I’m a huge film buff, so I watch lots of movies, especially horror movies, and I’m an avid reader of YA as well as graphic novels.  I also enjoy jogging and getting sucked into some Real Housewives drama from time to time.

Which books/authors have influenced you the most?
I grew up with great admiration for L.J. Smith and Christopher Pike, so they are definitely the two key authors that have inspired me in my writing.  “The Vampire Diaries” and “Night World” in particular pushed me down the road to loving the paranormal.

Think fast! If you had to describe Dark Genesis in just three words, what would they be?
What makes identity.

Lightning round!
Ebook or paper book? 
Ebook.  I find myself reading at night most often, and it’s just easier to have an ereader in bed.

Early bird or night owl?  
Definitely a night owl.  I barely get any writing done while it’s still light out.

Tea or coffee?  
Tea.  My drink of choice is a London Fog, which is a mixture of Earl Grey Tea, milk and vanilla flavor.

Music when you write or no?  
Definitely.  Music probably inspires me more than anything.

Favorite genre to read?  
Probably horror.  I like being scared, and I think that being in horrible circumstances forces a character’s true colors to surface, and interesting things can happen.

Thanks so much for taking the time for this interview! Don't forget to check out Dark Genesis and add it on goodreads, and keep reading for a giveaway!

Dark Genesis
Publication date: March 18, 2013

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Alyssa opened her eyes to darkness. And in the first flash of light provided by a gathering storm, she could make out a ring of bodies surrounding her.

With no memory of who she is, Alyssa stumbles into a dark world populated by witches. The witches are powerful, and demonstrate frightening powers, but even more terrifying are the monsters who rule over the land. Vampires, werewolves and other awful creatures of the night have taken over, forcing the witches behind stone walls, afraid to venture outdoors. But Alyssa finds that as she kills certain monsters, memories return to her, memories of a life on Earth, and the boy she left behind.

The quest to collect her memories and piece together the puzzle of what has happened to her is a daunting one, with betrayals and sacrifices every step of the way. But Alyssa is determined to fight for a world that is not her own, destroying powerful monsters along the way, so that she can return home to the boy she is coming to love through the memories she recollects.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Dracian Legacy Blog tour- deleted scene + giveaway

I'm super excited to have a stop on the Dracian Legacy blog tour, and today, I'm bringing you guys a special treat.

Dracian Legacy by Priya Kanaparti
Published February 14, 2013
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Ren and Axel are caught between two powerful magical races: one destined to end the bloodshed, the other out for vengeance. 

Seventeen-year-old Ren Pernell is prophesied to end the war between the Dracians and the Telalians. So when a Dracian, Axel Knight, is sent to find and bring back the prophesied one before she turns eighteen and Telalians discover of her existence, unexpected sparks start to fly between the two. Once Ren finds the truth behind Axel’s arrival, she wants everything to do with him and nothing to do with his mission.

Things prove to become difficult as Ren’s life is constantly threatened by the Goarders, humans who sold their souls, a Proxy Succubi, and the leader of the Telalians, who has been searching for her as well. 

With the clock ticking and Ren’s life in jeopardy, it is no longer just a mission for Axel. It becomes a personal endeavor to save the only one he’s ever loved. In a heart racing ending, they must find a way to evade the preordained war that won’t also end Ren’s life.
And now for the scene!


Deleted Scene Chapter 25 –
Plane ride over to Chicago.

      I’d never been a fan of a flying. You’re doing this for Pey, I told myself. At least I got the window seat after winning the wrestling match against Dean. It wasn’t much of a fight when he realized the girl he would be snuggling next to for the next four hours was a Barbie Doll.
      Oh, she had the whole package. Perfect hair, the long dark batting eyelashes, big… chest.
      “Wow, I hope I don't get too jet lagged.” Barbie twirled her brown silky hair glancing at Dean.
      “Oh, where are you traveling?” Dean asked intrigued.
      “Chicago,” Barbie squeaked.
      “Okay, are you flying into Chicago from a different continent or something?” Dean raised a questioning eyebrow.
      “No... why? I live in Chicago.” She puffed up her upper body and leaned in toward Dean, giving him full view of her assets.
      I stifled a giggle.
      “Well, you said you hoped you don't get jet lagged… so I thought maybe Chicago was just a layover or...”
      “Oh, well that's because of the hour time zone difference between Chicago and Boise.”
      This time I faked a cough, trying to hide my laughter. Dean looked my way rolling his eyes.
      Nice! I mouthed to him.
      Once we landed, I shuffled into the aisle, grabbed bags and waited patiently for the doors to open. I somehow managed to get right behind Dean as Barbie attempted to flirt her way into Dean’s pants.
      “So, how about we hook up.” She ran her perfectly manicured finger down Dean’s chest, biting her lip suggestively. “What’s your number?” She looped her finger into the buckle loop of his jeans and tugged him flush against her.
      Wow, people actually do that with strangers?
      Dean hesitated.
      So I supplied his number. She turned toward me with a who the hell are you? look. I could tell she wanted to burn me alive, by the way she glared at me. I think I might have felt a flicker of heat against my skin. Not so good.
      I put up my hands like I was submitting to her wrath. “Oh, I’m not his girlfriend. As a matter of fact, he’s single.” I grinned at her. I yelped in pain when I felt a sharp pain on my waist. I stuck my tongue out at Dean.
      Once we’ve found out way to the hotel we were staying at, Dean cornered me, while the rest continued on their merry way.
      “What the hell was that for? You giving out my number.”
      “I was just trying to help my best friend.” I playfully pushed him with my index finger and Dean leaned into my personal space. He was close. Too close. “Plus, I thought Barbie’s efforts deserved your number.”
      “I don’t need help,” he snapped and walked away.
      What crawled up his ass?


But wait, that's not all! As you might have read from the title, there's also a super awesome giveaway, courtesy of Priya. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure you check out the previous stop featuring a review by Sab the Book Eater, today's second stop at Young Adult and Teen Readers, and tomorrow's stops at Reading What I'm Reading and Book Reviews and More.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Guest Post: Confessions by Shanae Branham

by Shanae Branham,author of the young adult techno-thriller novel, DiSemblance

I once heard it said that as fiction writers on some subconscious level we write the truth as we perceive it. If it were not so, then no one could relate to our prose. If this is true, then why is my supporting female character, Boston, so vulnerable?
I guess I would have to say that I felt very vulnerable as a teenager. On more than one occasion, I had to “physically” fight off a boyfriend’s unwanted advances. Instead of feeling triumphant and victorious with my efforts to successfully free myself, I felt alone and dejected. I wondered why no one would fight for me. Where was my white knight in shining armor? This subconscious yearning to have someone protect me found its voice in DiSemblance.

            Jason swung around hard, striking Todd in the shoulder. The boy cried out and sank to his knees in the wet grass. Jason’s next swing passed within a hair’s breadth of Raoul’s right ear.
The moment Ricky was off her, Boston scooted to the center of the merry-go-round. Suddenly, the rain stopped and the clouds parted. Jason bounded onto the vibrating device and positioned himself between her and her assailants. “Leave her alone!” he commanded.

About the author:
I am a professional writer with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a minor in grammar. I have also attended several years of classes and workshops in screenplay writing at the Los Angeles Screenplay writer’s Expo. 

I love suspense thrillers and am a master at plot and character development. I enjoy stories with happy endings. I promise all my readers that when they put one of my books down or walk away from one of my movies, they will be enthused with excitement and joy. This does not mean there will not be some sad parts, because you have to feel the bitter in order to understand the sweet.

About the book:

Published August 20, 2012 by CreateSpace
Jason Tanner lives between two worlds. Problem is, only one is real.

As a computer prodigy, Jason has spent his life with limited social contact due to his father’s secretive work on a hologram machine that can create digital immortality. When his father is murdered and framed as the Comfort Killer, Jason is targeted as the killer’s new fall guy. Having spent much of his youth living in the virtual world his father created, he must now go on the run if he is going to save himself, his brother, and the beautiful girl next door.

"…DiSemblance was a very different kind of read for me - I haven’t really read anything quite like it before (and I mean that in the best possible way)! It’s almost as if the author took a futuristic-thriller movie and put it into words - making it a great choice for both the guys and the gals!"  
-The Y.A. Bookworm Blogger

“The characters of Jason and Isaac are … cool enough to rise to the occasion … making readers feel like they are rooting for real young men.” 
   -Jill Allen, Clarion Review     

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Review: Florence

Title: Florence  (Florence Waverly #1)
Author: Ciye Cho
Publication date: June 28, 2012
Source: author

Rating: 4 stars

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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.

Ever since I read a rather poorly written mermaid book a couple of years ago, I've been avoiding the whole mer-people subgenre. Yeah, it was that traumatizing. But after reading an excerpt of Florence, I just couldn't stop. I needed to read the entire book.

And I'm so glad that I did because this story totally restored my faith in mermaid books.

First off, let's talk about Florence. I loved Florence. She was such a strong and brave character, but her strength didn't come from charging into the unknown and doing crazy, dangerous things. It was a quiet strength that wasn't very apparent at first, but as she is tested again and again by the reality of a mermaid civilization, it is impossible not to see how strong Florence is as she adjusts to being away from everything she's known and doesn't let it break her. Florence is a wallflower, but she's also loyal and insanely brave.  I really enjoyed seeing those latter qualities manifest over the course of this novel.

As for Rolan and Kiren. Sigh. HOW do I even begin to describe these two mermen who have both stolen a piece of my heart?? I think what I loved most about them was their character development, their various layers, and how they both had story arcs independent of Florence's. There is a lot more to the princes than meets the eye. Rolan is stoic and cold, but underneath all that you discover his protective and gentle nature. Kiren is the golden boy, seemingly care-free and always cheerful, but underneath that is a guy with his own troubles. Reading the synopsis, I had expected the princes to each be one side of a love triangle so I was very pleasantly surprised when I discovered that the relationships between the three was much more complex.

I don't want to give too much information about Niemela away, but the world building in this book was phenomenal. Ciye Cho's writing has created this vivid and colorful underwater civilization that is just beautiful!

All in all: This was such a good story! Florence's narration pulled me in from the first chapter and Rolan and Kiren the merfolk of Niemela kept me enraptured for the rest of the book. The ending just about killed me and I can't wait to see what happens next.


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