Sunday, October 21, 2012

Florence (review)

2.5/5 stars

As far as paranormal romances go, Florence is unobtrusive and unoffensive.  But it feels just like same-old-same old to me.

Florence is your typical misunderstood loner.  For years she's been "new girl" and nobody really knows or cares about her.  She' invisible to her classmates.  However, everything changes on a school field trip when she's kidnapped by mermaids.

The mermaids take her to be Prince Kiren's familiar, something that is not really explained, but never mind she's deemed inappropriate.  So I guess the whole reason for her abduction doesn't need a real explanation (except I'd really like one).   After a short discussion about disposing of her, the young Princess Yolee begs to keep her as a friend.  With only nominal objections, Florence is allowed to stay in Niemela.

Florence is a special human (haven't we all seen that before?).  She can understand the merpeople's language and commune with animals.  This is never explained or explored in the book.  It's noted as an oddity.  I kept expecting there to be some kind of big reveal but it never materialized.  Florence just knows the language because otherwise the book couldn't exist.

This book is very slow to get to any kind of plot.  The first half of the book is spent introducing us to the undersea world--the brightly colored mermaids, the Oceanarium where everything lives in harmony (which makes me wonder how the carnivore creatures survive) and everything is just sparkly, pretty and idealized.

When the book finally starts getting to the plot, rather than surprise you with twists the book switches point of views and blatantly shows you what's happening in the background.  If the author had saved the twist, choosing to reveal it at a more dramatic moment it could've been interesting.  But it was underwhelming.

The writing is actually not troubling.  There were a few mistakes, and a few thesaurus-happy moments but overall it was pretty readable in that regard.  The problem was the story itself, which was predictable and never really made me care.

Did I mention that this book all takes place in 6 days?  Florence somehow becomes key to the undersea world, is accepted and eventually falls in love with a merman?  For me that's hard to believe.  However I feel like people who like most paranormals (despite their flaws) will enjoy this book well enough.  The book reads quite young so I think the younger fans of paranormal will probably enjoy it.

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