Word Spelunking

Luminaire (Florence Waverley, #2) - Ciye Cho Ciye Cho's Florence, the first book in the Florence Waverly series, left me simply enchanted and mesmerized, so I was very excited to learn that there would be a sequel and I dove right into Luminaire as soon as I got it. And the second volume in this charming mermaid series is, in my opinion, even better than the first (and that's saying something).After the events in book one, Florence Waverly chooses to remain in the mer world of Niemela, but the mer king she loves, Rolan, begins to pull away from her and many of the other mers continue to resent her presence. Florence starts to have dark dreams warning her of a threat only she can defeat, a threat she must defeat to save the people and world she's come to love. To support Yolee, Florence, too, begins life path training and finds herself participating in the dangerous and potentially deadly Life Path tournament where she and her new found friends must use all their training and then some to get out alive.There's nothing more exhilarating and comforting than losing yourself in a fictional world that you've come to love and diving into Luminaire and back into Florence's underwater world was such a fun and fantastic rush. Cho continues to dazzle with his imaginative, vivid, and superbly developed world-building, his endearing characters, enticing romance, and endlessly entertaining story.Like its predecessor, Luminaire is so lushly imagined and crafted. Cho brings his underwater world of Niemela to life in a way that simply sparkles with bursts of palpable colors, sounds, textures, and tastes. There's such a lovely beauty to this underwater world, but also a fascinating and eerie darkness. This already layered world is expanded and explored even more in this volume, as we learn more about its history, customs, and political hierarchy.I really love the whole storyline in this book, with Florence and Yolee entering their respective life path training then participating in the harsh Life Path tournament. The Life Path tournament, with its brutal tests of courage, strength, intelligence, and mere survival, is reminiscent of the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but entirely original and captivating in its own right. This action packed tournament, full of thrills and chills around every corner, under every rock, and through every portal, had me furiously turning pages and left me breathless.But Luminaire isn't all action and mayhem, there's definitely some romance going on between Florence and Rolan. This romance is both incredibly sweet and deliciously frustrating, and completely addicting. I love Florence and Rolan as a pair; they really complement one another. But I definitely love them as individuals as well. Florence continues to be such a relatable and likable heroine. She's special and different, with unique abilities, but she never feels out of reach or unattainable; there's a wonderful genuineness and authenticity to her. Yolee is still a ball of lovable mermaid adorableness and I want to be her BFF. We meet two new mers in this book, the adorkably sweet Wynn and the badgirl Mara, both of which I adore!The books concludes with a highly satisfying ending, but the twists and turns continue to the very last page and the ending definitely left me wanting more (so much more!)MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Luminaire is one of those rare sequels that not only matches its predecessor in awesomeness, but surpasses it. This mer series, with its superbly developed world and stellar storytelling, is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Readers, from tweens looking for a fun, exciting new mer tale to adults simply looking for a fresh, fantastical story to fall into, will love this series. I highly recommend picking up the very affordable Florence then snatching up Luminaire when it releases.

Currently reading

Kendare Blake
Blue Moon
James Ponti
Itch: The Explosive Adventures of an Element Hunter
Simon Mayo
The Real Boy
Erin Mcguire, Anne Ursu
Crest (Ondine Quartet, #3)
Emma Raveling