Book Review: Luminaire

Luminaire (Florence Waverly #2)
Published By: Ciye Cho
Publication Date: November 2012
Page Count: 250
Buy it at Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Author
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy, Mermaids

I’m not sure what went wrong here for me. Luminaire took me a long time to read. Perhaps it was a mixture of being tired and less engaged this time around in the series, but I found myself pushing to finish this one.
Luminaire picks up after Florence, with relatively few wrinkles. Prince Kiren is gone, now Rolan is King and Florence is his... well, she doesn’t know. She acts as his luminaire for the coronation, and brings light to the ceremony, symbolizing their affiliation, and Rolan certainly made her think he was interested in her, but then he became a real cold fish after he was crowned. (A bad pun for a merman, but I had to!) All Florence has to do all day is follow Princess Yolee around, deal with being the outsider human, and try to make her life below the sea make sense.
In the first book of the series, named after the heroine, Florence recalled her life above the waves as being less than exciting, with few people who loved her really. Still, through this book I found it unsettling that she would be so happy to transition to a life with mer people and not look back. I also found it hard to deal with the cross-species nature of her relationship with Rolan. Her breathing polyp serves her well below the waves, but still... the biology also didn’t match up enough for me this time. Lungs just can’t ventilate water, no matter how much you want them too, and the idea of her being able to cough up a lungful of water, then breath air normally for a while made me roll my eyes gratuitously.
At times I found the pace very slow, and then at about halfway through the novice mer people find themselves thrust into the ‘life path maze’ which is a series of trials that they must overcome to qualify as an adult. The action barely let up from this point on, and I found it all a bit much at times. This maze makes the maze from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire look like a walk in the park. It is full of horrendous creatures, evil mermidors and hugely dangerous tasks. I found it ridiculous that a rite of passage would have such a heavily stacked deck towards the doom of the youngsters. Clearly there was someone evil at work... and one such comedy villain did spring to mind. I felt like shouting “he’s behind you” at several points, but no one else seemed to realize the villain’s game.
I won’t spoil the ending, or reveal more of the plot, but I was left with an overwhelming feeling that this installment stretched the idea too far for me, and I wished that I had left the series after the first book. I feel like that would make a very good stand alone novel, and it didn’t need following up with another two books. I am going to part ways with the series now while I still think fondly of the heroine, her merman boyfriend and the kingdom of Niemela.

Being the only human in a world of merfolk... isn't easy. Florence Waverley chose to stay in Niemela, but things have gone awry. Secrets have risen and the prince she cares about has pulled away. All the while, dark dreams warn her of a tragedy that only she can stop. But in order to save the merman she loves, Florence will have to enter the Life Path tournament: a brutal test of fear and madness.

The tournament is a rite of passage--a maze where young mermaids and mermen battle to find their purpose. It is also a place where Florence will face grave danger: mermaids with evil magic, tunnels filled with sea fire, and guardians who wish to use her as a pawn in their secret plans. But will Florence be strong enough to survive the tournament... or will she perish inside it?

Everything hangs in the balance: her life, her world, and her love.


  1. Don't think I have seen this one before. It might not be for me though. Thanks for sharing your thought on it.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  2. I don't know about you, but I love this series. One of the first books i have read about mermaids and mermen and I LOVE both the books. Although I have to admit that the first book was a tad bit better

  3. I still haven't read book one in this series but it's too bad you didn't like this one more.
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

  4. I liked this book a lot more than you it seems. I look forward to more too. I guess to each his own.


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