Monday, March 10, 2014

Book Review: Of Poseidon

By Anna Banks

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom...

Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.

I'd never read anything by Anna Banks before picking up Of Poseidon, but the book had been intriguing me for quite some time, and so I finally broke down and bought the book (from my local indie bookstore, by the way -thank you Brookline Booksmith!).

I think I finished this book in 20 hours or so -I just couldn't put it down. Just when I thought there would be a lull where I could stop and do something else with my day, the chapter would end on something I couldn't and I couldn't just leave!

Some of the things that I really liked about Of Poseidon are:
I was so happy to read something that wasn't a dystopian novel, I was already chomping at the bit to read it, but I was also grateful that it wasn't the typical "boy comes into girl's life and everything changes forever -and oh by the way, I'm a vampire" kind of thing (mermen are a totally different beast). I liked that Galen kind of had to tell Emma what she was pretty early on, because that made for an entirely different sort of interaction and connection between them than just:
Boy: "hey girl, I'm a mystical creature"
Girl: "well, I'm a worthless human"
Boy: "no, you're a cool mystical creature too, but way more badass!"

I also really appreciated Emma's sassy defiance to Galen's concern/orders. Every time he left and tried to tell her what to do, I thought in my head "you go girl! tell him he can shove those orders up his fin!"

I appreciated that this wasn't just a "Little Mermaid" retelling, or a "I'm a mermaid and I'm afraid I'm going to kill the cute guy in class with my irresistible siren voice" story. It reminded me a little bit of the Pearl-Kale story in Debbie Viguie's Midnight Pearls, but Of Poseidon is it's own unique beast.

I was really interested in the politics of the Syrena people. I thought it was really interesting that there were two "breeds" of Syrena, and I wanted to know more about what was actually expected of the royal family that Galen and Rayna were clearly neglecting.

Some things that I didn't really care for:
From Disney's Finding Nemo
I was so sad we didn't get more time with Chloe!
From the fifteen pages we got with her, I really liked her personality, and I would have liked to see how this story would have played out while trying to either keep Emma's Syrena-ness a secret from her long-time best friend, or trying to get Chloe to keep her mouth shut about it! And OMG Chloe vs Rayna would have been such a great battle of sass.

I thought Rayna as an individual character was a little too over-the-top, and was sort of used as a foil after a while to get the plot moving forward again (think about it -every time information that was "just a little too awkward to blurt out" had to be shared, Rayna would pop up out of no where and ruin any secret Galen was trying to keep).

Overall, I found it compelling and different. The writing was a bit juvenile, but that kept the pacing quick and made it easy to read. I will admit that I guessed the ending from about chapter 10, but there were quite a few times when the book had me thinking I was mistaken!
And after that cliffhanger, I will DEFINITELY be reading the sequel, Of Triton.

The Blonde Rating: 3.5/5
Goodreads Rating: 4/5
Amazon Buyer's Rating: 4/5

Thanks for reading!

Let me know what you thought of Of Poseidon in the comments!

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