For What It's Worth

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks



Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen's not fully convinced that Emma's the one he's been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves  that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help--no matter what the risk. ~ Goodreads

Review:Things got off to a great start with Of Poseidon. Feisty heroine. Check! Alternating POV with the hot hero. Check! Awesome mermaid mythology. Check! Action packed with a big twist right out of the gate. Check!

Emma started off as an incredible character. I fell in love with her right away. She's loyal, a great friend, just a tad awkward and funny. She meets a hunky guy on the beach after literally smashing into & sticking to his chest.

The boy she meets is Galen, a merman (please don't call him that though…he's Syrena and Syrena royalty at that!) who is serving as an ambassador between the human and Syrena worlds. Although humans don't yet know they exist, Galen is trying to study mankind and avoid confrontations between the two species.

After a tragic event Emma discovers that she’s not an ordinary human girl and has the Gift of Poseidon. She can talk to and control sea creatures. Very cool. According to tradition she should marry Galen's brother Grom to help join the Poseidon clan with Grom's Triton clan to save both kingdoms’s. This is a society of arranged matings where the girls don't have much (as in any) say. This may disturb some readers. I was kind of on the fence. It's how the Syrena society works so I get it but a few instances, particularly between Galen's sister and her mate, really ticked me off. I'm willing to see if the author is trying to make a bigger point later in the series and amps up the girl power. I sure hope so.

Galen knows it's his duty to bring Emma to his brother for a mating but starts feeling "the pull" towards Emma. It's a rare occurrence when two Syrena choose each other rather than an arranged mating. Of course, this is a problem for Galen with the whole Emma must mate with my brother thing. 

First the good! The story really does start off great. The main and supporting characters are all interesting, the mermaid mythology is fresh and original. The romance wasn't rushed.

Now the bad. Not necessarily bad but just not for me. The story is told in alternating POV between Emma & Galen. Emma's is told in first person while Galen's is in 3rd person - present tense. That took some getting used to.

Galen. Ahhh Galen. I want to love you. I know you are a good guy but he was such the typical YA hot boy; moody, arrogant, with ripped abs, that I couldn't quite get there. He would be so kind and understanding one minute, possessive the next, then cocky and taunting (my least favorite quality). Overall, I still like him and I do think he has a lot of potential but I’m not head over heels just yet. I did like how he makes an attempt to understand human dating rituals and overlooked his prejudices against humans as he grows closer to Emma.

While I loved Emma in the beginning, her actions really got on my nerves later on. Galen repeatedly tells – make that begs - her to stay out of the water or to stay home for her safety. With good reason. She knows why and she has gotten into trouble from not listening before but still goes out again and again. I like some rebellion in my girls but she was just being reckless and stupid at times.

In regards to Galen, all common sense flies out the window from his kisses. She says "I don't want to be THAT girl" but you know what? She is THAT girl. Forgetting everything when Galen walks in the room, willing to give up everything for this boy she just met. She shows glimpses of her earlier spunk but almost not enough to salvage her character for me.

Rating 2.5 out of 4: Despite my complaints about Of Poseidon, it has one hell of a cool twisty ending that left me saying whaaaaa??? But…… whaaaaa????? I will be picking up the second book to see if there is some growth to the characters because overall I still found the story interesting in that it delved deeper into mermaid mythology more than any book that I've read so far. It's also a tad darker than most mermaid tales. There are enough good things going on that despite it not being the book for me, I would still recommend it.

If you’re a fan of Tera Lynn Childs Forgive My Fins series then you’ll probably enjoy Of Poseidon although it’s not quite as light or "*punny*.

I think my problem was, that other than the mermaid mythology, Of Poseidon didn't stand out from the crowd when it came to the awkward girl falls for hot boy plotline prevalent in today's YA. At one time I would have adored it but it just doesn’t work for me now.

Author: website | Twitter
Source: ARC copy provided from Feiwel and Friends for my honest review.
Buy the book! Of Poseidon


For a different opinion check out my friend Brooke’s review over at Brooke Reports.

27 comments:

  1. I've been hearing a lot of mixed reviews about this book. One of the complaints is how Emma is subservient.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Overall I still liked it but I enjoyed Emma in the beginning more than later on once she fell for Galen. She gets that rebellious streak going which is a good thing but it's always about the wrong things in my opinion - then turns to mush after a kiss.
      I'll still give book two a chance.

      Delete
  2. Ah Karen! I <3 you! Yours is the first review of this book I've read (other than my own lol) that also complains about Galen's POV and tense. It drove me crazy and I couldn't understand why no one else had mentioned it, do I'm glad you did.

    I agree about that ending! Wow! Definitely an interesting twist!

    Amber
    The Musings of ALMYBNENR

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was very disorienting for me. I kept having to go back - I thought I was missing something. Oddly enough I ended up liking Galen's POV more even though it was 3rd person.
      The ending was.....whoa! Were does it all go from there?? I had problems with the book but I still want to know what happens.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I didn't have a problem with the 3rd person, but 3rd person in the present tense was too strange to my inner ear lol. I also would have liked them both to be first person or both third person. It was just disorienting like you said. I'm wondering if that will change in the future, but probably not.

      Delete
  3. awesome review, karen. i keep hearing mixed feelings on this one. sounds like i would be irritated with galen too. Also, i like the 2 points of view (historical romance style lol) but switching up the tenses is difficult to read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love dual POV's so I was happy about that and it works for the most part. It just really took some getting used to.
      Galen means well & some of it comes from how he was raised and how his society runs but I got irritated when he would be trying to learn human customs and then gets cocky and teasing towards Emma just to aggravate her. I did like him - he is a good guy but he did irritate me at times.
      The themes of a girl having no choice in the mating bothered me a bit too. They sort of laughed off the girls protests with a "she'll come around" attitude and a chuckle. I'm hoping that will be addressed better in the sequel.

      Delete
  4. I know what you mean about the ending..it was so abrupt for me. And a mean cliffy, btw. But I enjoyed it overall! Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Huh. I think I may have to check this one out now... I was a little on the fence before but you've got me dying to find out what the ending is all about!!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have only heard great things about this book you are the first one I know who didn't enjoy it as much.
    I totally understand what you feel about Emma and her stubbornness and the typical YA hot boy. Two of the most annoying things in books for me.

    But I'll definitely give it a try someday because now I'm curious haha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's cute and if you don't read as much as I do you will probably love it. Things sound the same after a while to me but it was still pretty good - especially the mermaid mythology and the twists.

      Delete
  7. The POV thing might be weird to me too - it definitely sounds strange. I have this on my TBR list, but honestly - there are so many books on that list I may never get to it!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear ya! Oh lordy that HUGE TBR pile can be intimidating!

      Delete
  8. I appreciate your honesty. If you didn't love it, you didn't love it!

    I have never fallen in love with a YA mermaid book .. yet. I keep reading them, and keep hoping the next one will be The One.

    I'm rejoining If You Like on Monday and mermaids are the topic that Melanie chose, so I will be blogging about mermaids that day!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am saying meh, I need my Ya books to stand out cos sadly I can get annoyed quickly cos of drama, love triangles and so on

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No triangle thankfully! That's a big NO for me these days. This one probably isn't for you.

      Delete
  10. Typical YA paranormal hot boy? **Sighs** I'm getting very tired of that! I'm actually planning on starting this one later today so I can get a review up relatively close to its publishing date, even though I'm running behind. I'll be interested in comparing notes with you when I'm finished, Karen! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, let me know how you feel when you finish. It definitely didn't go into "throw the book across the room" territory. There was much to like. Just a tad predictable in the romance department for my tastes.

      Delete
  11. It seems like mixed reviews are the thing for this book. I love my YA paranormal hot boys, but at the same time I'm read for something a bit different. I did love Forgive My Fins, but I feel like Childs knows that her stories are light, fluffy, and in her own way makes them more memorable without overly brooding boys and twisty-twisty plots. I may pick this up from the library or something if I can, but it doesn't sound like something I'll seek out.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love the sound of the mythology, but yeah, I can't take heroines who put themselves in danger for no good reason, despite repeated warnings. Look honey, I want to say to these girls, no one's going to revoke your Feistiness Membership card if you stop practically inviting people to kill you! And the dude always has to rescue them from the situation anyway, which makes them look ten times more weak and dependent than if they'd just stayed home in the first place! Yargh. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  13. The point of view switch was weird, huh? Same thing happened to me a few times, when it converted over to Galen's pov i was confused until my brain clicked with what was going on. But i loved that we got to see his side too!! Honestly my favorite character was probably Toraf! Give him a spin off! hee! Oh!! And how awks was Emma's mom interrogating Galen?! haha! i would've DIED if that was my mom! YIKES! But yes, i'm excited for numero dos because of that CRAZY ending. Like whaaa!?? Glad you kinda sorta liked this one! I still love you! :D

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Karen! Nice to meet you thanks for stopping by my blog. I get what you are saying about Emma. She starts so funny and then she gets moody. I liked Galen. This is by far the best mermaid book I have read. I just didn't buy the whole thing where the mom didn't seem to have a clue about Galen, no way...don't buy it! Yes the ending wss definitely a gotcha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm guessing there's a lot more to her mom that we'll find out in the next book. She kind of creeped me out lol

      Delete
  15. Emma is indeed "that" girl, and I found it very problematic. Galen's character, too, is quite threatening--I'm glad I don't have him following me about!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sort of understood where Galen was coming from because that's how he was raised and he was trying but the while thing bothered me. It seemed to pushed off as a joke when the girls didn't want to bond - his sister and her mate actually bothered more than Galen and Emma.
      I loved Emma in the beginning and then she she went off course in my opinion.

      Delete
  16. Awesome review.
    She bugged you but it's twisty.
    I'm on the fence about this one.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Of Poseidon is a wonderful addition to the world of Young Adult Fantasy! Anna Banks has spun a whole new world of mermaid lore and I think it's a great one. The writing is fantastic. The characters are lovable and engaging. The plot is full of surprises and twists. There's drama, humor, and magical moments aplenty. The romance will leave you breathless and the cliffhanger ending will have you jumping up and down for more.

    ReplyDelete