I love mermaid books, so when I saw this, I immediately grabbed it off the shelf and took it home. I was very disappointed with this book. Emma didn't seem as upset as she should have been when her best friend was killed by a shark for crying out loud! The details seemed vague to me. Also, the use of cheesy fish related terms was tacky and annoying after a while. I get your a mermaid/merman dude, you don't need to say things like Damsel fish it! Or what the mollusk! It got old for me fast, and Galen seemed like a girl when he was talking.
(Source: I won a digital copy of this book.)
17-year-old Emma gets more than she bargained for when she goes on holiday with her best friend Chloe, when they are attacked by a shark and Chloe is killed.
Unbeknown to Emma though, she attracted more than a shark that day at the beach when she bumped into Galen (literally), who recognised her as a Syrenka (mermaid), just like himself.
Following her across the country, Galen is determined to find out everything he can about Emma, and her heritage, as well as the strange gift she has which marks her as a descendent of Poseidon.
Why is Emma unaware of what she is? Why is she hiding on land? And can Galen stop his heart from getting in the way of his duty as Prince and brother to the King?
This was turned out to be an okay mermaid story in the end, but the beginning was really rocky.
For me the first 30% of this book was pretty cringe-worthy. I really could not believe what I was reading. First there was the shark attack, which was just totally unbelievable for me, then there was the immaturity of Emma, and let’s face it, most of the other characters too (who liked to beat each other up for fun, or splash water at each other), not to mention Emma’s mom, who kinda needs a paragraph all of her own.
Emma’s mom went totally over-the-top over some story about Galen carrying Emma to the nurse’s office at school, and starts asking about a hidden relationship, which Emma denies, then starts asking if they broke up because she wouldn’t sleep with him, to which Emma responds no, so her mother jumps to ‘you aren’t dating him, but you slept with him?’ – What the fudge is she on? This was then followed up by her questioning Galen as to why he isn’t sleeping with her daughter? ‘Is there something wrong with her?’ How do you even answer that? I mean seriously – that woman is seriously on the crazy juice.
Anyway, I did think that a lot of the characters in this book were quite immature, although this did improve a bit as the book went on. Emma was actually pretty accepting about the whole Syrenka thing once she was forced to acknowledge it, and Galen seemed pretty normal considering that he was supposed to have lived under the sea for most of his life.
Galen did come out with what was my favourite line in this book though, after Emma explained that her mother had been concerned that they were already sleeping together; ‘She thinks we're more than dating.' Galen comments 'Then the least she could do is give us some privacy.’ which was definitely the best line in the whole book for me.
In terms of storyline this was okay, after the initial awkwardness and unbelievability (I think I might have made that word up), the book found its feet, and the second half was pretty good. That first 1/3 could have been a real deal-breaker though. There were a couple of things that happened that I hadn’t predicted though, and I did get used to the slightly strange writing style too.
I did like this book in the end, and I will be reading the sequel, especially seeing as this one does end with a cliff-hanger, I’m just hoping the second doesn’t start with that same awkwardness.
Overall; an okay mermaid story, if you can forgive the rocky start.
7 out of 10.
Background: Emma is an ordinary girl, a bit of a clutz. Galen in a Syrena (ie merman...but they hate that word) on land to find a girl who might be able to help his clan and another reunite. While at the beach, Emma and Galen run into one another, but all is forgotten as Emma has an accident and goes home to try to block out everything about that day. Then, out of nowhere, Galen is attending Emma's school, and she has everything about her very existance turn upside down.
Review: WOW! Loved this book. Of Poseidon is action, romance, betrayal, and mystery all wrapped into one. Emma is a great lead, she is interesting, stubborn, and has a good head on her shoulders and Galen is masculine and hesitant and amazing as a male character.
The book is told from both their persepctives so it is very entertaining to see how they play off of one another and both sides of the story, each very unique and keep the reader in tune. Normally when authors swap between characters it makes the book seem choppy, but not here! Banks does a great job of using both sides of the story to lead the reader to the awesome cliffhanger ending....CANNOT WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE!....
Of Poseidon is a new novel by Anna Banks about the merfolk, but don't let dreamy Galen hear you say that. Syrena are just like mermaids. But, there are two kingdoms currently at odds with each other brought on by each of their rulers: Triton and Poseidon. In order to bring the two kingdoms together they must mate (marry) the king of Triton (Grom, Galen's brother) with the daughter with the gift of Poseidon (which there is only one left out in the world). Galen goes in search of this special girl, and stumbles upon Emma, who he then falls in love with her.
Okay, maybe that was one of the worst descriptions ever. BUT I didn't want to give anything important away. And there are a lot of important things that could have been given away in order to explain the plot better.
But let me just say something: This book was awesome! I loved it from the very beginning all the way until the last paragraph or so. Because the last paragraph just SCREAMS cliff-hanger, and it got kind of uncomfortable for a moment. You have no idea what I'm talking about now, but you will. When you read it. Because you WILL read it.
I'm not kidding.
But, I must warn you of some things.
1.There is a smidge of insta-love. To be honest, I didn't really think it was that instant. Except for maybe Galen's attraction to Emma...but if you read the book, you'll realize he was following her around for business...not because he was love sick. Whatever. Some people are dumb.
2.There is a brief love triangle. WAY in the book, there is a BRIEF love triangle, but the main character literally says "I don't like so-and-so, I'm just trying to get over so-and-so, and this will be good for me." SUPER BRIEF. And she acknowledged it.
3.The book is hilarious at some points. Seriously. My mom looked at me strange a couple of times when I laughed out loud.
4.There is a cliff-hanger, but it wasn't like someone fell off a bridge and we don't know if they'll live. Just some...confession. I'm not going to say anything else or I'll ruin the ending.
5.The main character says "ohmysweetgoodness" a lot. Just like that. But, it was kind of cute/funny.
To Sum it All Up: The book starts off a promising series with a new twist on merfolk. The characters are funny, and memorable. The plot moves fast with twists all throughout the book. I really liked the relationship Emma and Galen are starting to develop.
This book is told in the perspectives of two people: Galen, a Syrena (merman), and Emma, who is not exactly sure what she is.
Emma and her friend Chloe are vacationing in Florida when she literally bumps into a guy with violet eyes, the only other person she has ever seen with them, other than herself. As soon as Galen (the Syrena prince) sees her eyes, he knows that she is special. And when he sees her singlehandedly fend off a bull shark, he knows that she's not what she seems. Perhaps not even human. After all, Syrena can appear human as well. But all this is new for Emma, who think she is completely human. She also doesn't understand why Galen suddenly turns up at her school and pays so much attention to her. As they fight a growing attraction for each other, they need to try and find out the truth behind Emma's heritage. And while Galen can't have her for himself, her Gift could save the kingdom.
I thought this book was very light-hearted and funny. Now, this may not seem the case as you first start reading it, especially when it starts with the bloody death of a girl, but after that, there are regular doses of funniness and romance.
The characters are also funny and quirky, and very readable. Emma is funny, chatty, clumsy, but in an endearing way. Galen is very naive, and I think it is funny the way he gets so surprised by things we consider normal, and how much he obviously loves Emma even though she can't see it. And the supportive characters get enough attention and depth that they're not so much in the background.
The mystery of Emma's Syrena heritage is the driving force throughout the book (don't call them mermaids, especially the guys), but its also a lot about the romance between Emma and Galen. It's not obsessive romance everyone, in fact, Emma is trying her best not to be attracted to Galen. And the romance is fun. They bicker, and needle each other, and go on dates to the freaking TITANIC for god's sake.
Banks definitely doesn't pass up this opportunity to give jabs about overfishing and environmental negligence, but she never comes across as preachy,
And that da-da-da-DAH ending (that's suspense music, in case you didn't pick it up), and have just found out that there is going to be a sequel called Of Triton, published by the end of May! I can't wait to read it!
I definitely recommend Of Poseidon to people who want something that is a bit lighthearted, but not lacking in depth. Be prepared, this book will have you begging for more. :)
Review to be posted on the YA Sisterhood Blog
At first I was skeptical about a “mermaid book” because the idea of a fin kind of creeps me out—don’t laugh; but I figured I would give this one a try. I am so glad I did! From the first chapter, I was hooked—I even laughed out loud a few times (loud enough to get my husband’s attention along with a murmur that sounded something like “book nerd”—he doesn’t know what he’s missing). I read it in one sitting (which is a feat with an 8 month old baby) and was tempted to turn right back to the beginning to re-read it.
So after chatting with my sister Britt, who read the book first and also loved it, we have decided to do another of the famed “Top Ten” lists for Of Poseidon.
10. Cosmic Clumsiness--Emma is so clumsy that you will truly laugh out loud quite often during the book. In fact, her clumsiness is how she meets Galen, falling forward and "asssaulting his pecks." I couldn't stop laughing!
9. Toraf--He's a Syrena whose snarkiness will also make you laugh out loud. His persistent chase of Rayna and his acceptance of her constant attacks is borderline insanity, but you can really see how much he cares for her. I found Toraf to be one of my favorite characters.
8. Mythology--We get a different view of Poseidon and Triton in this novel. It's a part of mermaid mythology I had never heard before--very interesting.
7. The Ocean setting--I won't tell you much because I don't want to spoil the surprise, but I loved the history that we got to see about the oceans and what happens above and below them.
6. The Little Mermaid-like scenes--Do you remember the scene in The Little Mermaid where Ariel spins around and the fish fly around her hair until it's standing straight up? I loved that scene as a little girl, and there are plenty of scenes in this book that brought me right back to my childhood.
5. Rayna--she's so smug and self-absorbed, but it works for her. She's the love you/hate you type of girl, but she adds a great dimension to how Syrena life appears. I loved reading her insults and comebacks, and eventually, her breakthroughs.
4. The pull--I won't say much other than it is a Syrena legend, and that it really adds to the romance!
3. The oooohhhh ending…..that caused me to go straight to Twitter and ask Anna Banks how many more books there would be (as of now, a sequel is in the works). I won't say anything else!
2. Emma and her snarkines--I find her insistence that she call Gale, “Your Highness” very amusing. She's not afraid of who he is, and she's not intimidated. She's tough, but not too tough--so she's very believable. She struggles with the truth, and she struggles with her abilities. I really felt like I connected to her.
1. Galen--What can I say? He's charming, mysterious, tan, chiseled, and handsome--just what every girl wants in her YA guys. He comes on tough and insensitive, but eventually we see a side to him that will make you melt!
Of Poseidon was an interesting new take on the mermaid – excuse me, Syrena – myth. Although, I have to mention one thing that’s been bothering me: what do the women wear as tops in Syrena form? I’m fairly certain it’s never mentioned and it’s been driving me a little batty :P
Of Poseidon starts out in a majorly depressing way and yet, I felt like I wasn’t saddened enough by it. Grossed out, sure, but not sad. I appreciated that Emma had her own way of dealing with it and her own grieving process though. Some might think that she got over it too quickly, but I don’t really think that’s a judgment you can pass on anyone else since we all have different processes.
I loved all the Syrena lore and learning about their past and the way they run things now. I always love learning history about imaginary cultures.
I really liked Rayna and Toraf. They were fun side characters that I ended up caring for just as much as Galen and Emma in the end. Speaking of Galen and Emma…Emma was strong-willed, stubborn, clumsy, and completely hung up on Galen. I love a good “I don’t need a man” kick-a** female lead, but I also appreciate the ones who go all gooey over a guy since it reminds me of being that age. What I didn’t quite appreciate was the relationship itself. Galen was a nice guy and I liked him well enough, but it seems like the readers knew more about him than Emma did. It ended up making the relationship feel a little forced.
I’ve heard people complain about the Emma=First person/Galen=Third person thing, but it really didn’t bother me at all. I barely noticed it, actually. Maybe I’m just not quite as sensitive when it comes to those things, though :P
The Nutshell: Of Poseidon is a fantastic start to the series. Sure, I had some problems with the relationship but it wasn’t enough to detract from the story itself. If you want a new mermaid story with a little scary and a lot of kissing (read: angst) then Of Poseidon is definitely for you.
Shame on me for not writing this review the moment I finished this book! Now I have to remember all of the wonderful things I found in Of Poseidon.
Let me start by saying how much I enjoyed the characters. I really, really, REALLY liked them. All of them. Every character had a nice amount of spunk (ok, minus Emma’s mom and Rachel). I probably had the most trouble connecting with Faye, but I still liked her all the same. She was the exact opposite in many ways to Emma, so it worked for me. Her beau, Toraf, I found to be adorable. He’s not a main character, but the parts that included him were entertaining. Emma and Galen? Sigh. I will admit, Galen was drool worthy. Most people might find him arrogant, but I loved it. He seemed so playful, which was funny because Emma was not. They were opposites, yet they complimented one another perfectly. I thought they were such a great literary couple. I really loved how spunky Emma was. She was hilarious, clumsy, and had a certain amount of sass that made her instantly likeable. I appreciate how to wasn’t that girl.
I didn’t think there was an extreme amount of world building in this book. The majority of the story took place at a typical New Jersey high school and Emma/Galen’s houses. Nothing really exciting or overly inventive there. What I did enjoy was the slowly building tension. The entire story felt like it built up to that ohmysweetgoodness cliffhanger ending! There was a lot of emphasis place on the relationships and discovery who (or what) you really are. But those final pages. Oh. Man. It really sucks that I have to wait so long for the next book, Of Triton. (There isn’t even a tentative publishing date yet!)
Simply speaking, I enjoyed this one. The mermaid aspect was a driving force in the story, but it wasn’t overpowering. It was a very unique spin, and the mythology that was woven in was a nice bonus. I also think that the ending of this book is what really put it over the top for me. I was thinking “3” material until those final pages. Now I can’t wait for Of Triton. If you don’t like open endings, better wait for the next book to come out before you read this one.
So funny and highly entertaining, definitely a MUST READ!
Oh, how many ways can I tell you how much I love Of Poseidon?! Anna’s personality literally screams through this book and I was hooked after just two pages! Emma is such an awesome character, so snarky, stubborn and absolutely hilarious. I honestly laughed so many times while reading and I was basically smiling the whole time. There’s this one scene at Galen’s house involving Emma and Galen’s sister, Rayna and a certain window that I simply LOVED! I could not stop laughing and devoured every minute of it.
I love how it was detailed just ENOUGH. Seriously, I can’t stress enough how I hate when authors give too much frivolous detail. Yes, I know the flower is pretty, but no need to tell me exactly how many specks of pollen are on it. I get it! Anna gives just the right amount of detail about the Syrena, Emma’s history, and the build-up to Book 2. The flow was spot-on and I never found myself bored or skimming the sentences looking for the good parts, because all of it was good. As the story progresses, you can predict a bit about Emma’s past, but I loved coming to each aspect and having the characters slowly learn the truth.
I will say though, that there is little to no action in this book. There is a very important and crazy scene that happens in the beginning – and by the way, I love it when an author grabs your attention from the get-go like that, but that’s about it. Thankfully, the romance and humor kept things alive for me and seeing Galen and Emma’s relationship blossom was the highlight of the story. I love that it’s told from both perspectives since Galen is a Syrena and how he learns the ways of humans is so cute. He definitely has a lot of passion and smoldering sexiness that although could edge on the border of crazy stalker, in this story, was just sweet and swoon-worthy.
Let me also add that even though I said you need to read this now, I’d advise waiting until the second book comes out because there is a MAJOR cliffhanger at the end. Why?! No!!! I was seriously left wondering what’s going to happen next and I needed the second book like yesterday! I’d consider this a very light and fun read that will easily leave you wanting more. I’m dying for Book 2!
I really, really would like to find a mermaid book that I like a lot, but that search will be continuing. Of Poseidon is a book that most readers are probably going to love or be entirely annoyed by. Banks has a definite style, one that will either amuse and enchant you, or that will make you roll your eyes vigorously over and over again. For me, it was the latter.
Problem one is the host of YA tropes in the characters and their relationship to one another. Emma, a card-carrying member of the Bella Swan school of heroines, is exceedingly clumsy: "I'm betting Cinderella didn't feel this foolish, but then again, Cinderella wasn't as clumsy as an intoxicated walrus" (2). Note, too, Banks' sense of humor. This pretty much captures it perfectly. Emma meets Galen, Syrena prince, by tripping and smashing her face into his chest. We are treated to these inner thoughts:
"Tripping is bad enough. Tripping into someone is much worse. But if that someone has a body that could make sculpted statues jealous—and thinks you've broken your nose on one of his pecs—well, that's when tripping runs a distant second to humane euthanasia." (5)
This girl seriously needs to sort out her priorities. Also, she spends way too long thinking about the awkwardness of the situation. While she's thinking, she remains plastered against him, because obviously that's less weird. Everyone trips sometimes. He would laugh and move on if it were the real world. It's not though, so no one's phased by how long she presses her face against his chest on first acquaintance. Here's one more quote to explain my distaste for Emma: "If stupid were a disease, I'd have died of it by now" (119). This attitude is so unhealthy. I encourage girls not to think of themselves this way, even as a joke.
Galen, of course, is drawn to her from first meeting, purportedly because his mermaid (sorry, Syrena) senses are tingling. Meant to be together, blah, blah, blah. They met while she was on vacation (during which time her best friend got eaten by a shark). She goes back to Jersey and he shows up in her school with an identical schedule. When she tries to avoid him after the first class let out, he grabbed her wrist and, when she tries to pull away, he grips harder (41). This is a primo sign of a controlling guy. I was not surprised to learn that he had 'serial-killer eyes' (290). Among his other charming qualities, he also bosses her around constantly and takes advantage of her memory loss to convince her to accompany him somewhere.
I would also like to point out that Emma completely forgets about Chloe's death and that she's supposed to be sad within a day of Galen's showing up at her school. Meanwhile, her mother hears that Emma tripped and hit her head, freaks out and accuses Emma of sleeping with Galen, her boyfriend. The two are not dating and she refuses to believe anything else. He was a transfer; it was his first damn day at that school. WHAT WHAT WHAT?
The other big problem I have is the inconsistency of what the Syrena know about humans. Galen is an ambassador to the humans, which basically means a spy. He is bewildered by: phone books, people having more than one name (first and last), lip gloss, and countries. At the same time, he is capable of using a phone (likely a fancy modern one) and driving a car (note: one with a manual transmission). He was also capable of passing all of the high school classes she was taking. Plausibility fail.
Of Poseidon had some seriously major flaws, as I've pointed out, but it was still a quick and enjoyable read. I suspect many people will enjoy it more than I did.