(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.
I was sure I was going to love this one, I really was. Mermaids! A release date on Boy's birthday! Pretty cover! Macmillian as a publisher! Super nice author! So much potential!
I was really, really let down.
Emma and Galen were okay on their own. Most of the time. But as a couple? They had a horrible relationship. He would request that she do something reasonable. Example: She had a stalker they could sense in the water. He asks her to stay out of the water when he's not there. Does she listen? Not only does she not listen, she gets angry at him. She yells at him. This isn't the only instance where this happens. I'm happy that a female character wants to be independent but...really?
And Galen? Galen also has issues. He's ridiculously over protective. There's this part where he's texting and calling Emma repeatedly and she's deliberately ignoring it because she's on a date and she's mad at Galen. So, he then follows her on her date. Which is going to take place an hour away. And he threatens harm repeatedly to Emma's date for being a nice guy and telling her she doesn't have to go with Galen. By time Galen gets Emma home, they're a couple again. That's not okay. You don't stalk people. It especially bothered me because the reason he was bothering her wasn't time sensitive. Her grandma wasn't dying and he wasn't trying to bring her to the hospital.
There's also a lack of logic in this book. For example, it's established pretty early on that Emma can talk to fish. It's something she's aware of basically from the time she finds out she's a Syrena. Talking requires oxygen. But there's a couple instances where Emma mentions being afraid to not hold her breath underwater and they're always mentioning how she's learning endurance for holding her breath. I'm not sure how you can talk and hold your breath at the same time.
There was also this alternation is perspective. First person for Emma, but third person for Galen. It was kind of confusing and kind of annoying going back and forth. I don't mind switching characters, but I like my books in first OR third, not both.
Despite all this, it wasn't a totally horrible book for me. I did really like two of the side characters, Rachel and Toraf, and I would love to read more about them. I also liked the idea of this story. What the summary doesn't mention is that there are two kingdoms and because Emma is of Poseidon, she's supposed to marry the king of the other kingdom and the king happens to be Galen's older brother, Grom. And he has to marry Emma because the girl before her who was of Poseidon - and also Grom's love - died years before in a mine accident. I found that pretty interesting. Is Emma really going to have to marry Grom? If not, who will he have to marry? The ending was also a really big cliffhanger that made me want book 2 desperately. I kind of wish I had decided not to finish this book because now I really want to make it through the next one despite how much it'll annoy me.
So...yeah. Of Poseidon was not the right book for me...but I might be picking up book 2 anyway.
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.
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.
heck out more frightfully entertaining children's stories below, enter the giveaway, and don't forgot to check out all of the other posts this week and enter those giveaways for more chances at spookt...
Check out more frightfully entertaining YA books below, enter the giveaway, and don't forgot to check out all of the other posts this week and enter those giveaways for more chances at spooktacularly ...