Thursday, August 1, 2013

REVIEW: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Title: Of Poseidon (Syrena Legacy #1)
Author: Anna Banks Website Twitter Facebook
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Pages: 324
Buy It! amazon
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads: 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.

First Thoughts: Who knew a mermaid book could be so fun and entertaining?! I loved the characters (Galen makes quite the princely syrena/merman), I loved the storyline, and most importantly, I loved how it stuck with me days after I finished it - the ultimate sign of a good book.

What a surprisingly good book! And, I don’t mean that in a bad way, I guess I just never thought I would love a mermaid book so much. When I first read about this book, I honestly thought it sounded a little lame...I mean, mermaids? Really? But I kept seeing people write about how much they loved it, so I gave it a chance. Now, I owe a GIANT apology to Anna Banks, because holy cow, did I love it! I think this book came at exactly the right time for me. I had just finished a couple heavier books and the approaching school year overwhelmingness was overcoming me. I picked this book up hoping for something light and entertaining and it ended up being all that and more.

The characters are fantastic. You have Emma, the stubborn, strong, and yet extremely clumsy lead; Galen who is too stoic and shy for his own good; Rayna, who underneath her fighting anger is the ultimate romantic; and Toraf, one of the greatest comic relief characters I’ve read in a long time. All of the characters are funny and sweet and likeable and frustrating all at the same time. I found myself frequently setting my book down to have internal conversations with them (thankfully, not out loud or my husband might have thought I finally went over the edge). I wanted to scream at Galen to just kiss her and stop trying to be so formal...those darn royals and their formalities. I lectured Emma many times on how blind she was; couldn’t she see how Galen felt about her. And Rayna? Stop playing hard to get and just tell Toraf you love him already! Seriously though, these characters are extremely well written, which makes for a fantastic read.

The story is told in alternating points of view. Each chapter switches between Emma - told in 1st person - and Galen - told in 3rd person. I’ve always been a fan of alternating perspectives; I feel like you get more insight that way - it creates more tension, excitement, and sometimes frustration (dramatic irony) for the reader. I enjoyed both Emma and Galen’s perspectives. The switch from 1st to 3rd person took me a few chapters to get used to. I found myself rereading the beginnings of Galen’s early chapters because I wasn’t always sure who I was reading. I eventually got used to the switch and had no issues (it was really just a small blip on my reading radar). Ultimately, I liked Emma’s story better. Perhaps its because it was told in 1st person or perhaps it’s because she’s just so darn funny - I literally laughed out loud loud, which I guess isn’t that odd for my reading behavior.

The one thing I didn’t like about the book was the ending - another dang cliffhanger! I never feel satisfied when books rush to the end and then just stop with a big, dramatic moment. Errr.... Of Poseidon is good enough on its own that it doesn’t need a cliffhanger to keep readers engaged in the trilogy. Now I impatiently have to wait to find out what happens; I didn’t feel any kind of closure in the book, which is the one downfall to an otherwise great story.

Final Thoughts: One of the more fun, light-hearted books I’ve read in a long time. It’s a refreshing change of pace to the dark dystopian trend currently taking place (although I still love my dystopians). I can’t wait to get my hands on Of Triton so I can find out what happens!

Who Should Read It? I always hate saying this, but here I go - this is definitely more of a girl book. Sorry guys! It’s ultimately a romantic comedy (in fact, it would probably make a good movie). It’s light-hearted and fun so if you like action (fighting and explosions) and serious drama (tears and heartbreak), this book is not for you. Even though it’s about mermaids, it somehow pulls off a very contemporary realistic feel (I’m not sure how, but it does). I can see this as being a book that’s not on the classroom library shelves for long - it’s going to a be a popular one!

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