Written by: Anna Banks
Published by: Feiwel & Friends
Release date: May 22nd 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Buy: B&N, Amazon
Add on: 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.
Of Poseidon was my first “mermaid book” – I’d wanted to read one for a long time, but somehow just never got around to it. But pair that with my recent craving for light, fluffy contemporaries, and you might understand why I would want to pick up Of Poseidon. It just sounded like a fun mix of the two. Mermaids! Cute romance! Yes, please!
However, I’m a little torn about this book.
First, I did find it to be extremely entertaining. The story was fast-paced and mostly really fun. Emma meets Galen (
mermaid merman Syrena royalty), and Galen realizes that she might be Syrena – and necessary to the survival of the Syrena people. Galen eventually tells her about her Syrena gifts, and she spends a lot of time with him learning about her new-found abilities. This part was fun. I liked the scenes where Galen and Emma spent time exploring the ocean – but I’m just a sucker for all things sea-related in general. The atmosphere (or… water…) is always gorgeous, so that always draws me in.
I also (for the most part) liked Emma’s POV and narration. She’s entertaining, and I did laugh at a few of her funnier lines. However… here’s where things started going downhill for me.
As entertaining as she was, Emma was also super annoying a lot of the time. She acts much younger than her 18 years – for example, she grossly overuses the phrase “ohmysweetgoodness” – italics and no-spaces included. The first couple times… maybe, fine, I can live with it, but honestly she said this every… oh, 10-20 pages or so. It was this, along with a lot of her actions, that made her seem really immature at times.
Additionally, the book switches back and forth from Emma’s and Galen’s POV’s. I would have liked this – if only to get a break from Emma every once in a while – but Emma’s POV was written in first person. One would think that Galen’s POV would also be written in first person…? Yeah? No. It was in third person. I’m usually not one to complain about stuff like this, but it really bothered me in this book for some reason, and I never got used to switching between Emma’s and Galen’s POV’s. It was awkward.
So then we have Galen. Which is really where most of my problems lie. Galen is the quintessential “perfect YA guy” – by which I mean, he’s extremely hot (girls almost literally throw themselves at him in the hallways at school when they think he’s single) and Super Special (Syrena royalty, and he can swim faster than any other Syrena ever!). He’s also extremely controlling and thinks he knows what’s best for not only Emma but pretty much all his other friends – including his sister Rayna, whom he just wants to marry off so she’ll stop being so stubborn about not wanting to get married. Lovely! (Don’t even get me started on how Rayna’s situation was handled.)
Not only that, but Galen is supposed to be So Totally In Love with Emma, right? But his entire attitude toward her was really upsetting to me. He’s always talking about how he shouldn’t be falling for Emma, mainly because of her independence and stubbornness when it comes to not doing what she’s told (by him). He never makes those things into strengths – her desire to control her own life and make her own decisions. He likes her in spite of “knowing that he SHOULD go for a more docile Syrena who’d be honored to marry him” (not an exact quote, but pretty dang close). What?! No.
I feel like maybe the author was trying to go for the “very protective guy falls for strong and independent girl” type of relationship drama – but it just did not work with these characters, at least for me. Galen is protective to the point of being controlling, and Emma is “independent” to the point of making stupid decisions (she deliberately does the opposite of what Galen tells her, even when she knows it’s dangerous).
Most of what I said above is negative, it’s true. But Of Poseidon definitely held my attention and I was entertained through the whole thing. The plot was fine, and I never found myself wanting to abandon it for boredom or non-interest. And I would normally give a book like that 3-3.5 stars just for entertainment value. But many things about it were also upsetting to me, and made me want to throw the book across the room (I got it from the library though, so I didn’t). So that’s why I have to lower my rating to the exact middle of 5 stars – 2.5. I don’t think I’d recommend this book to many people unless you can easily overlook my issues above. I think if I could have, I would have enjoyed it.