Review: OF POSEIDON by Anna Banks

Review: OF POSEIDON by Anna Banks
Of Poseidon
Of Poseidon #1

Written by: Anna Banks
Published by: Feiwel & Friends
Release date: May 22nd 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 324
Format: Hardcover
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.

My Thoughts

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).

In conclusion…

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.

11 thoughts on “Review: OF POSEIDON by Anna Banks

    • I honestly don’t know if I’m going to pick up Of Triton… The more I think about what I didn’t like about Of Poseidon, the more I don’t want to… but I’m still interested in the plot, so I am really torn, lol.

  1. YES. You said everything I’ve been thinking the whole time I’ve been trying to listen to this book on audiobook. I’m not very fond of the narrator’s voice, no offense to her, and when you can’t see the text in front of you, the awkward POV switching gets VERY confusing. Not only that, but I completely agree with you about Emma. She talks like my 12 year old sister. Well actually, my sister has never once said “ohmysweetgoodness.” It just seems so childish. It makes it hard to take her seriously as this strong and independent girl. Galen has driven me crazy. He reminds of Edward in the first Twilight book, but kind of worse, actually. I’ve been trying to listen to the book for almost over a month now. I just can’t really get into it. It’s my first mermaid book and it sounded really good, the execution is just sort of lacking for me. Unfortunately.

    • I thought looking at the text alone was confusing, I can’t imagine how the audiobook is! And I can’t figure out why both perspectives weren’t written in first person. I feel like that would have helped a lot, although maybe it was because Galen knew too much about what was going on, and it wouldn’t make sense for him to not explain everything if it was him narrating. Which makes the third-person an unfortunate plot-device… =/ *sigh* Yeah I wouldn’t blame you if you gave up on the audiobook, honestly. I think there are better “mermaid books” out there – though since this was my first, too, I’m still on the lookout, lol. Happy hunting! or should I say fishing? ;)

  2. OH GOD. This is one of the most disgustingly sexist books ever. That whole thing with Galen’s sister where “no actually means yes” and “she was just playing hard to get”? THAT IS AWFUL. Also, Galen freaking stalked Anna and physically intimidated her, and she took him back. NO.

    • YEP. I wasn’t even going to get into all of Rayna’s issues – but the way her character started out, to how she became after she finally gave in to what’s-his-name? Ugh, that was handled SO poorly. Plus obviously all of Galen’s control issues and the whole Syrena view of females. >:( I almost feel bad that I still enjoyed most of the plot and pacing, so I couldn’t just totally write it off. =/ The more I think about it the more I want to rate it lower.

  3. Have to agree with you on this one; you hit on a lot of the issues I had with the story, too. And if I had read it further along in my reviewing career I probably wouldn’t have given it a full three stars like I did at the time I read it (it hasn’t aged well with me).

    You know, I haven’t had much luck with mermaid stories…I think I’m giving up on them. :(

  4. Hmmm, I have this one, I just haven’t read it yet. Disappointing that it wasn’t that great! I’ll have to see what I think when I get to it.. but I feel like some of those issues I’d have a problem with too. =(

  5. I really heard so much good things about this, now I don’t know if I want to read it. I’m currently reading to much of guys being controlling and girls going back to them. I don’t know what’s so sexy about a guy being controlling that it seems like they are sociopath/psychopath.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *