I did pick this as a BOOKS FOR BREAK book because of the water aspect. It’s a great mood-setter for summer and being at the beach. And, I won’t lie – I played Little Mermaid in my swimming pool all the time as a kid. Brings back fond memories. :D
Title: Of Poseidon
Author: Anna Banks
Genre: Urban Fantasy…at the shore
Age: 15+ (More than a little violence and raging hormones.)
What It’s About
To celebrate their last summer together before college, Chloe drags her best friend Emma to Florida for a family vacation. Chloe, however, doesn’t make it back alive. After a vicious shark attack, Emma is devastated. But she doesn’t have much time to grieve with sexy Galen showing up at her home in New Jersey.
The story focuses around Galen – a Syrena (he hates the term ‘mermaid’) who acts as an ambassador with the humans (though most of them are oblivious he grows a fin) – and Emma. When the two literally collide on a Florida beach, sparks fly (almost literally, as well). Galen knows he’s not supposed to like humans, but he can’t get Emma off his mind. He thinks there’s something about her – like, maybe she’s a Syrena, too. So he follows her back home to New Jersey and enrolls at her high school for senior year.
The story revolves around Emma finding out what her gifts really are, what she is, and her feelings for Galen (who she happens to find immensely attractive, but he often says things that deflate her – by accident!).
I liked it.
I know that’s vague, but I did. However, there are several things I found a little annoying in regards to the story and writing. But first! The good things:
1. I loved the humor. Banks writes Emma as a witty, realistic girl. Her actual dialogue is often as funny as her interior monologue. There are times when the reader blushes right along with Emma when she says something embarrassing.
2. I liked Emma. She was a great heroine. This is a definite coming-of-age story, where the teen doesn’t feel that she belongs. (Only to find out that she quite literally doesn’t belong.) She’s realistic and lovable. The reader – especially young females – will relate to her instantly.
3. The storyline. While it was a little like Little Mermaid, I did enjoy the idea of the merpeople (sorry, Syrena) in the story. Banks adds a lot of great little tidbits (like about Atlantis, and the Titanic), that make the story fuller.
Here’s what I didn’t like. But, take these with a grain of salt. As Katie so nicely told me: Being in a writing program has made me critique books a little more harshly than I used to.
1. Galen’s POV chapters. While I usually want to be in the hero’s head, I didn’t like in this book. Maybe the reason is because Banks switches from first person (Emma) to third person (Galen). It was really annoying. If she would have kept first person (or third) throughout, it might’ve changed how I felt about Galen’s narrative. But, as it stands the shift threw me off. I also didn’t like Galen as much as I could have.
3. Chloe dies quite immediately (and violently). This is a personal thing, but OH MY GOD. She dies on page 4 (at least, in Chapter 1). And it was gruesome. Not a fan! Although I do understand WHY Chloe had to die, but still. Heartstrings.
4. I didn’t like Galen as the hero. I know there are probably fangirls who are going to shake their fists at me, but I didn’t. I found him a little annoying (though well written to not quite understand human things). And the descriptions Banks used for him were bordering on trashy romance. The fact that he’s so large in the shoulders he takes up the doorway? IDK. It was a little much for me. Though I have friends who would giggle with delight at that.
All-in-all, I did actually enjoy the book. I thought it was a good extension of the new merpeople genre that seems to be trying to make its way into fiction. It wasn’t as good as Lies Beneath for me, but that’s for other reasons entirely.
Rating… 7/10 stars.