Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Book Review: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

There are times in life when you just need a good, light-hearted book to get you through an especially tiring or stressful day, and with my final exams coming up, I sure as heck need a whole truckload of them in the next couple of weeks! Luckily for me, I have a whole list of books I've always wanted to read, plus the exciting new releases this month. "Of Poseidon" has been on my to-read list for a while now, and I finally got the chance to whip it out...yesterday. Yes, I gobbled up the book in a day--it was just what I needed!

When Galen, the prince of the Syrena, encounters a girl who can talk to fish, he knows she's one of them, and is determined to know more about her. Emma's lived a normal human life for all of her eighteen years, until one day, she literally stumbles into an incredibly attractive young man. Little does she know that from that day onward--the very same day of a deadly shark encounter--everything is about to change.

The characters of "Of Poseidon" are your typical YA cast of characters--and I love 'em! Emma and Galen are both likable, strong characters, and you get a really good sense of their distinct personalities through the chapters of the book, which are told alternating between the two's points of view. (I do have to insert here that I felt like the present tense was pretty awkward when told from a third-person point of view, though!) Luckily, Emma isn't one of those annoying, whiny heroines, which seem to be a little too prevalent in a lot of YA books. Instead, she's witty and honest, with a good head on her shoulders. It's also interesting to see things from Galen's perspective, especially with the whole mysterious Syrena business going on. One criticism I have about the two's relationship is that it just happened a little too perfectly. As in, "I-feel-that-spark-between-us-O-M-G" perfect. Sure, there was the initial denial and misunderstandings between the two of them, punctuated here and there with some arguments, but everything got resolved quickly and cleanly--a little too much so. Nonetheless, there's undeniable chemistry between the Emma and Galen, particularly as the relationship developed throughout the book.

The rest of the characters were equally as likable--maybe even more so! Rayna and Toraf make an interesting and cute pair, with her hot temper and his undying devotion to her. I especially like Toraf's witty, laidback personality and the way that played off with his sappier feelings of love for his mate. I'm definitely pretty bummed that Chloe, Emma's sassy, confident best friend, couldn't have stayed in the story for longer! She would undoubtedly spice things up in the novel and add so much to the character dynamics...maybe Ms. Banks shouldn't have done what she did with Chloe! Another thing I was a little iffy about was the character of Emma's mom. She seemed a little too teenagerish for my standards, even if she's meant to be one of those more relaxed, 'liberal' moms. I mean, stomping your foot? Not even teenagers do that!

The storyline of "Of Poseidon" was generally rather easy-going and smooth, mostly following Galen and Emma as their romance progressed and as Emma learned about who she is. I think there could've been more of a real climax, though, because there weren't moments when your heart began to race in anticipation of what happened next. Instead, I think "Of Poseidon" is generally more of an easy read, introducing the characters and the concept of Syrena and so on. Maybe the sequel will have more action in it.

Overall, Anna Banks's "Of Poseidon" is a flirty, fun read with a fun cast of characters and an intriguing new take on mermaids. It's definitely not a literary, classic masterpiece, but it's great for times when you need an easy-going book--plus it has such a beautiful cover! I'll also be checking out the sequel, "Of Triton", which is being released this May!

Rating: 3.5/5

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