Friday, June 7, 2013

Book Review: Of Triton by Anna Banks

Nothing screams summer like the ocean...or mermaids. With the sun shining bright and the sky blazing blue, I can't help but feel a little lighter on my sandaled feet! I read Anna Banks's "Of Poseidon" a couple of months ago, and thoroughly enjoyed myself as I dove into the world of the Syrena. Luckily for me, its sequel, "Of Triton", was released just last week, which of course meant I had to get my grubby hands on a copy. And trust me, there's nothing like a good YA book along with a nice, refreshing smoothie to have in your hands  as you kick back and enjoy the summer!

Emma has just been kidnapped by her own mother. Who also happens to be the long-lost Poseidon princess, which means that Emma struggles with an identity crisis: As a Half-Breed, she's a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm below the surface, one that deserves death. As if that's not bad enough, her mother's reappearance among the Syrena heightens tensions between the two kingdoms--Poseidon and Triton--which could jeopardize the happiness of her family, not to mention her relationship with Galen. Emma is now tasked with a difficult decision: Should she comply with Galen's request to stay away from the water to keep herself safe? Or should she risk it all and reveal herself--and her Gift--to save a people she's never known?

"Of Triton" is one of those incredibly enjoyable, easy reads that you whip through in about a day, and that's especially helped by the fact that it has such a smooth storyline that remains compelling until the very last page. There's a lot that happens in this sequel, with tensions that start off high from the onset--I mean, kidnapped by your own mom? Who also turns out to be some rebellious mermaid princess? Talk about en media res. Emma and Galen make a lot of discoveries as the novel progresses, ones that have the potential to shift the balance of things in the Syrena realm, as well as the survival of their own relationship. There really never is a dull moment in "Of Triton", though I do have to admit that there were times when I had to flip back a few pages because I missed out on something important. Perhaps the storyline was a little too smooth--Ms. Banks could've punctuated the climax a little more strongly to make things even more exciting.

Just like in "Of Poseidon", the chapters of "Of Triton" alternate between the perspectives of Emma and Galen. I remember writing in my review of the first book that I was a little iffy with Galen's chapters, since they were told from a third-person point of view and in the present tense, which sometimes felt a little awkward. The same can be said about Galen's perspective in "Of Triton"--I still think past tense or a first-person point of view could've worked better for him--but I've grown used to it by this point, so it's not too bad. Otherwise, I enjoyed following both Emma and Galen throughout the book. They're likable characters who are both determined, compassionate and thoughtful, plus it's super cute to see the way they interact with each other from both perspectives!

The other characters in "Of Triton" were just as likable and interesting to read about. I especially like Toraf and Rayna--they have such a dynamic relationship that's not generic at all and remains volatile and passionate throughout; a little like yin-and-yang. Rachel, the high-heel struttin', ex-Mafia who helps Galen with human intel, is, as always, a brilliant and fun character, though I still can't believe what happened to her in the book! (See? No spoilers!) As for Nalia, aka Emma's mom and long-lost Syrena princess, I was still a little skeptical about her character. I mean, now that she's revealed to be a mermaid who has a lifespan of 300 years, it just makes her even more unbelievably immature. Sure, she's stubborn like Emma, but sometimes I felt like it was a little weird to have her mom as a pretty irresponsible and childish character. Eh. My opinion of her, however, is a little tempered by her interaction with Grom, whom she was meant to be mated with before her disappearance. Still, though, I wouldn't want a mom like her.

All in all, "Of Triton" is a thoroughly enjoyable, fun read that's perfect for those lazy summer days, with a dynamic cast of characters and a seamless storyline that keeps you interested throughout. I'm really looking forward to the final book in the "Of Poseidon" series, "Of Neptune", and can't express just how refreshed and...summery (!) I feel now!

Rating: 4/5

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