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Thursday, May 10, 2012

[Review] Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Title: Of Poseidon
Author: Anna Banks
Pages: 324 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: May 22, 2012
I received an ARC from NetGalley.

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 a major disappointment. I was very excited for my first mermaid novel, and I was sadly let down. However, it wasn't a case of having too-high expectations. I truly just did not like this book from the writing to the characters. I'm glad it was a quick read.

First, I was immediately put off by the writing style and had trouble getting into the book. It has an alternating POV, which I normally love, but in this case I hated it. Emma's chapters are in first person, which is my favorite type of narrative, but then Galen's chapters are in third person. Why?! I always have trouble adjusting to third person after finishing a first person narrative book, but with this book, I had to get use to it every other chapter. Flip-flopping between two completely different narratives, seriously disrupted the flow and made it hard to stay in the story.

The second thing that bothered me was Emma's best friend Chloe. Well, not Chloe herself, but how she was portrayed. She's black, which is great, since there seems to be a shortage of people of color in fiction. Unfortunately, her brief appearance is hindered by lines such as:

"I pinch the bridge of my nose and count to ten-Mississippi, but fifty-Mississippi seems more appropriate. Fifty allows more time to fantasize about ripping one of Chloe's new weaves out. (1% eARC)"

"Great, Emma! You got my new hair wet! (4% eARC)"

They're at the beach...in the water...surfing! Why does she have a "new weave" at the beach?! If she didn't want to get her hair wet, then she should have stayed out of the water! This made it seem like the author just wanted to make sure that we knew that Chloe was black, but she resulted to using frustrating stereotypes and lack of common sense! But we don't have to worry about Chloe's new weave after about 5% since she gets killed by a shark. My third issue with this book was how Emma handles her best friend since childhood's death.

"In a few weeks, they won't even realize something's missing. They'll just move on. Forget about Chloe. (10% eARC)"

"I'm not in any danger of crying today. [...] Funny how a little sleep, a little makeup, and a lot of contemplation can make you feel like a different person- a stronger version of yourself. (17% eARC)"

I'm glad Emma accepted her friend's death and is moving on, but seriously?! She watched her friend get her leg ripped off by a shark, right up close and personal, but there seems to be no lasting effects from that. She puts on some makeup, and her biggest problem becomes trying to convince her mom that she's not having sex with Galen. In fact, the few additional times Chloe is mentioned is only in relation to Galen in some way. I had trouble accepting that Emma is that callous, and it made it hard for me to care about anything that happens to her. I also felt like Chloe's death was just included in order to have Emma go through something tragic, rather than having any important impact on the story.

"Emma, you threw my sister through hurricane-proof glass. (35% eARC)"

Yep, she did, and Galen does NOTHING to stop it and yet he scolds her for it later on. That just doesn't make any sense. He just stands around talking about maybe stopping the fight, but ultimately just hangs out. Sure he knows for sure that his sister wouldn't be hurt, but what if Emma wasn't also Syrena? Things would have ended quite badly, but Galen knows everything, so no worries.

"So what if he thinks I'm some sort of peasant fish who has to obey him? Why shouldn't I use him the way he used me- to get what I want. It's just that what I want is holding me in his arms... (37% eARC)"

"I've turned into "that girl." [...] That girl who exchanges her dignity and chances for happiness for some possessive loser who beats her when she makes eye contact with some random guy working the hot dog stand. Not that Galen beats me, but after his little show, what will people think? He acted like a lunatic tonight, stalking me to Atlantic City, blowing up my phone, and threatening my date with physical violence. (89% eARC)"

I don't like Emma, at all. I also didn't like Galen too much either, although some of his ignorance about humans was kind of cute. Anyway, I'm not sure how I feel about those above quotes. Either Emma is spineless and is willing to do whatever he says, or she's trying to take matters into her own hands and "use him." She also doesn't like Galen's behavior, but at least he isn't violent toward her. I just don't get it. She says everyone thinks she's sweet, but she completely forgets about her best friend for a boy and tries to murder said boy's sister (and boy wanted to murder her date, double tempers!). She's a very inconsistent character and extremely unlikeable, and Galen isn't much better.

However, the scene of Emma talking to the whale was really cute, and I loved how Galen earned money by finding treasures and pieces of history in the depths of the ocean. His surprise for Emma was also pretty darn awesome. While I did like the set up of the Syrena lifestyle, I was a bit confused about the political situation and what exactly was going on there. I did really enjoy the parts about their history though. The twist on mythology was pretty clever. The Syrene biology lesson was also pretty interesting.

So, in short: I did not enjoy this book at all. The narrative didn't flow, and the characters were unlikeable. While the ending was a major cliffhanger, it was also extremely predictable; the hints dropped throughout the book were not subtle at all. I'm still not even sure what the point of the story is. Is it the question of Emma's heritage? Who's suppose to be queen? The mystery of Nalia? This book felt like it was a really long prologue and that the main story is still to come. I probably won't be continuing to find out what that story is.

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review, I'm going to have to really consider reading it now.

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  2. Thank you for the review! Of Poseidon is on my TBR list. I think the whole Syren mythology thing is pretty cool. I am sorry that you didn't enjoy the book, because I was really looking forward to this one. I'm definitely still gunna check it out and read it.
    Thanks again for the review!

    Alyssa Susanna

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  3. I enjoyed Of Poseidon, but I can see what you meant. I thought the snarky attitude was a lot of fun and added a lot to a zippy book. Yea... I think I liked the humor sprinkled everywhere a lot.

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  4. Who knew that maybeline was a cure for grief?! Can see why this annoyed you!

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  5. The book does sounds like a disappointment. Too bad you didn't enjoy it. Great review though!

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  6. I'm sad to hear you didn't enjoy it more. I've heard a lot of good reviews, so I'll still be reading this one, but I'm sad it didn't work for you :[

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  7. That was an excellent review! I'm not sure I want to read the book now. I'm sorry you didn't like it.

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  8. I finished this yesterday, but the shock and the amazement of the sheer greatness of this book still hasn't worn off of me yet. I went into this book without many expectations, because this wasn't on my TBR list in the first place, and I have this pact not to read any reviews until after I've finished a book so my opinion won't be swayed. I had no idea what to expect with this book, and let me tell you, as I was literally tearing through this book, I loved it. Like, to the extent where I spent most of my social studies class just reading this. (It's the teacher's fault that she reads at half a foot per hour, and she insisted on reading a ten-page packet to us instead of just giving it to us and telling us to read it silently. She didn't even explain afterwards!

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