Friday, May 25, 2012

Review: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

From Back Cover: Galen, the prince of the Syrena, is sent to dry land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen - literall, "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 ...

My Rating: 1.5 hearts

Thoughts on the Novel: Right off the bat, I found myself getting annoyed with Anna Banks’ Of Poseidon due to the characters. I thought perhaps I was being overly critical and so kept reading; but the more I read, the more the characters irritated me. Here are some reasons why:
  • The book opens with Emma giving an inner monologue that runs a page and a half about how bumping into a hot guy is, like, the most humiliating thing ever. It happens; move on!
  • Another one of Emma’s monologues that bugged me was when she basically implies that if Galen tells her he loves her, she’ll abandon all her dreams to follow him. The little respect I had for her pretty much went down the drain after that.
  • Before being killed by a shark and completely forgotten about, Emma’s best friend, Chloe, wears a weave and fake nails to the beach. Who gets dressed up to go to the beach?!
  • Emma’s mom incorrectly assumes that Galen and Emma are dating and/or have slept together and freaks out. Later however, she’s completely okay with Galen telling her that he wants to sleep with Emma, and even lets the two of them go to Florida together. WTF?!
  • Throughout the book, Rayna is upset with Toraf because he knew that she never wanted to mate and yet still mated her. The minute Rayna sees Toraf kissing Emma though, she changes her mind and claims that she’s in love with Toraf.
Besides the issue of characterization, I also couldn’t make myself care about the romance, which was an instant love situation. There was a lot of talk about tingles and heat, but I never felt the chemistry between Galen and Emma. Part of the reason may be because Emma’s POV was in the first person whereas Galen’s was in the third person, which made the writing feel a little choppy. More importantly, Galen just seemed to want to control Emma rather than consider her an equal. He even muses about finding a “docile female … who would do whatever he asked [and] never argue with him.”

Of Poseidon wasn’t all bad though as there were some bright spots. The book made me chuckle occasionally, especially during the parts that involved Galen learning more about humans. As well, I appreciated that Banks made the effort to develop and explain the Syrena’s history and current political situation (even if I did find it confusing sometimes).           

Of Poseidon was released on May 22, 2012 by Feiwel & Friends.

Comments About the Cover: It’s beautiful, and I really like how the girl blends in with the water. My ARC’s cover is more greenish though than blue.

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Raincoast Books) for free.  


  1. Wow Z, clearly this one wasn't for you! I agree the switch from Emma's first person POV to Galen's third was a little tricky to settle into at first, but I didn't notice it after the first couple of chapters. Hope the next book you pick up blows you away!

  2. I could tell pretty quickly that this book wasn't for me, and everything you say in your review just confirms that. I'm sorry it was such a disappointment! Mermaid books are hard to get right for sure.

  3. Aw, bummer :\ I was really looking forward to this one!

  4. *falls down laughing*

    Grrrr. I can't stand narrative shifting. I've been seeing it more and more, and I hope it is not a new tread that's about to explode or something because I always think it ruins the story, even if I'm enjoying it.

    I think I'll avoid this 'tail' for now. Mermaids have always been on the bottom of my list that I like to read about, even lower than angels. hehe

  5. I feel like there's some sort of mermaid curse where a book that's about merfolk (or Syrena, in this case!) is either a hit or a miss, and it's too bad that this one was more of a foul ball for you! I actually kind of liked this one, but your review highlights so many things that bugged me a bit too. I hated how Chloe's death was hardly touched on after it happened, and the romance really could be frustrating at times LOL x) But I loved the humor and Syrena lore too, so I'm glad you found comfort in that! :)

    Thank you so much for the awesome honest review, Z! <3

  6. I have heard quite a few things about this book and they all run along the lines of this. Thankfully I have never felt a want to read this. I like good characters in my books! Thanks for the honest review.

  7. I was kind of looking forward to read this what with all the positive reviews the book's been getting. But wth! The characters sound so annoying and really, that fourth bullet... what guy would say that to a girl's mom? I am so weirded out right now.

  8. WOW, clearly this one didn't rub you the right way, Z! Loved your bullet points and that's how I usually feel while going through PCBS (post crappy book syndrome). I just gone through a slew of "meh" reads and I really need a *good* read. I'm going to stick this one a bit lower on my reading pile.

  9. Heh heh heh. I liked this book. Basically for all the reasons you didn't. For me it was a fun and easy read that didn't require to much thought.
    Thanks for the review!

    Sara @ Just Another Story

  10. I felt the same way, Zahida! My review said the same things, like the insta-love, Chloe having a weave and fake nails at the beach (!?!!?), the humor, etc. I'm glad I'm not alone when it comes to my negative feelings about this book! It's a shame since I know a lot of people loved it. Fantastic and honest review, Zahida! <3 :)

  11. I wanted to like this one, but I struggled with it on so many levels--the quickly murdered friend, the insta-love, the stalker interest, the monologues about the syrena...oh dear!

    Stephanie @ Read in a Single Sitting

  12. Meh, annoying and inconsistent characters are an instant turn off for me so I'll be skipping this one. Thanks for the informative review though!


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