Book Reviews

Review: “Of Poseidon,” Anna Banks

July 14, 2013
Review: “Of Poseidon,” Anna BanksOf Poseidonby Anna Banks
Series: Of Poseidon #1
Published by Egmont on May, 2012
Genres: Mermaids / Selkies, Romance
Pages: 384

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.

I had high hopes for Of Poseidon: great cover, fresh new author, a surprisingly intriguing blurb… I admit I caved and bought the first two in this series by debut author Anna Banks when I saw them on the shelves, after a long time pining over them and a while away from reading. Of Poseidon disappointed me. While not terrible in it’s entirety, it certainly dashed my hopes of finally finding the YA mermaid series I’ve been searching for.

It’s a little known fact about me, but I’ve been searching quite some time for a YA series (or even a standalone) about mermaids that really grabs me. The closest I’ve come, I think, is with Tracy Deebs Tempest Rising. I’ve read many mermaid books over the years since I’ve been blogging and I’ve been sorely disappointed time and time again. I really thought Of Poseidon may be the one to turn that around, but once again I was wrong.

I just didn’t like our main character of Emma. Her personality is bland and she’s always up and down. I’m not sure if she’s meant to be a weak or a strong girl – she’s just that all over the place. I feel that Anna Banks could’ve given us a more solid character; one with more direction and one we could like. It would have gone a long way to improving the first book in this series.

Our love interest of Galen was interesting at first, but sadly he turned into every other possessive YA male archetype; following Emma like a crazy man-fish, willing to beat down any guy who looked her way and despite not being human, acted pretty much like one the whole book. The mystery behind him and what he was just evaporated within a few pages. I didn’t like his chapters, either. Anna Banks wrote the story with alternate chapters – Emma and Galen – but the writing style she used with Galen made his voice sound very artificial and drab.

Little things about this book also rubbed me the wrong way – stupid, little things. Take for instance when Galen and Emma go to the movies and spend an enormous amount of money at the candy bar… Galen returns to the theatre only to see Emma has switched seats because kids were sitting in front of them. That’s all fine, but she’s left the food behind, completely discarded. Who would seriously do that?

I was also incredibly distracted by the ‘death’ scene at the start of the book, featuring Emma’s best friend Chloe. It was meant to be a serious event, but I was put off by the constant ‘popping off’ of the girls fake nails. I felt the book was very cluttered with useless descriptions and notes that served only to draw the reader away from what was really happening.

Emma also has an annoying habit of counting ‘Mississippi’ ALL the time, and saying ‘ohmysweetgoodness’ every chance she gets. It’s a pet hate of mine when an author grabs hold of a catchphrase for a character and uses it constantly. For me, it doesn’t ADD to them, it just makes the writer seem completely cliche and new to the table.

When trying to think about what I DID like about this book, it’s hard to think of something. I guess it would be the secondary characters – Toraf – and to a lesser extent, Rayna. I guess at this point their relationship is the only thing I’m mildly looking forward to, as well as the explanation Emma’s mum has about being the fabled ‘Nalia’.

As mentioned, I did buy the next book, Of Triton so I guess I will be reading it sometime in the future. It’s smaller than this one, which is quite encouraging considering I don’t exactly want to trudge through another Of Poseidon after already making my mind up about the series.

Recommended to: If you’re wanting a nice, clean introduction to the YA mermaid pool, then Of Poseidon might be the book for you. On the other hand, if you’re a seasoned reader to the genre, you might want to pick something else.

1 Comment

  • Reply Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books July 17, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    The audiobook was free from Sync, so I went ahead and downloaded a copy. I figured that’s the only way I’d have a chance of reading it. I’ve read so many reviews like yours, where the readers felt as though the book just didn’t match their expectations. I’m hoping that maybe listening to it via audio will be a little more tolerable? Because otherwise this doesn’t sound like a book I’d enjoy at all. I haven’t read any YA mermaid books yet, but I do hope a decent book pops up to fill the void there!

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