Finished Date: March 10th, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Format: eARC via Netgalley
My Rating: 3.5/5
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I've always loved tales of the sea, and have yet to find the perfect mermaid novel. The first time I laid eyes on OF POSEIDON was at Rachel's blog, My Reading Pile, and naturally, I went a little crazy after seeing that it will only be released a few months later. But then I chanced upon it on Netgalley, and needless to say, I requested it immediately. I started this book with very high expectations, as is the case with all mermaid novels (I have no idea why), and....I was quite disappointed actually. Not that it wasn't good, it's just not as good as what I was anticipating it to be, what with that stellar cover, intriguing title and storyline.
My Brief Summary
Emma is truly a klutz when on land - all two left feet and all - and when on a vacation with her best friend, Chloe, she tripped on her own foot and sprawled on top of one Galen Forza. One of the most handsome and sexy guys she's ever seen and she practically fell on him. But what Galen sees isn't a clumsy girl, he sees her impossibly purple eyes - a trait that can only mean she's one of them. A part of Syrena. But why doesn't she transform when she went into the water? How is it that she's living on land when one of the laws that govern their people is that all Syrenas are forbidden to go on land, much less stay there? And the fact that she doesn't recognise him as royalty? He's determined to find out as his mission on land is to be the ambassador of Syrena in the human world and to solve any Syrena-related issues on land. Emma's in for a shock as she finds herself face-to-face again with that handsome stranger in front of her locker back at school, and practically in every of her classes.
He finds out that she has absolutely no knowledge of the world beneath the sea, and she finds out that the one person she's falling for is the Prince of Syrena. But then, if his mission is to teach her of her ancestry and such, then doesn't that mean what he feels for her isn't what she's always thought it to be? That she's just another person he has to get close to to complete his mission? Apart from emotional problems, she still has to worry about the underwater stalker behind her house. Is it friend or foe? Is Emma in danger underwater?
Let me start with what I did like about OF POSEIDON:
THE COVER!! It's absolutely stunning! The girl in a white dress underwater? The mysterious, dark blue sea around her? The title, the font...Everything's so surreal!
Then comes the plot. Though the pace was relatively slow throughout the book, the plot did thicken and the pace did this crazy crescendo at the end, finally ending with a...cliffhanger!! One thing I dislike the most is cliffhangers, but the final revelation at the end was enough to shock me for awhile that I overlooked it quite entirely. Galen was trying to figure out who was stalking Emma the past couple of days whenever they enter the water, Syrenas being able to sense another of their kind when both are within range of each other under the shoreline. He was finally putting together the pieces and, BOOM - he revealed the person in his own cool style! You won't even be able to see it coming!
I loved any stories related to the ocean, and incorporating powers and adventures underwater was enough to make me more than a little engrossed. For a surprise gift, Galen even brought Emma to see the infamous Titanic, docked at the bottom of the Atlantis.
Emma was a kindred, compassionate heroine who cried for those who lost their lives aboard the Titanic when Galen brought her to see the ship. She's loyal to her friends even in the face of danger. However, one thing that I did not like about her was that she kept fainting. She came across as weak initially. Every time Galen tells her something big, she goes all woozy and...faints. It's supposed to be because of some biological change in her that's making her unstable for awhile, but still, it was rather annoying as it was only explained at a later time.
Banks' writing style was cool, especially when she incorporated mindblowing facts about things which I know already, but haven't thought about it in depth. For example, she said that everyone had a finite number of heartbeats, that if your heart beat faster, you'd have a shorter life. Thus turtles, whose heartbeats per minute are incredibly low, live to about a century or more. I haven't confirmed the fact yet, but it does coincide with the evidence. Fallacy or not, it is some fodder for the mind, is it not? :P However, there is this one phrase that caught my attention: "whisper yell". That's a contradiction all by itself. I've seen this a couple of times already, is this a proper phrase? As in, approved by Cambridge? Or just some common authors' mistake?
Now on to the things that I did not like. As I've mentioned earlier, the pace could be maddeningly slow at times. I took some time to finish reading this book, and I attribute it to the fact that I got bored a number of times. I'm not a fan of Contemporary Romance, and OF POSEIDON did tend towards that genre as Galen went to school with Emma, and them hanging out together at Galen's. I do like paranormal high school romances - as in, the supernatural hero and heroine goes to a regular, human high school kind of thing (cliched, yes I know) - but not when it becomes the typical teen romance where everything's so....adolescent and monotone. But I must concede the point that it did get very romantic at times. :X Haha. Swoon~ Not only with Galen and Emma, but with some other side characters who were just as...sexy as Galen. If not more.
Galen's a cool hero, as far as I'm concerned, but not what I expected. He's brooding, he's a prince, he's a protective, possessive guy, he's handsome, everything's good. It's just...he's too perfect and typical a love interest in this genre. I've seen male protagonists of his ilk one too many times in the Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, YA Lit section, don't you think? I wanted something more, something that will make a deep enough impression to let me remember him long after I've reached the The End. Someone like Christian Grey...hubba hubba... Haha, but that aside, my expectations were higher too because mermaids have always been one of my favourite mythical creatures, and for him to fall short... Hmm..
There was this loophole that I've spotted.
*Please do not read it if you haven't read the book. MAJOR spoilers!*
If Emma's mom is Nalia, then Galen has surely met her before because she was Grom's intended, and therefore recognise her both in terms of appearance and when he sense her in water. Then how is it that he didn't when he saw her at Emma's house? Or when he sensed that underwater stalker, how did he not recognise that pulse he sensed?
Other than that, I thought that OF POSEIDON was a pretty average, light, mermaid read. If you're in need of some YA Romance, part Contemporary, part Urban Fantasy, then maybe you'd like to try this out.
P.S. Though there isn't a sequel announced for OF POSEIDON yet, the odds look good for one. That cliffhanger needs a resolution!! And there is still much that can happen, so yes, I'm hopeful.:)
*eARC courtesy of Feiwel & Friends via Netgalley.